Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spotlight of the month.......Tailgating: Not Just a Hobby but a Way of Life

Bluffs & Bayous is now doing a monthly spotlight that will just be found on our blog. Each month we will pick a topic of interest from a person, place and thing to an idea that will be showcased on our blog. Some months it will correlate with our magazine's theme and some months it will not. So we hope you continue to check out our blog. Thanks

Tailgating: Not Just a Hobby but a Way of Life

College football season, as much a part of the Southern way of life as grits, please and thank you, debutante, y’all, and true hospitality. When looking up the definition of the word “fan,” one will note that it derives from the word fanatic and college football fans from the South give the word new meaning. It is more than just a game, it is a way of life, an obsession. And as with every other Southern obsession, we pursue our love of college football with flamboyant style. Each year as summer winds down, no matter where you go in the South, the main topic of conversation will be the upcoming football season. But it is not just the game itself that we find ourselves entranced with, college football requires an entire day’s worth of festivities, including several hours worth of tailgating. From the Grove at Ole Miss, to the Junction at Mississippi State, each southern school has its own tailgating traditions.

For the college football fan, there is nothing like the feeling of getting to campus early on a game day to prepare for the game with a little tailgating. Immediately upon stepping foot on campus, the excitement is in the air: the aroma of grills and the various foods that fans have brought to enjoy prior to kickoff; the echoing of the fight song in the distance as the band warms up in preparation for their march to the stadium; and the chatter of friends and foes (opposing fans), discussing a assortment of topics, from the upcoming game to the overbearing boss. This is what makes college football special in the South, it is not just a game, it is a well planned social event. Tailgates are coordinated all week prior to the game on who will be responsible for each aspect of making the perfect tailgate. Who will be responsible for the tent? Who will take care of the food? Who is going to make sure there is a way to keep an eye on the other games that day? And last but definitely not least, who is going to handle the drinks? But the tailgate itself is not the only concern, most even carefully prepare their game day outfit, making sure to include the home team’s colors in some way. And all that preparation is not without reward, because even if the home team is struggling, the fans can still enjoy a good tailgate. After all, like they say, the home team may lose the game but you cannot lose a tailgate. As a result, even those who may not be that interested in the game itself, find themselves huge fans of college football season. Where else can you get together with friends from every stage of life, while having a good meal and being entertained for an entire day?

This article was written by Phillip Bass, a law student at the University of Mississippi and a graduate of Mississippi State University.

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