Tailgating Etiquette: Don’t Be ‘The Moocher’

The act of tailgating has received the moniker of being ‘the last American neighborhood’. What that means is that in a day and age where people keep to themselves all too often, the tailgating experience breaks down those barriers. Whether it stems from a common camaraderie of rooting for the same team if you are tailgating a sporting event or being a fan of the same musical artist if tailgating before a concert, tailgating brings people together. No matter how tight-knit a tailgating parking lot can be, there is one tailgater that can ruin the synergy. We call this creature “The Moocher”.

A Moocher or a Mooch is basically someone who wanders from tailgate party to tailgate party and takes advantage of the tailgating community’s general hospitality and generosity. The Moocher typically is very personable and likable and has excellent verbal skills to strike up a conversation with almost anyone. The moocher also has a keen eye for detail and will pick out the smallest element present at a tailgate party and use it as a conversation starter. Casually commenting on the player jersey someone may be wearing and mentioning how that player was his favorite player while growing up is a popular technique to endear himself to an unsuspecting yet overly hospitable tailgater. Female moochers tend to not be as cunning and conversational. Many female moochers prey on the libido of men who enjoy the fact that their tailgate party has female guests in attendance. The female moocher tends to flirt and giggle quite a bit to endear herself to the tailgating host. Be aware of tailgating nation because tailgate party moochers are more plentiful in stadium parking lots than oil stains in parking stalls.

A surefire way to spot a potential moocher is that they are completely empty-handed. They may be toting a beer or a cup in one hand but this is probably an item they took away from the last tailgate they visited. The typical tailgating moocher normally will hang around until food or drink is offered to them but some are bold enough to ask if they can help themselves. Normally these advances on the food table or the beer cooler are accompanied by claims of ‘my beer cooler is just a few parking stalls away and I’ll replace double the amount that I drink.’ If you believe that we also have a bridge that may be for sale. If they do replenish your supply of beer that they drank it normally is half as many and also is typically a substandard and less expensive brand. Why drink their cheap crappy beer when they can mooch off of you and drink your imported bottles?

Most tailgating veterans understand that the random moocher is bound to show up every now and then. After all, we are all there tailgating to have a good time so if you have some extra food and drink, why not share? This little piece of advice is here to help you become more aware of the mooching going on in tailgating parking lots all over.

Keep a trained eye out for the tailgating moocher and whatever you do, don’t be a moocher yourself. Being a part of the last American neighborhood is about sharing and not all about receiving. Be a good neighbor in this last American neighborhood and bring something to the party.