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Tailgating essential to football

Posted on 09.25.2013

An essential part of the college football experience is attending the tailgating events before kickoff. Before any team puts points up on the scoreboard, fans enjoy themselves outside of the stadium. A typical tailgating session usually includes grilling, music, trash talking and preparing for the battle about to begin on the field.
What is tailgating exactly? In layman’s terms, as if there is a scientific definition, tailgating is a social event held around the tailgate of a truck. That is a loose interpretation, seeing that not everyone is exactly congregated around a truck bed, but it is easy to get the gist of the situation. In the perfect tailgating portrait, fans cluster around a grill in a parking lot wearing face paint and proudly sporting jerseys. However, everyone tailgates differently.
For me, tailgating is as much a part of the football game as cheerleaders or sports announcers. It is a critical addition to the game. Without tailgating, the atmosphere wouldn’t be the same. It pumps me up just to walk in with a crowd of friends after friendly trash talk, if there is such a thing.
Tailgating is not all hotdogs and beer. At UIndy, tailgating is all about game prep. With lawn chairs, grills and corn hole, tailgating is a great opportunity to meet new people. It is also a great way to get pumped up and ready for the game. Depending on the week, many groups or organizations might be handing out free game time “necessities” such as war paint strips.
Freshman nursing major Rachel Christner said, “It is cool to see other students hang out and interact with each other before the big game.
Spirits rise as music blares throughout the parking lot, and students and other fans can enjoy a multitude of activities. “Tailgate Town,” so dubbed  by Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development Matt Donovan, offers a well-rounded and diverse experience for Greyhound fans.
It is easy to spark a conversation about stats, how bad the other team is or anything else when everyone is outside and hanging out together.
With music, food and family-friendly events, UIndy tailgating exceeds fans’ expectations. It is exciting for fans and opponents to have the chance to tailgate.
Sophomore biology major Treasure Jones said she loves the pregame festivities.
“Tailgate Town always gets me pumped and ready for the game. It makes me even more excited to go into the Hound Pound [student section] after I’ve gotten my war paint strips,”  Jones said.
After two hours of getting pumped up, tailgaters are ready for the game. And it does make a difference in the crowd. After prepping for the game together, everyone seems to be in even higher spirits and once the game begins, everyone is united in cheering for the Greyhounds. Tailgating is a special way to unite a group of fans, and UIndy does it absolutely right. It gives the fans the football experience and readies everyone for the following game on the gridiron.
Tailgating is a part of the college experience. I encourage you to paint up, talk trash and have a good time before the next home football game.


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