Where I Come From: Tailgating Traditions

*This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.*

In continuing the theme from this week EA Sports is interested in tailgate traditions. I find this interesting because I don't usually do a lot of tailgating. That's the bad thing about a noon kickoff, which Purdue seems to get for six games a year now. There is little time to tailgate unless you want to get up at 6am on a Saturday. Since I like to sleep in, I don't usually get to West Lafayette until about 11:30 or so.

Still, I have done some tailgating in the past and I would love to start a Hammer & Rails tailgate sometime in the future. Mrs. T-Mill and I just need to get a parking pass instead of parking on the cheap in the Northwestern Street garage. I used to tailgate a few years ago with my dad's business partner in the north stadium lot, but other than stopping by for a few minutes after the game occasionally we don't even do that anymore. Even then there were not a lot of traditions. He had a margarita machine on a generator that was dubbed the Boilerita machine, but that's it.

Don't get me wrong. I like tailgating. It is just a time issue most of the time, especially since I usually want to get the game wrap up fairly quickly. We also like to get back to Indy in time on Saturdays to watch the Hurricanes if we can. We also don't go to games with a large group of people. It is normally me and Mrs. T-Mill, then we meet my parents for a few minutes after the games.

For ambiance I honestly prefer going to Harry's for a long island after the game. There isn't much that is sweeter than that. Before last year's Notre Dame game it was fun to be at Harry's watching the afternoon games while enjoying a long island and popcorn. To me, it doesn't get much better than that.

I could be persuaded to start a new tailgate tradition though. If there is a later game this year I would not mind gauging interest in pulling off an official (or even unofficial) Hammer & Rails tailgate. If we get enough provisions we can also come up with some authentic category five hurricanes from Sandbar in Cocnut Grove. The recipe is as follows:

1 oz. light rum

1 oz. dark rum

1 oz. coconut rum

1 oz. triple sec

1 oz. spiced rum

1 oz. 151 rum

3 oz. grapefruit juice




This, in a glass

Yes, it will slap you around. You only need one.

For those who tailgate more than I do, what are some of your traditions?

UPDATE: I have no excuse for not mentioning this, but Purdue's biggest tailgate tradition is Breakfast Club. Basically, the bars open at 7:30 (or earlier) on game days and students show up in every costume imaginable. It is basically Halloween seven times a year on State Street. This has become an event in itself, especially for bigger games. Students also do it for the Purdue Grand Prix in the spring. it was never my thing, but the students seem to have a lot of fun.

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