Tailgaters delight: how to guide

At the University of Florida’s homecoming game in early November, I discovered that Ottawa students could learn a lot from epic American football events. What should we, as Ottawa students, do? I brought home some awesome and useful tips for your next school football game.


#1 Dress up from head to toe to support your team.


This group of freshman have unfortunately placed themselves in a way that says GOATS instead of GATORS – we can call that something they need to work on. If you’re going to the game, you must get your team’s swag before heading to the big event!


#2 The bigger and more elaborate the tail gate party, the more awesome you are.




Tailgating is the party that happens at the back of the vehicle before the game starts. This is where the first party takes place – there are games and barbeques. Don’t forget, you get way more cool points if you figure out how to get the pre-game highlights on your 50-inch TV that is sitting on the back of your pickup truck.


#3 Make it an event for the whole family.


In Florida, the whole town shows up on game day. Granted, the University’s stadium in Gainesville holds 94, 000 people so, with a town of 125,000, quite literally most of the town is there. There were all ages at the game in family size groups and this is definitely something we should be doing. Grow your turn out, grow your energy.

#4 Get your nuts boiled


Get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about boiled nuts. A tailgating snack that is easy, delicious, and a tradition. Boiled nuts are peanuts, with the shells still on, that are boiled for hours in seasoned water. We had the Cajun nuts and it was very tasty, with the texture as cooked soybeans. Making culinary traditions create anticipation leading up the games.


#5 We need to get on our marching bands




Having the band throughout the game spewing out commentative tunes really got the Florida crowd pumped up. Not to mention the super-cool half-time show where they make aerial images on the field with all the flag holding, baton throwing, and cheerleader flipping happening all at once. This is something we should do.

This is an event I will do again next year. It was so memorable and so overwhelming to see that number of people come out to a college football game. It was bigger than I ever imagined. If our football games in the city started promoting in this way and we started coming out in this fashion, we could have this kind of fun in Ottawa. We can’t be all that different – we all enjoy good food, good company, and the good feeling of being in an enormous energetic crowd. What are we waiting for? So at the next game remember and do your part, get your gear on and plan a pre-party.