They say that LSU football is a religion; and if that’s true, then tailgating is part of the worship service that we call Saturday night.
It’s a fact that the LSU campus becomes the sixth largest city in Louisiana on gameday; and depending on how many people fail to make it into Tiger Stadium, maybe the fifth. The atmosphere is unlike any other in the nation.
Your first gameday experience can be overwhelming, but here’s some advice from a seasoned professional.
1. Be Prepared
The party gets started early in Baton Rouge. The first few games of the year will be hot, and you’ll probably be walking so plan accordingly. Although it never rains in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night, it never hurts to check the radar and pack a poncho or rain jacket. Know what game it is too, you don’t want to be the guy/gal that wears purple to the Gold Game.
2. Find Your Tailgate Spot
Find your go to place. The different parts of campus have different environments. My favorite spot has always been the Parade Grounds, that’s where most Greek and student organizations host their tailgates, and it’s primarily a student crowd. Don’t limit yourself, though. Some of my favorite tailgates were with family members or total strangers that we met while walking around. Check out each part of campus to find your spot.
3. Make Friends
As I mentioned, walk around and meet new people. Tiger Bait a few visiting fans in good jest and bond with other LSU fans over your mutual dislike of the opponents. Take in all the crazy apparel, funny signs and delicious food. There’s plenty of Southern hospitality to go around and strangers are often willing to feed and chat with fellow Tiger fans.
4. Take in the LSU Experience
LSU is rich in tradition. Perhaps none greater than watching the Golden Band from Tigerland march down Victory Hill. It’s guaranteed to give LSU fans goosebumps. After that, head inside the stadium and take part in singing Callin’ Baton Rouge with 93,000+ in imperfect harmony and cheering on the Tigers to victory.
5. Start Your Own Tradition
Get your friends together and create your own tailgate routine. Freshman year, my buddies and I would eat at Raoul’s, a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Northgate, before every home game. Every time we went, the Tigers won –just saying. Spend the first couple of games deciding what works for you and go with it.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s impossible to do LSU tailgating the wrong way. Know that you’re a part of the greatest college football experience in the nation, and enjoy the sanctity of Saturday night in Death Valley.
Want to hear more from Andrew? Check out his personal blog here.