I come from the land where we take tailgating just as seriously, if not more so, as our football team. At Ole Miss, it is not just about backing your truck up and letting down the tailgate to grill some brats. Here, tailgating has risen to a high art. If you have never been to an Ole Miss football game, I suggest you put it on your bucket list, STAT. If you have, then you know what I am talking about.
Most Ole Missers who travel to other football lands always come back to tell stories about how different their experience was from ours. And they always mention that they were way overdressed. If you are planning on making a pilgrimage to the great U of M, I’ve got a few tips for you.
Tip #1: Groving
This is an actual verb in our vernacular. It means going to the Grove, hanging out with friends and having the “occasional” adult libation pre, post and sometimes during the football game. This is where you will never meet a stranger, and good thing too, because if you are looking for somebody, chances are it is going to take you a while to find them.
Tip #2: Setting up camp
The locals and alumni have figured out a way to do this with the smallest amount of pain possible. They hire a “Tailgating Service” – Which is usually some entrepreneurial college student who will schlep your tent at the crack of dawn out to the Grove, steak your claim on the spot you have had since childhood and make sure you are ready to go Saturday morning.
Tip #3: Dress like you mean it
We don’t take our pre-gaming lightly nor do we when it comes to dressing for a game. You won’t find any baggy sweatshirts and jean shorts down here. Ladies, pack a cute dress and some stylish shoes. I would leave the heels at home, but a cute pair of wedges or booties will do the trick.
Guys, if it’s hot outside, we like to bust out our seersucker and bowties. If that isn’t quite your speed, then I would suggest a nice looking pair of designer jeans and a simple tailored button down. No sneakers! Bring a nice pair of boots or loafers. They are easy to walk in and the boots are great for stuffing some airplane bottles of booze down in them for the actual game.
Tip #4: We may not always win the game, but we never lose a party
Since alcohol is technically illegal on campus, you need to be extra careful when it comes to your favorite pregame cocktail. The University politely looks the other way if you keep everything on the down-low, but the minute you start walking around with a beer can, they will step in. Over the years, we have learned that the “go cup” is the perfect way to enjoy your alcohol, support your team colors and don’t get arrested.
So no matter what team you cheer for, one thing is certain, if you come Grove with us, everyone is a winner!
So happy shopping and until next time, have a great weekend!
Anne-Marie of Cicada (for Him and for Her)