QU tailgating experience provides social outlet before game

By Chloe Nott

Before the big game there is another event that takes place. While the athletes are preparing and warming-up, fans get their own party going. Tailgating has evolved over the decades, and everyone has their own set-up and necessities they bring with them. From simple snacks and drinks to elaborate layouts with grills and games, the anticipation is met with fun and relaxation before the whistle blows. 

As you walk down the rows of cars set up to tailgate, each group has their own stories. Some are there to watch their children play, others to see their friends on the field, and then alumni and community members that want to join in on the fun.

For Jim Clark, tailgating is a way to relax before watching his son Nathan Clark in the game. Clark was set up with other family members. Food and drinks were set on tables and in the tray off his truck.

“Just seeing all the people and having good time and the cooking and drinking,” Clark said.

For basketball players Dami Adeyinka and Gabby Burns, tailgating is a way to bond with their own team before supporting other Hawks.

“I’m just enjoying being with my teammates and like playing loads of games and the food obviously,” Adeyinka said.

“It’s just super fun, like you get to bond with people you’re friends with and stuff it’s a good time,” Burns said.

The QU basketball team set up with food and games at the tailgate.

For QU supporter Jim Worrell, getting to the tailgates is a great way to meet new people and catch up with friends. Worrell doesn’t set up his own tailgate party, but visits other tailgating groups around the parking lot.

“Tailgating’s fun you know. We got a lot of people having fun over here. You can cook a few burgers and it’s sometimes more interesting at the tailgate than it is at the ball game,” Worrell said.

Another important aspect of tailgating is the food. Getting to eat before the game helps everyone get through the game. You can bring whatever you like, but most agree that there are a few necessities to have.

“Burgers or hotdogs or brats, that’s basically what you normally bring,” Worrell said. “Just some basic stuff. You can pick up a little grill for $5 and go to work.”

Tailgating can sometimes become just as important as the game. Not only to fill stomachs and enjoy games, but to build a sense of community. When asking what was more important, the game or the tailgate, there were mixed responses.

“Wow ok, so the game’s more important if they win, and if they don’t win the tailgating is,” Clark said.

“I think it depends on who we’re playing. Like if it’s a rival game, game all the way, but like sometimes tailgating is more fun, like you get in the game and you’re like I can’t wait to get back to the parking lot,” Burns saud.

Whether you go for the party or the game, tailgating is a way to connect with fellow supporters on game days.

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