Tiger Tailgating Recap

In a season rocked by two hurricanes hitting Louisiana, one thing has prevailed over all the adversity, and that is the spirit of LSU fans.

Even with a lost home game, a postponement of the season opener, and 11 straight weeks of football, these fans came out every Saturday, in special cases a Monday and a Friday, to cheer on their team and tailgate with their friends.

A walk around LSU's campus on gameday and will show crowds of people who put aside every worry, every stress, and every concern, and just have a good time for one day.

These tailgaters are as diverse as it comes. People from every age group, from college students to retirees, come out every gameday and show their support for the Tigers.

Located near the Indian Mounds, current and recently graduated Tiger Band members comprise the Kroux de Spanky. On the other side of campus, in Touchdown Village, Les Bous Cru appealed to a slightly elder crowd. The oldest member of their group is a 92 year old woman who drives from Metairie to Baton Rouge every gameday to watch LSU play.

One necessity that a successful tailgate party must have is good food. Without the food, there is no party, and every tailgating group knew this rule.

Some parties had their own specialties they cooked up once a year. Tigeritaville featured an annual Mexican themed party, where their personal chef would prepare fajitas and other Mexican dishes.

A lot of groups linked their food to the Tigers' next opponent. Alligator was served when Florida came, roasted pig when Arkansas entered Death Valley. This tradition also addresses the immortal question on every LSU fans' mind.

"We still haven't figured out what mascot Auburn is yet," Daniel "Day Day" Ritter, a member of The Unsupervised Bus, said.

To wash down the great Louisiana cooking, every tailgate party needs to be fully loaded with drinks.

Beer is a common sight at every party, but no other group comes better prepared than the Mockler Beverage tailgaters. Every gameday, people from Mockler Beverage load their ice chests full of Anheiser Busch beer.

Other groups prefer to concoct their own drinks. Les Bous Cru makes a Cactus Juice that they fill their glasses with as they propose a toast to LSU football before the game.

One aspect of LSU tailgating that impresses out of town visitors is the scattering of Tiger fans around the campus.

Rather than having one specific area to tailgate, these football fans occupy both the north and south sides of campus. From the CEBA parking lot, to the Indian Mounds, to the Parade Grounds, LSU tailgaters fly their purple and gold flags proudly before each game.

The multitude of Tiger fans everywhere on campus has given out of towners a clear image of LSU fans' passion for football.

"We thought that the Wisconsin Badgers tailgate pretty heavily, but they don't open the campus until a couple of hours before the game. Yours is like an all week event," Terri Arnstad, a Green Bay resident, said.

Tiger tailgaters keep the energy alive through their gameday traditions. From games to songs, each group has their own special tradition that keeps their party unique.

For the Half-Ass Tailgating Tigers, they feature a double dutch jump rope competition each gameday where members bring in the routines they have practiced during the week to impress fellow partygoers.

The Krewe of Knowbodys holds Travis Tripp's song "It's a Great Day to be Alive" close to their hearts on Saturdays. Before each game, this song blares from their speakers as the original founding members join together in a group hug and sing along.

Indeed, there are a lot of different aspects to LSU tailgating that fans bring to campus every gameday. From booze to song and everything in between, these fans know how to celebrate a good time.

More important than what these tailgaters eat or sing are the people they share these days with. Some groups gather college friends as a way to remember the best times of their lives.

Centerary's Alumni Association saw tailgating as a perfect way to bring together its former and current students together for a few hours.

Other groups tailgate with their families and share the gameday experience with the people they are closest to.

The Andersons have tailgated in the shadow of Tiger Stadium since they were teenagers.

And still some just tailgate because it offers them a chance to be with the people they have missed. After spending a year in Iraq, SFC Daniel Rachal and Captain Rob Billings hit the LSU campus to return to the people they care about and a sense of normalcy they craved.

As shown this season, there is no correct way to tailgate. People tailgate for different reasons, and each one seems perfectly reasonable. No matter the age, status, or profession, every Tiger tailgater can relate to each other in one way - their passion for LSU football.

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