Flip the switch and reverse tailgate for homecoming
Georgia State University employee Danny Weipert, center, offers a grilled sandwich to a friend as he and Caroline Dotts, right center, tailgate together for Georgia State University's opening football game against South Carolina State in Atlanta, Georgia, August 30, 2012. (Jason Getz/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT)
Homecoming Weekend is the equivalent of collegiate Christmas time. We’re reunited with our friends and family members, coming together to celebrate something much bigger than ourselves. Instead of carols and eggnog though, we sing fight songs and do keg stands.
As our Wildcats go on to hopefully crush Colorado University’s Buffaloes this weekend, we’re faced with one of the most demanding tribulations of the entire 2012 football season: an 11:30 a.m. kickoff time. For you tailgate-savvy readers, this means you’ll have to get up at some God-awful hour before to 9:00 a.m. to start your festivities.
But if that’s not your style, then just push your tailgate forward — after the game. It’s called reverse tailgating, and yes, it sounds weird as hell but just as awesome as a regular tailgate. It’s the best way to either celebrate a win or mourn a loss — either way, you’re drinking.
Get your grill on
As a requisite for any sporting event, make sure your grill game is on point. Everyone likes to crowd around a fire at nightfall, so make that fire useful by whipping up some rare steaks or chicken breasts. A perennial favorite is the heart-attack inducing, bacon-wrapped filet, which is best paired with a solid lager (by the keg, if you can swing it) and twice-baked potatoes. Both the steaks and the potatoes are easy meals to make and are about as American as you can get — think Ron Swanson in his college days. Getting a group of your friends around a table, singing “Bear Down” and grubbing is a welcome game day tradition.
Go big with your brews
The name of the game for reverse tailgating is quality, not quantity. In stark contrast to getting as wasted as possible before stumbling to ZonaZoo, reverse tailgating requires a subtle balance of good food and good friends, along with drinking hard. Avoid your Keystone, or God forbid, Natty Ice, and go with something like Tucson’s own Nimbus Brewing Co. They offer a series of full-bodied ales for the general palate, as well as a balanced pub brew and a super-dark oatmeal stout.
Keep your friends close
Keep in mind that the reverse tailgate isn’t a party per say. It’s more of a collection of the most sports-minded and spirited people you know getting together to celebrate our school and the sports teams that make it great. Keeping numbers down ensures that you won’t be getting red-tagged and that there’s enough of your high-brow party materials to go around.