College Football

Fun Tailgating

Can you believe college football has started again? For the many fans who love the sport it is almost like an early Christmas present when the season begins. Soon you will experience the crisp autumn air that accompanies football in the fall. Even if your favorite team is not playing, it is still fun to watch other games and see the competition. So what is the best way to experience a game? Each person may have their own ritual, but if you do not, it is time to develop your own habits.

One of the first things to decide is are you going to see the game in person, or on TV? If you watch it on TV you may wish to enjoy it in a low key fashion from the comfort of your recliner with family nearby. There is nothing wrong with that method, but if you wish to up your game, schedule a football watching party (or attend one). For the big games it should be easy to get friends together who wish to cheer for your favorite team.

Having everyone provide a side dish while you provide the entrée is a good way to make people want to come to the game at your house. The menu can be anything from wings, burgers, or chicken, and you can expect an enjoyable meal on your hands. Tie it in with plenty of seats, a big screen TV and other amenities and the party should be a great time for everyone regardless of the scoreboard.

Another way to view the game is to go to a restaurant with friends, or make some new ones there. Although places like Buffalo Wild Wings can be fun to catch a game you should also consider options in other restaurants that may not be top of mind for you. Even some locally owned restaurants will have the game on TV so you can watch it and leave the cooking to them. Another fun thing to do is to get together at a restaurant that is known as the home base for fans of your favorite team to see your team in action. There you can not only meet up with people you already know, but also make new friends who frequently gather at the establishment while cheering your team to victory.

Depending on your perspective and disposition, going to the game may be the most fun of all. One word for you…Tailgate. The fun of tailgating and going to the game cannot be overstated. On a day when your favorite team is scheduled for an afternoon, or evening home game it is good to make plans to be there all day. Having a plan and friends to help you execute the plan for the day is best. If you do not have a regular tailgate crew, maybe this is the year to form one.

If you go down in the morning before the game you can try the breakfast recipe shared in this month’s food section for some enjoyable nourishment after setting up in your spot. Some essential tailgate items are a canopy, grill, cooler, TV, chairs, tables, a football, other games, plus good food and cold beverages. If you do not have all of these, maybe you have a friend who does (or who will pitch in to purchase them). It is fun to be a part of the tailgating experience by watching games, playing games, or talking with new friends at your tailgate. It can also be relaxing as you step away from your work week into the realm of college football.

Nearing game time you probably will put things away at your tailgate and go to the game. Going to the game a little early can be a fun experience and (depending on your team’s traditions) a way to get to see your team, band, etc. closer than you may in the stadium. If you wish to wait to go to the stadium until close to game time you can still have fun and maybe even pick up a souvenir on the way.

Inside the stadium the atmosphere will probably be raucous unless it is a team that is considered an inferior opponent. For those games with lesser skilled opponents seats are usually plentiful as the fans may opt to stay home, or at the tailgate instead of coming in for the contest. For the big games you can almost get lost in the excitement before kickoff. During the game prepare to stand and cheer (or cringe) depending on how well your team is doing. Although halftime may be your time to take a break it is also a time to watch the band perform their outstanding program. It can be a real treat seeing and hearing them live.

After the game you can continue the celebration of winning and go back to your tailgate for post-game festivities, or head home after having experienced a great day on campus. If you are watching somewhere else, you may watch another game, or the post-game wrap-up show. Whichever way you experience the game you know it will be a fun day experiencing a great tradition.