Mailbag: Tailgating Responsibly

A few days ago I asked for tailgaters to help me out with an upcoming article I am writing for Tailgater Monthly Magazine. I am still looking for a few tailgaters to weigh in and give their opinions on the new tailgating rules and restrictions that seem to be popping up more and more these days.

In response to my request I received an email from Chris, a loyal reader, who offered to help out. Unfortunately for the purposes of the article, he tailgates regularly at places that have not yet implemented any new rules or tailgating restrictions. (Lucky for him) Just because I can’t really use his comments for the purpose of the upcoming article did not mean he did not have anything valuable to contribute.

His email expressed the way I feel tailgaters should behave and I am hopeful you agree. Take a look at what Chris wrote and see if you don’t concur.


I currently tailgate for Georgia Tech on Saturdays and the Atlanta Falcons on Sundays. Although neither teams have imposed restrictions to tailgating efforts or times, I do feel strongly about the negative light tailgating has been given over the past few years. I feel as if I am the bad guy.

I begin planning each tailgate days in advanced, pack the car the night before, prepare breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinners to be grilled/smoked days before, etc. The effort I put in is to not only celebrate the act of friendship and tailgating, but also in honor of my teams. While drinks are of course served, my gate patrons never cause problems in or out of the games. We clean up after ourselves, carry first aid kits and fire extinguishers in case of emergency, and always have a DD. It usually takes us about an hour to set up and hour to take down each tailgate (being in a downtown scenario this has to happen before the game begins or we won’t have anything left to tailgate with).

To remove this experience from the game or hinder the time we spend doing it would absolutely kill my love for football and my desire to even attend games. It is a part of football. Without tailgating, I would stay at home and watch football on TV. We show up each Saturday at 7 am to ensure that we get our spot. We drink responsibly throughout the day and always have a great, responsible time. Feel free to email me if you want to ask me an questions or discuss.

I think we need more tailgaters out there like Chris. Thanks for the email and the insight Chris. You are one of the many tailgaters that do it right because you “get it”.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.