Tailgating Tiger Style

Written by Matthew Smith
October 10,2010
The date is October 6, 2007; the time is 7:02 p.m., and Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge is standing room only as 92,910 fans get ready for No. 1 LSU to take on No. 9 Florida. The story of the night, however, is happening outside of stadium. As the capacity crowd inside the stadium gets set for kickoff, approximately 110,000 LSU fans are grabbing another beer, or plate of food and sitting down in front of a TV to watch the game. They never had a ticket, but these fans were not about to miss one of the biggest games to come to Baton Rouge since Les Miles had become the head coach of the Tigers.

It is a day I will never forget, not only did I have a ticket to the eventual 28-24 victory, but I also spent the entire day enjoying the company of friends and family doing something that no school or team does better than LSU, tailgating. The atmosphere was absolutely electric, purple and gold dominated the scene, and you couldn’t go more than a few feet without hear chants of “Geaux Tigers” or “Tiger Bait.”

LSU is certainly well known for its tailgating and partying, but if you haven’t been down to Baton Rouge for a game you need to add it to your bucket list. Tailgating at LSU is nearly as important as the game itself, and the food is better than you would get at some restaurants, and varies from standard hamburgers and hot dogs, to southern favorites like jambalaya and gumbo, to the exotic like grilled and/or fried gator (very popular when Florida visits) and roasted whole hog (popular for Arkansas). The food is always delicious and there is never a shortage so enjoy it.

While food is nice, the real reason to tailgate is the alcohol, and if you think you have seen a lot of alcohol I promise, it pales in comparison to tailgates at LSU. The only way I can properly describe the amount of alcohol present on campus is a quote my tailgate founder had in his message to everyone prior to LSU’s 2010 home opener, “Trust me, you won’t go sober.” Even the smell is different on campus, but I have never smelt anything so pleasing. The smell is somewhere between barbeque smoke, oak trees and a bar, but trust me I cannot possibly describe the smell properly. That smell much like everything about LSU tailgating is something that you just have to experience for yourself because descriptions just simply do not do it justice.

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