(Tonight we kick off the 2010 college football campaign. The return of America's REAL pastime means the return of another great american tradition: TAILGATING. Here to guest rant on proper tailgating etiquette and procedure is Senior Female College Football Correspondent Sally Clydesdale.)
First of all, let me just say that I'm honored to receive a guest blogger position with GOMLK. It's truly an honor, even though you apparently hate me for my group shot photos, love for Perez Hilton, and affinity for Maroon 5. But what I'm really here to talk aboutis problem that crosses our nation (and only ours-AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!!). This problem is people who don't know how to tailgate.
Let me be clear-I'm only concerned with proper COLLEGE football tailgating. I don't care if you want to wear a block of cheese on your head or insult Native Americans with your team name, that's a completely different forum. College football is pure unadulterated bliss. Where else can you find thousands of screaming fans for a sport where the athletes don't (officially..) get paid? And part of that great tradition is tailgating before a big game. Or any game-let's be honest, sometimes you really want to get blackout drunk and vaguely remember the noon game, so bring on Middle Tennessee State! The best tailgating is obviously done in the South-where ladies dress up and men wear ties. People are polite, even when delivering scathing insults about Tim Tebow's sexuality. Now let's talk about some of my tailgating pet peeves, shall we?
(1) Girls Who Wear Team Jerseys
OMG! That's so cute! You woke up and put on jeans and a jersey. You get an F for Fucking Lazy. What's that you say? You were out late drinking, and so hungover/still drunk that you threw this on? Ladies, this is not hardcore. What IS badass is staying out until 4am, sleeping until 8, waking yourself look BETTER than you would if you were going to class. I make myself look pretty for football games. My dress is picked out in advance, I blow dry my hair, and put on full makeup. Then I walk out the door into the blistering fall heat and drink my ass off for the better part of 18 hours. I don't use day drinking as an excuse to look like a lesbian, a-thank-you-very-much. Some might argue that they're showing spirit. I argue right back that the only team spirit necessary besides the dress you're wearing in your team colors is a similarly colored coozie, and a strategically placed tatoo ofyour team's logo (preferrably on the cheekbone). It says "I love my Razorbacks!/Tigers!/Longhorns!" without also saying that you love munching box.
(2) Boys Who Wear Team Jerseys
If I'm putting on my Sunday best, you better be putting it on as well. Nothing screams class like keg stands in a tie. You can get just as sloppy wasted as the d-bag wearing athletic shorts-but the juxtiposition when you're a sweaty hot mess at 10 pm in a dress shirt and tie makes it all worth it. Also put those sunglasses on some croakies good sir, we don't want you losing them in the stands or while taking that aforementioned keg stand.
(3) Yelling at Peaceful Enemies
So let's say we're having a nice time tailgating, all is fun and games, and a few tailgaters from the wrong side of the stadium ramble by. If the answer is start yelling at them and throwing things..you're wrong. Because then if your team loses you look like a giant asshole. Why not invite them for a beer, casually poke fun at their team/school/mother, have a good laugh and send them on their way? That way when, when your team wins, victory is that much sweeter. A cautionary tale: During my freshman year at Clemson, a ragtag group of us travelled to South Carolina for the annual shit-kicking they call a rivalry. The classless, toothless vermin we encountered yelled at us everywhere we went (apparently they don't know the rules). We ended up kicking their ass again (surprise! surprise!). And what made it more amazing is that after that, no one seemed to want to talk shit about football anymore. (Sidenote: One of my best friends was offered some "Tiger Stew" by a kindly older gentleman making food, and she screamed "GO FUCK YOURSELF!!" befre realizing he was actually a fellow Clemson fan. Completely uncalled for, completely hilarious. This is what happens when you let other people and their negative tailgating energy affect you.)
(4) Being a Penn St. Fan
Look at us, WE ARE! Penn State. Ugh. Yawn. Get me out of here. You may have the largest stadium in the country but your home game atmosphere is about as rowdy as a church picnic. Yeah, I bet you guys "invented" Zombie Nation being played in stadiums. What a bunch of fucking losers. Also, you people just suck. Don't know why and I certainly don't care. Yeah it's pretty easy to champion your season every year...considering last year you played..Akron, Syracuse, Temple, Eastern Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Michigan State. Congrats on your coach not dying last year! Seriously, when people are betting on when your coach is going to die..maybe it's time to let go of tradition. (BTW, my bet is when Penn St. loses to Iowa...again. So long Paterno!)
(Editor's note: Fuck the Big 10 in general. If you're gonna call yourself a "power" conference you might wanna have a winning bowl record once a decade. Also your girls are fucking ugly.)
(5) Not Knowing When a Nap is in Order
It happens to the best of us. Maybe you start with mimosas instead of the safer choice of beer. Maybe someone talks you into taking vodka-Gatorade shots (In theory, wonderful. In practice, deadly.). Regardless ofthe reason, sometimes you just have too much, too early. Here is an essential lesson: When in doubt, take a nap. Find a truck, car, couch under a tailgate tent, friend with a close apartment, or a fraternity quad-as long as you can pass out in peace, you'll be fine. Sure you may miss a few hours of late afternoon/early evening drinking, but at least you won't be the guy/girl pissing themselves and getting kicked out of the stadium during that 7:00 game.
(6) Not having Proper Tailgating Gear
Koozies are essential. Keep your beer cold and delicious as long as possible in the hot days of early (or even late, depending on where you're situated) fall. But this is just the beginning. Ladies, large purses with hidden pockets are great for transporting beer into dry stadiums. As are flasks with garters or inside a cute pair of boots. Gentlemen? Strap on a "BeerBelly" and call it a day! No one is going to notice if you're quite a bit thinner at halftime. The point is -Never Give Up. If someone tells you "No Alcohol Allowed," smile politely and think about how enjoyable those beers, shots of JD/warm vodka will be while cheering your team on. If you have all these things, then you won't need to ask me for MY alcohol, which I carefully planned. And no, you can't have any.
(7) Non-Alumni Fans
One of my biggest pet peeves. "OMG I'm the biggest Ohio State fan EVER!" "WE kicked your ass last year." These quotes are almost always made by someone who went to Towson. or Loyola. Or Mount St. Mary's. If you didn't go to the school that is behind the team you're cheering for...you are not the biggest fan ever. Because you didn't see the "student" athletes on campus. Or in class. Or in the dining hall. I'd say library, but I didn't see them there either. The whole point of being a college fotball fan is LOVING your alma mater and remembering the days when you got to go to EVERY home game. It is not chooosing a team that is considered to be good and then jumping on the bandwagon. I don't care if your parents raised you that way-you should know better. If you want to be a die-hard fan, go to a school with a well-known and well-funded football program. If you didn't get in it wasn't meant to be. If you went somewhere else on a sports scholarship for field hockey or badminton or whatever the fuck sport you played, tough shit. Be quiet during the game and let the real fans scream their heads off. No one cares about your opinion, because you went to St. Mary's College of MD.
These are just a few guidelines to follow while tailgating. You don't have to agree, but they will make you a better tailgater, guaranteed. Or you could go the TBagzzz route route and be the kid is a sports jersey passed out on the sidewalk having pissed himself with nary a drop to drink.
(Editor's note: Ok that happened like ONCE...EVER)