From the Cheap Seats: Tailgate at Chico State

Published 2010-09-28T16:46:00Z”/>

opinion/columnists

Lindsey Barrett

Having spent four out of my five college years at Chico State, I have never once seen a Wildcat tailgate.

We all know there isn’t a football team at Chico State, but that doesn’t mean that the Wildcat athletics program and club sports don’t give us plenty of opportunities to rally together and have one.

I am no expert on how to have the best tailgate, but I think that’s the beauty of tailgating. For the most part, there are no rules, but here are some general guidelines for how to pregame.

<strong>Who to invite</strong>

Tailgating gives fans a time to come together for one cause and root for a team everyone can agree on. That doesn’t mean opposing fans shouldn’t be invited. Having a mixed fan base can lead to interesting conversations, defending viewpoints and can get you more excited to see your team win. Inviting the Rowdy Red would be a good idea. I’m sure those loyal Wildcat fans would love to be a part of anything promoting school spirit that brings an even larger crowd to games.

<strong>Who to watch and where</strong>

This semester, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball play. You may need to check up on open-fire rules, but the parking lot in front of Nettleton Stadium gives students a prime place to park, eat and get pumped for home soccer games that take place at University Stadium. Rugby can fill the void of contact football at Chico State. With the preseason starting in October, there is plenty of time to plan and prep for a tailgate before the games start.

Although volleyball may be indoors, with the season off to a good start and many up-and-coming underclassmen, there is a reason to watch. There are several flag football games taking place on campus as well. To find out the days and times of intramural flag football games, see the story on B4.

<strong>The necessities</strong>

First and foremost, food is a key component in any successful tailgate. I have seen people go all out with truck-sized grills, gourmet catering and even champagne – however, that was when I went and saw USC play in the Rose Bowl. It doesn’t need to be anything over the top, a simple grill with some burgers and hot dogs should suffice. Make it easier on the people planning the party and make it a potluck. Also, attire can be a factor. Foam fingers are optional, but always give off the look of a true fan. Having a red cup in one hand, foam finger on the other and wearing some sort of jersey are all traits of a dedicated fan.

Lately the weather in Chico is unpredictable, so it would be smart to bring a pop-up tent or shade provider. Chairs are a must. I have seen full size recliners, but I’m sure lawn chairs would be just as useful.

Men and women’s soccer play at home this weekend so dress in your cardinal red and white, grab your Costco-size bag of burgers and start what could become a great Chico State tradition.

Lindsey Barrett can be reached at

[email protected]

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