Every fall semester, thousands of students, parents, faculty and alumni flood Tech’s campus to partake in an old Jackets’ tradition: tailgating before football games. Tailgating began decades ago when friends, neighbors and families came together to celebrate in anticipation for an upcoming sporting match. Traditionally, tailgating parties occurred around vehicles in open parking lots, literally on tails of open truck-beds. Over the years, the art of tailgating has evolved and expanded to include tents, lounge chairs, televisions and green spaces. Though tailgating is growing rapidly, both in followers and in flair, it still serves its original purpose for bringing people together to celebrate the team and the game. If you are a tailgating professional, lucky you. If you’re new to tailgating, there’s no better time to start than now. Follow this tailgating guide and tailgate your way through a fantastic football season, no matter what the score is at the end of the day.
When it comes to tailgating, location is everything. With Yellow Jacket Park overtaken by the construction of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center, green space is limited on campus. Try these alternative locations for pre-game revelry:
The parking lot behind Howey-Physics building is always full of alumni and their kids grilling out and hovering over their cars.
Skiles Walkway is a central location with a great view of the band’s warm-up and nearby restrooms. Plus, with the addition of a new green fence, it is even more shady than before.
Architecture lawn, or at least what is left of it, is a safe refuge from construction, also with handy bathroom access, and easy viewing of the shennanigans at Greek houses.
The green space behind Tech Tower, a classic location complete with historical markers, makes for a more sedated tailgate.
While grilling and eating might seem like the only thing to do at a tailgating party, spice up your fun with these games:
Play football, flags if you have any on hand or touch if you don’t fear the asphalt.
Watch television or listen to the radio, especially pre-game commentary. If you aren’t interested, try watching other, less-important games, say, SEC games?
Paint faces. While initially more attractive to the younger crowd, you haven’t really attended a game until you have done so in yellow and black face paint, chest paint and potentially arm and leg paint.
Play cornhole, horseshoes or any other game that involves throwing small objects at arbitrary targets. Don’t keep score though. The only winning that matters on gameday is Tech’s.
Even if you aren’t the lucky daughter of an alumnus or alumna, there are plenty of wardrobe options for gameday.
Uniformed homogeny, a la The Swarm or marching band, will never go out of style. These classy fans dress the part every game day and help make sure the stands are full of screaming white and old gold.
Go in preppy-formal, even if you aren’t Greek. There are so few excuses these days to wear bow ties and gold ribbons, use the few you have.
Paint faces. Yes, already mentioned, and a perfectly appropriate gameday stable. This accessory is best paired with matching chest paint. Ladies, please wear matching garments as needed.
If all else fails, throw on a t-shirt and get out there. Also, remember to look out for games like the White Out or Old Gold, where special wardrobes are requested, and sometimes provided for you in the form of a free t-shirt.
After hours of waiting, no matter how enjoyable, the game is always a welcome change of pace, complete with a new sound track. See our Freshman Survival Guide for complete lyrics.
The fight song Ramblin’ Reck, in which you will declare you are a Ramblin’ Reck from Georgia Tech and a Hell of an Engineer, no matter what your major is.
Up with the White and Gold is another fight song, traditionally played after touchdowns. Like all good Tech cheers, this song calls out down with the red and black, no matter what school we are playing.
The Budweiser Song. This is the easiest of them all to learn. You simply bounce your legs and yell “When you’ve said Budweiser, you’ve said it all.”
The Good Word. What’s the Good Word? To Hell with Georgia! How ‘bout them dogs? Piss on ‘em!
Grill: small enough to cart around with you, but large enough to grill dozens of unneeded hot dogs and burgers. If you can’t handle a grill, try to befriend someone who can.
Charcoal: for the grill, nothing else please. It has taken facilities months to get the lawns back up to par after the water ban ended, and they are just so pretty.
Hot Dogs and burgers: tofu dogs, or corn, and potato chips, cheese, french fries, coke, beer and any other necessary beverages. Also, don’t forget hamburger buns and ketchup or other condiments. Everybody forgets those.
Cooler: While any ice-storage contraption will work, preferably electric rolling cooler with multiple storage compartments. Watch out though, those things are vehicles, and come with all the subsequent laws.
Boombox: any sort of noise maker will work, from expensive car radios to expensive computer sound systems, as long as it will play whatever music you need to excited for the game.
Tent: not the camping kind, the tall kind that you set up for limited shade and to stake out your private tailgating territory. Tents must be either blue, white or gold, and should be adorned with Tech logos and symbols.
Chairs: your parents have some left over from soccer games that they aren’t attending any longer, steal them and relax in style while your peers lounge on the ground. These are especially handy when one is tailgating in a parking lot away from benches.
Football tickets: while obvious, new ticketing policies make it even more important to make sure you have registered or paid for a seat and have your BuzzCard in hand when you enter the stadium.