Tiger Tailgate 101

Prerequisites: None required, however, students who have successfully completed Love of Tradition and College Football will be given priority registration.

Course requirements: Successful completion of the following units will ensure credit is earned for TT 101: Family and Friends Communication; Finger Food Prep and Safety; Navigation of Parking, including Numbered, Reserved, and Area Zones; Hydration and Sunscreen Application.   Course is team taught.  Average attendance: 75,000.  Be on time.

Seriously, what a perfect September day for Clemson’s opener against the Mean Green of North Texas State!  We are not (yet) season ticket holders, so we were so grateful to have four 40-yard line seats and the accompanying reserved parking pass given to us to enjoy by Lovely Girlfriend’s kind parents.  Son1’s roommate’s mom and I decided to tailgate together, in hopes of meeting some of our boys’ new friends.  Let’s just say that it was an entirely successful plan!  tailgate before set up

Me, Little, the Mister, Middle, Son1, Lovely, two “Darling” friends before we set up for the tailgate.  The West Zone of Death Valley is in the background!IMG_2373 - Copy  Lovely, Son1, and Great Roommate discuss their student tickets.IMG_2374 One of our three serving areas.  Chic-Fil-A nuggets, barbecue sliders, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, celery and carrots, apple slices, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, four-bean salsa, fresh tomato salsa, chips, deviled eggs, pimento cheese, mint brownies, walnut brownies, oatmeal cookies, and coolers of waters and soft drinks made up our menu.  We had no idea how many kids might show up, so we kept it pretty simple.IMG_2377 Little, Middle, and Great Roommate’s Little Brother, cool off under the tent.  The also had a great time sliding down the hill.IMG_2378 Great Roommate’s mom (on the right) catches up with an old friend.  As you can see, more students are stopping by to say hello and have a bite.

IMG_2375 At its peak, we think our tailgate had about 40 kids!  Very, very fun!tailgate c goodwin Tailgate  set-up of a cute friend from church!  Her boys are upperclassmen, and she has given me a world of great advice for the past several years!

tailgate lining up for players walk Fans begin to line-up for the Players’ Walk from the buses to the stadium.  Middle is, of course, in the thick of it!

tailgate players walk 2 Orange Crush!  The players look so handsome in their jackets and ties.tailgate players walk 1As you can see, quite a few folks line up to cheer them on to victory.IMG_2380 A few hours later, we are in our seats and ready for the “most exciting 25 seconds in college football!” when the Clemson Tigers touch Howard’s Rock and run down The Hill and onto the field!  It is an electrifying moment!IMG_2383The canon is fired; Tiger Rag is blaring; and fans are cheering wildly!IMG_2384 The view from our amazing seats, which came with cushions and backs, I might add!IMG_2385 Tiger Band at halftime, plays the “Tiger Rag,” the “song that shakes the Southland!”IMG_2387

With a few ticks left on the clock, Middle has made his way down to the wall.  He is determined to get quarterback Kyle Parker’s autograph after the game.  Parker is an amazing athlete who not only scored 20 touchdowns last season, he also—in the same academic year—hit 20 homeruns!  He has signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Colorado Rockies.  Folks around here are so proud of him, and we’re pretty happy he decided to play football another season, too.IMG_2390 Yet again, Middle is in the thick of it, after the game.  Did he get his autograph? Yes, he did.  Final score, Clemson 35, North Texas, 10.

Can’t wait to do it again!


  1. Wow! You make tailgating look like fun! Hubby explained it to me the other night as I had never been to one!

  2. what wonderful traditions you have
    at clemson. i love the orange and
    the lavish tailgates, but most of all,
    the darling kids!

    sounds like so much fun.

  3. Congrats to Clemson! Gotta love game day and tailgating! I'm so psyched that the season has started. My Kentucky Wildcats won their season opener as well - happy football season!

  4. oh man! isn't it great! feels like i was there, thanks! can't wait to go! love some tailgating and tigers!

  5. Happy day for BOTH South Carolina teams!

    Oh, and S wore the shirt we bought at your store to youth group this evening. Lots of "Cool shirt! Where did you get it?!". Go Fish!

  6. I just love college football season, and no better place then Death Valley! So pretty in the Upstate. We are Gamecock fans,but the beauty of Clemson, well, you just can't beat it!! They sell the BEST Bleu cheese in the Student Center!!

  7. OMGosh! This looks unbelievably fun! I wish I were there! It makes me want to buy tickets for USC (that's U of Southern Cal). I know that 'USC' means something different east of the Mississippi. ;) How far do you have to travel to get there? Was it Parent's Weekend already or were you just visiting for fun? Would love to see some of your tailgate recipes too! :) xoxo

  8. Great post and pics!! LOVE a good tailgate and football game! So fun.


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