Tailgating 101

Oct 032006
Authors: Mike Donovan

It just doesn’t get any better than enjoying a crisp, fall day, donned in green and gold from head to toe, and knowing that the chance to pet Cam the Ram could be just around the corner. The brats sizzle on the grill and kickoff time is only an hour away. Ahhhh, tailgating.

Tailgating is one of those great moments in life when everything seems to fit, when nothing else seems to matter and the beer tastes so good when it hits your lips.

Follow these key tips for tailgating at Homecoming and you just can’t go wrong.

Number One-Good Food

This may sound like an obvious choice, but food is what weeds out the veteran tailgaters from the newbies. At one time, it may have been acceptable to just have hot dogs and potato chips at tailgating, but those days have been retired to the football graveyard (along with leather helmets and CU’s football program).

Great food can be as elaborate as chipotle-dusted pork chops to as simple as a good burger or brat. My personal favorites include bratwurst marinated in a local wheat beer, such as Easy Street or Sunshine, or homemade seven-layer dip. Another tip to remember when tailgating is to bring more than enough food. No matter how much food you bring, there is never enough.

Number Two-Good Company

Tailgating is a time for a group of friends to get together and eat and drink before watching an athletic event. It is not meant for random friends who were looking for something to do.

While tailgating can be a place to meet new people, those people should be diehard fans or tailgaters like you. There is nothing worse than tailgating with someone who constantly says things like, “Who are we playing again?” or, “Did you see that ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ episode on Thursday? That McDreamy is hot.”

Number Three-Ram Fans Only

For all the Buff, Cowboy or Falcon fans out there, there is no need to attend a Ram tailgate. A tailgate is place for serious conversation about sports and food-not a place to fight over fan allegiances. If you are a sports bigamist, such a person who grew up in Wyoming and now goes to CSU, cheer for the Rams during tailgate and leave the Wyoming love at home.

Number Four-Cold/Warm Weather

One key thing to remember when tailgating at Hughes for Homecoming is that the weather will go against whatever the meteorologists say. Living in beautiful Fort Collins, one must expect all weather at all times. When arriving at Hughes, it may be sunny and 70, but don’t be surprised if an hour later the parking lot is soaked from a freezing downpour. (CSU vs. CU game anyone?)

Number Five-Enjoy it

Tailgating is a time to forget about the stress of school, work or your significant other. It is a time to simply enjoy life. Sometimes the biggest stress reliever is tossing the ball around with friends or enjoying a burger with a buddy.

For CSU fans, there are five or six opportunities each fall to enjoy the art of tailgating at one of the most beautiful locations in all of college football. Take advantage of Hughes tailgating while you can before old man winter comes knocking. Remember: A few hours of tailgating at Hughes are better than a full day spent anywhere else.

Sports editor Mike Donovan is a sophomore technical journalism major. He can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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