Tailgating 101 


Patriots’ fans tailgate before a football game.

Kaylee King, Staff Writer


  Football tailgates are an important aspect of a football game day experience. Tailgating originated in the 1930s. Fans used rear fold down tailgates as seats and buffet style tables for food. It’s heavily debated the “best” football tailgate, however some just top the cake. One of the most well-respected college tailgates is the University of Mississippi’s. The Rebels named their tailgating lot “The Grove” because it takes its name from the oak, elm and magnolia trees that surround the area. The Grove is located at the heart of campus with approximately 10 acres dedicated for tailgating on gameday. Ole Miss fan and 12th grader, Claire Boiling states, “Tailgating at Ole Miss makes any other school pale in comparison. I’d definitely recommend walking around and getting lost in the madness. Ole Miss football is something I think everyone should experience; it takes tailgating to a whole new level!” Ole Miss fans are allowed first come, first serve to claim a tailgating spot at 7:30pm on Friday’s before game day. One of the most-known rules to Ole Miss tailgating is that all drinks must be consumed in either a blue or red plastic cup. All alcoholic drinks in their original containers are poured out by security.  

Tailgating doesn’t just stop at the collegiate level. The NFL provides the next level tailgating experience. NFL tailgates tend to have more food, games, and beverages than college tailgates, but that does come with a price. The average price for 4 NFL fans for a day of tailgating can run from $328 to $557. That does not include the price of the lots at NFL stadiums.  

Here are some tailgate tips to abide by for a successful gameday! If you are 21, one rule to stick to while tailgating is to limit your alcohol intake. If you are drinking on gameday, drink plenty of water beforehand. Remember that it is never safe to binge drink, especially before a football game with thousands of people. If you are hosting the tailgate, make sure the food covers all the needs of the guests. Although grilling hotdogs and hamburgers is an American staple for tailgating, providing fruit and vegetable trays to guests is a great way to ensure everyone has something to eat. Also, making sure everyone has enough to eat is important!