Volunteer football season is about more than just football games. It’s about an atmosphere of celebration and partying that lasts from September to December. It’s about spending the weekends buzzed and sweaty with thousands of other buzzed, sweaty people. Just as important as the games themselves is the culture that surrounds them. And an integral part of that culture is tailgating.
But, if you’re a freshman, going to your first tailgate can be intimidating (though, to be fair, freshmen are intimidated by most everything). To that end, The Black Sheep have compiled the complete and comprehensive guide to tailgating. Go Vols!
DO: Mind your Manners
Look, you might not be tailgating at the Ritz, but that doesn’t mean you can forget your manners. When someone passes you the mustard, say, “Fellow Vol, thank you for remembering our Volunteer creed: ‘One that beareth a torch shadoweth oneself to give light to others.’ What a great gift of condiments you have given me.” It’s simply common courtesy!
DON’T: Wear the Wrong Shade of Orange
Lastly (but most importantly), remember to wear the correct shade of orange. It’s Volunteer Orange or nothing. Don’t bother showing up in “coral” or “burnt orange” or “sienna.” None of that stuff is going to pass muster. Wear official, UT-sanctioned, copyright-of-the-NCAA, pure volunteer orange. Or risk being mistaken for an Alabama fan.
DO: Go with Friends
It’s a simple fact of life: things are better with friends. After all, friends will be a lot more amused by your drunk antics than strangers will. And tailgating is all about community anyway, so it makes sense to hang with friends.
DON’T: Hang with Only Friends
Go with friends, sure, but don’t use them as a crutch for your social anxiety. Broaden your horizons and meet new people. Who knows? The person you meet grilling hamburgers in the bed of his father’s pickup truck could be the next ex who relentlessly stalks you, sending you texts and crying selfies long after you have broken up. Anything could happen at a tailgate!
Don’t be that guy. Bring your own booze, or at least some money to cover the costs of food and alcohol. No one likes a mooch, especially if that mooch is a freshman. The goal is to make friends and have a good time, not to get judged and mocked. So be a bro, and come bearing proverbial gifts.
DON’T: Drink in Hess
We don’t care what you call it, drinking in your dorm with your one friend from high school does not count as tailgating, even if you’re “cooking” ramen. Tailgating, by its very definition, cannot be performed within the confines of Hess. Get outside of your 10×10 prison cell and experience what UT is really like on an autumn Saturday morning.
DO: Listen to our podcast!