|Posted by Kristen Geil on September 19, 2011 at 5:55 PM|
Let's be honest with each other: UK football is not going to be fun this season. You know it, I know it, and that other city 70 miles west definitely knows it. Accept it.
While it may sound tempting to wallow in self-pity for a few weeks and reminisce on the past few years when UK was a semi-decent football team, I have another suggestion: devote the previous energy you would have spent caring about UK football to caring about something that we're a lot better at.
I don't know what this book is about, but it seems fitting.
Tailgating has many perks: meeting new people, eating good food, getting an attractive sunglasses tan, and most importantly of all, having enough fun to not care about your sucky football team. Here, I offer our readers a guide to how to tailgate so successfully that you'll forget we even have a football team.
It's working for Rich.
First, figure out what kind of tailgater you want to be. How involved do you want to get? A die-hard tailgater will have a staked out spot, a canvas canopy, oodles of food that somehow manages to stay fresh all day, and a high-definition television with its own satellite dish. Usually, this tailgater is a seasoned veteran, maybe a little further removed from the college age, with more experience in how to organize and prep this social event.
Let me be clear: I am not this tailgater.
I am of the second type of tailgater variety. I am a Wanderer, or, more bluntly, a Moocher. I arrive at Commonwealth Stadium carrying a plastic Kroger bag with snacks and liquids, ready to seize the day. Before, I have sent a mass text to possible host candidates: "Hey! Where are you tailgating today?" From there, I have mapped a mental route circling the stadium of what tailgates I want to hit. Depending on time of day and what meal I need to eat, I flit around the parking lot until my full stomach and empty bottles tells me it's time to enter the game. I highly recommend this type of tailgating.
Once you have figured out what type of tailgater you are, it's time to pack your necessary supplies.
While it's vital to be prepared, it's also important not to load yourself down with too much stuff. Remember, other people will cover you. For example, this weekend when tailgating for the UL game, I accidentally grabbed red Solo cups on the way out of the house. Obviously this would not do, so I asked some strangers if they had blue Solo cups I could borrow. They did not, but they DID have some blue masking tape that we painstakingly wrapped around my two cups. A bonding experience and a correct-color cup all before 2 pm!
Along the same lines, make sure you leave your house dressed appropriately for a long day. You are only allowed to wear your team colors. No exceptions. Comfortable shoes are a must, and sunglasses as well. Sunscreen is advisable; as decades of spring breakers can tell you, drinking alcohol doesn't offer sun protection. Layers are crucial for warm days that turn into cooler nights.Make sure you're representing your team well; while it may be acceptable for other fans to wear flat bills and trashy t-shirts, we as UK fans are above that. If we can't have dignity in our football team, we can at least have dignity in our apparel.
DEFINITELY not this.
She knows the drill.
Now it's time to actually tailgate. Basically, tailgating is hanging out, outside, before a certain event. How you pass the time is up to you! Along with eating and drinking, it's traditional to partake in some sort of game to pass the time. Cornhole is always popular.
This weekend, I saw some new game with a frisbee and a beer bottle on a pole; each player has to have a drink in his hand, and throw the frisbee to try and knock the bottle off the pole.
Bocci ball and croquet may appeal to the classier tailgater, while beer pong should be offered at the more festive gatherings.
Recreational dancing, of course, is always encouraged. Who recognizes this guy?
Some tailgates with televisions may have the channel turned to a pregame show or analysis. Do not watch this. It interferes with the larger goal of emotionally distancing yourself from UK's football team. It is, however, acceptable to watch other college football games.
A few other rules of thumb to keep in mind: Tailgating (especially for those night games) is a long day. Pace yourself. Stay hydrated, take breaks to sit down, and snack throughout the day. Although drinking yourself into blissful oblivion to deny the sorry state of UK football is desirable, your death is not.
Stay classy, UK.