The Bench Press is back after a little hiatus. With SEC Media Days on the horizon, fall practice just around the corner and the new college football video game being released it almost feels like football time in Tennessee.
That means it is time to start thinking about the second greatest thing about football season ... tailgating.
This will be part I in the Bench Press guide to tailgating. Today, we focus on tailgating music. While often overlooked, your playlist can draw in fans as well as repel them. Most tailgaters do not focus enough on what music they play and at what time of the tailgate it is heard. Today the Bench Press will help you have the best music of anyone from the G10 garage to the Ag Campus.
There are two things that must be considered when crafting a playlist: 1. Who are the Vols playing? 2. How much time until kickoff? Tailgate DJs need to construct their playlist based upon these two variables.
For example, music being played four hours before the game needs to be a more relaxed welcoming melody, while music played 15 minutes before the "T" parts needs to get the blood pumping. We will now look at three sample playlists for tailgates this fall. (*It goes without saying that Rocky Top is played AT LEAST 15 times during the tailgate.)
Opponent: Cake Walk (UT-Martin, Memphis, etc.)
These games are typically nice, relaxing, pull the starters in the third type games. Your playlist should mimic this. I recommend starting out with someone mellow like a Jack Johnson or Jimmy Buffett, transitioning to upbeat Southern bands like Alabama, Brooks and Dunn or Zac Brown and then finishing with something that gets the blood flowing but doesn't cause you to break a sweat. I recommend some Citizen Cope and CCR.
Let's be honest, the last decade or so these games have given the Vols a little trouble. So, while you want to get hyped, you also don't want to use up too much emotion on a team that you should beat and expect to beat. Start out with a little Allman Brothers or Red Hot Chili Peppers, transition to Eric Church and Kings of Leon. To wrap up the tailgate as you finish your last burger and whatever you are drinking you need to get the adrenaline flowing. This team can not be taken lightly. Close with Jay-Z and AC/DC - both of these bring concentrated energy, which you will need to get the Vols out of the gates.
Showdown (Bama, Gators, Georgia)
These are what I call "tell your grandkids" games. Season maker or breakers. Tailgates start on Wednesday and can go until Sunday morning if the Vols win. If you are in charge of a tailgate at one of these games, you can't drop the ball. You must deliver or forever lose your privileges.
While most people start off these tailgates with Metallica and end with streaming YouTubes of underground Mongolian fight clubs, this is a mistake. Like a boxer, you don't want to use up all your energy in the first round. Stick to your game plan. By kickoff you will have worked your small band of Vol soldiers into a frenzy.
Start out with The Roots and old Outkast. People at your tailgate will be tapping their toes but not challenging Gator fans to fights four hours before kickoff. Transition to some classic rock stuff, James Gang, Rolling Stones or Lynyrd Skynyrd. These bands tell passing Bama fans: "We are here to party, but we mean business too."
It is now nighttime. One hour before kickoff. This is where you have to make your own decision. Whatever jacks you up, play it. For some, it is Motley Crue or Metallica. Others might like Lil Wayne, Tupac or Three Six Mafia. There is no right answer.
Just make sure by the time you put the lid on the grill and drain the cooler, your vertical has increased six inches and you are seriously debating about removing your shirt.
For a personally designed playlist, email me: AlexAnderson1985@gmail.com