Get your tails in the gates

Sep 122002
Authors: Jon Ackerman

Tailgating is as crucial to football as the 37-yard line.

It’s like brushing your teeth before a dentist appointment; you just have to do it.

Without tailgating, a football game would be like going to Las Vegas and catching a movie; you’re not getting the full experience.

Here at CSU, though, we need to take it to the next level. We not only need to brush, let’s floss, gurgle mouthwash and apply whitening strips.

Here we are with a top 25 team playing its first home game of the year tomorrow against a team which features a Heisman candidate and a defense stiffer than Jack Daniels. The Rams of this year are already better than last year’s, mainly because they can boast state supremacy, but also ’cause they have a winning record.

Now can we get some fans that are better than last year’s? Things already look bright, though, considering Saturday’s game is sold out. Although, that doesn’t necessarily mean the student section will be full.

But why should we stop at 30,000? Virginia put nearly 60-grand into its stadium, which is much like Hughes with the grassy knolls at each end. Only the Cavaliers allow fans to sit behind the endzones. I wish “Knowledge to Go Places” could be covered by Ram nation.

Let’s start with the tailgating aspect.

“Stadium parking lots will open three hours prior to kickoff,” according to the stadium safety policy, which means a line should be forming on Saturday about 3 p.m., or four and a half hours prior to kickoff. The parking lots won’t be open, but I never saw anything regarding Overland Trail being shut down.

Heck, at UCLA, if you didn’t arrive 240 minutes before kickoff, you were considered late. The RVs were parked, the tents were erected, the beer was flowing and the brats were burning soon after 1 p.m. last Saturday for the Rams-Bruins game, which, mind you, started at 7.

The Rose Bowl promotes tailgating so much that it doesn’t mind a lack of parking room. They just put ’em on a golf course. “I had seven-putted on 17 last Sunday. My charcoal grill the day before left a nasty groove on the green.”

UCLA knows how tailgating is done. They had booths set up left and right, and had cheerleaders chanting at the Chancellor’s pre-game gathering.

And when the team bus showed up around 5 p.m., fans cleared a path leading the way to the stadium. I think there was a parking lot right outside the Bruins’ locker room, but the bus conveniently stopped behind a sea of fans so the team could be escorted in by the band and cheerleaders.

Now I know CSU fans have it in them. When it comes to tailgating for the CU game, the game could be played at sunrise and we’d still be there five hours in advance. We’ve camped out all night for tickets. Why not tailgate all day, with tickets, for a nationally televised game? Let’s just not forget to actually go inside.

So what if you’re a fair-weather fan, which many of you are? Fine. The weather couldn’t be much better right now with the Rams.

So we’ll see you tomorrow at 3 p.m.? We say we want national respect. Let’s start by filling our parking lot.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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