Sep 1, 2011

Tailgate Parties

by Mel Gardner

"Tis the season" for Cougar football, which means it's time to celebrate victories, go independent, defy all the odds and... eat food?

That's right, the result of gathering devoted fans and sport zealots in one place will inevitably produce.. food. Burgers, ribs, wings, chips, potato salad, - you name the BBQ and you'll find it at the all-traditional tailgate party. 

Tailgate parties are named such because one typically cooks food at the tailgate of the car in a stadium parking lot, before or after a game.

While tailgating at Brigham Young University might not be as popular as at other universities, there is no rule against it. BYU Parking Services said in an online document that tailgating is allowed as long as the set up does not take up additional stalls and/or block the travel lanes. The set up can be either behind or in front of the vehicle. Large group spaces for RV's, etc. are located north of the Indoor Practice Facility near the Smith Fieldhouse. Open flames and charcoal are not allowed; use propane grills instead.

Considering BYU's 14th straight year as the Princeton Review's No. 1 "Stone-Cold Sober" school, it's not surprising that tailgate parties here have a distinct difference compared to other schools. BYU tailgate parties make simply good food and football fun, without alcohol in the mix.  

The term "tailgate party" is also commonly used for away game football parties with the food cooked in the kitchen and eaten in front of the big game on the television.    

Robbie Petterborg, a BYU student majoring in mechanical engineering, has hosted tailgate parties at his home for 3 years.

"I love to have the atmosphere that a tailgate can provide," Petterborg said. "The combination of good friends and good food all centered around a game brings an energy and unity we all feed on."

Petterborg said certain foods are critical for their parties. He recommended lots of finger foods, chips, homemade dips and salsas, meat based sides and bottles of IBC root beer.

"The food you choose for a tailgate reflects how you feel about the people you invite. Choose well and prepare it well," he said. "And if the games goes south, you want everyone to be able to say 'at least the food was good'."

Check out this issue of MIX!'s Helpful Hint for tips on how to beef up your burger for your next tailgate party.

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