When it’s game time, we just won’t leave our most expensive electronic equipment and generators outside during the game. We’ve never lost a chair, a cooler or any of the smaller items that we’ve left out at our tailgate. Texas residents know that Aggies don’t lie, cheat or steal. However there are enough concerns about attendees from other schools, general collegiate mischief and the occasional rain and wind, that we don’t routinely leave our generators or TVs out for the taking. As a result we have to set-up, then break down our stuff before game time in order to be in our seats for kick-off. Then we have to do the same thing again once the game ends.
When we land at our tailgate spot, we move quickly to set the tent, tables, generators, TVs, satellite dishes and food. Our crew goes from show-up to set-up in less than 30 minutes. It’s a finely tuned precision unit pre-game. Post-game? Not so much.
So if our entire tailgate crew has seats, going into the stadium results in more than twice the work.
To that effect, over the last few years, I’ve missed more fourth quarters than I care to imagine—no matter the score. The reason? Who wants to come back to the tailgate and have to set up so many things again? Whether you want to drown your sorrows or celebrate a great win, it’s nice to have everything ready for your arrival. Moreover, who doesn’t want to see the scores of all the other games and maybe catch the ending of another great college game on TV. (Web browsing for scores by mobile phone isn’t effective on game days in College Station. Too many people, not enough bandwidth.)
That’s why, this year, we’re moving to the American League of tailgating and becoming bigger fans of the Designated Sitter. Our plan is to have at least one person outside the stadium at the tailgate to watch the games on TV, play any tailgate games they like and basically keep an eye on things.
Bottom line: With a Designated Sitter, our TOTAL set-up and break down time goes from more than 2 hours total to less than 45 minutes. That extra time will be spent with friends and family and more tailgating fun. What a great trade off! Plus, the Designated Sitter can plan ahead and bring new tailgating friends or catch up with other like-minded tailgaters in the area.
So how do you choose?
Short of drawing straws, we’re going to trade out Designated Sitters for the non-conference weekend, where time inside or outside the stadium won’t be an issue. We’ll also plan to trade out people at halftime so that everyone shares in the responsibility and the good times of tailgating and game watching.
If there is a huge game on the schedule, we may go back to the old set-up of break-it-down, set-up, break-it-down system; however, we’re looking at 2010 as a great year for tailgating and a great time to establish a new tradition at Aggie Tailgates—the Designated Sitter.