As we round the final corner that is August and barrel into the college football season, it’s about time that we sit down and make a few things abundantly clear. It’s long been held that LSU has the best tailgating in college football by LSU fans, non-LSU and non-Ole Miss fans, and the national media. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any room for improvement. Below are a list of items or actions we can leave in the off season or start doing in 2018. Let’s build Saturday together.
- Don’t wear cheetah print to an LSU tailgate (or any tailgate, really. To my knowledge there are no schools with a cheetah as a mascot). This has been stated many times, almost to the point where it is beating a dead horse. But it still happens, so I have to include it.
- Don’t go against the grain when the school orchestrates a color game. This one sticks in my crawl big time and even applies to certain people here at And The Valley Shook. For all the perceived flaws and criticism LSU gets from us, I’m not about to fault them for trying to create something special inside the stadium with a color-out. Don’t be that person who shows up to the purple game wearing gold and then turn around next week (which is the gold game) wearing purple. Unless you haven’t been to a home game since 2011 (or more impressively, managed to avoid just the home losses) then you don’t have a “lucky shirt”. Stop being a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian.
- Do bring a change of clothes. Okay, this is probably more applicable to the guys but hear me out: for a 6 p.m. kick, a proper tailgate starts no later than the selections on GameDay. It’s going to be hot. You’re going to be sweaty. Depending on what you’re doing and where you’re tailgating, you’re going to get dirty, perhaps spill a drink or two or three on your shirt, along with possibly some food spillage. By the time 5:00 rolls around, you’re going to be ripe. So head to your nearest RV, Coates Hall, or portapotty (not glamorous, but doable) and pop on a new shirt and apply more deodorant before you roll on into the stadium. I promise it makes a world of difference. Personal hygiene isn’t always so personal, especially when you’re packed into Tiger Stadium like sardines. Two words that are always worth learning as well: dri fit.
- Do plan, plan, plan, plan. You can’t prepare for everything but you can do more when you play it out in advance. Don’t wait until Friday to start making preparations for a tailgate.
- Don’t pass on breaking down the tailgate. It’s one thing if you’re coming in from West Monroe or New Orleans, but if you’re skipping down to Prarieville or Denham Springs and you tailgated, return back to the spot and help break down the tailgate. You’re going to be sitting in traffic for an hour if you leave following the game anyway, you may as well make yourself useful during that time and let traffic die down. Plus, the more hands on deck the quicker the job will get done. Nobody likes a freeloader.
- Do delegate what can be delegated. The more people are involved in a tailgate, the more responsibilities can be divided and the easier it is to make sure everything that you want to do not only get done, but done well. Don’t spread yourself thin if you don’t have to. If somebody offers to bring something, give them a suggestion (reciprocate if you are crashing another tailgate, and bring something even if the host tells you nothing is needed).
- Don’t cater. There are malnourished undergrads in Oxford who haven’t had a hot meal in their life. You have the right to open flame, use it.
- Do have options as a host. This applies to nearly everything. Some people will play beer pong for the rest of their life, some just want to sit around and shoot the shit. Some want to play washers, some want to play Battle Shots or Thunderstruck. Some people are watching their carb intake, some people need something to soak up all the booze. Some people just want to kick back Michie Ultras, some people want to cut to the chase and drink liquor, some psychopaths want to drink craft double IPAs. Some people want to sing along to Wagon Wheel, some people want to turn up to SICKO MODE.
- Don’t overextend yourself. As a host/hosting party, know what you can do as far as menu or amenities and work inside of that window. It would be nice to have chargrilled oysters for a tailgate, but at a certain point it becomes too much of a hassle and detracts from the rest of your tailgate.
- Don’t be a dick. Make sure not a single opposing fan walks past your tailgate without A) getting a light-hearted Tiger Bait and B) a beverage and whatever meat you happen to be serving that day. Some of the best tailgate memories you’ll ever have are hosting fans from far off lands and showing them what a proper tailgate looks like.
- Don’t outsource your tailgate:
Want to experience the best of @LSU tailgating without all the work?— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) August 10, 2018
Order Today: https://t.co/vsmSjM5w3X pic.twitter.com/nZ36dbQ1BS