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Tailgating do's and don'ts

Wisdom gleaned from the throng of Griz fans grilling and imbibing around Washington-Grizzly stadium before the Sept. 17 game against rival Eastern Washington:

Do: "Have your tailgate marked well so your friends can find you," says Michelle Farris, who points to the pirate flag with the words "Time flies when you're having rum" aloft above the pickup behind her. You might want to look for the pirate flag, too, because Farris and company make tasty bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.


Don't: "Don't leave the stereo on too long, because you'll have to have the porta-potty truck jump start you," says Tom Johns. Yes, this happened to Johns, a 25-year tailgating veteran who's expecting 50 to 60 people to arrive shortly—which explains the five tables of food.

Do: "Have a wife that likes to shop for this stuff," says Johns, smiling at his wife, Boo Johns.

Don't: "Don't get so falling-down drunk that you streak," says Kris Hosick, lounging in a camp chair and drinking a beer. He's referring to UM student Daniel Thew, who during the Sept. 10 game tore off his clothes, stole a cheerleader's megaphone and traipsed around the field.

Do: "Keep your clothes on—or at least shave. You have to groom." So says Mark, standing in a circle of friends outside an RV. He didn't want his full name attached to such a lewd comment.

Don't: "Don't dump your used charcoal in the field," says Lisa Schindler. "That's what the frat boys do sometimes." She's clearly perturbed by this.

Do: If a youngish person asks for a beer, check their ID, says Kathy Brodie. Last week, she says, a 20-something offered to trade beef jerky for a cold one. "I gave him a beer. Why not? But I ID'd him first. I wasn't about to get busted for that."

Don't: "Don't bitch about the music," hollers Jeff Bragg, who's blaring AC/DC out the back of his pickup. He yells that he plays music louder than anyone else in the lot.

Do: "Always have an Italian on your team," says David Paoli, who wears a white apron and stands over a grill and a ridiculously delicious-looking platter of marinated tri-tip steaks.

Don't: Smoke. It's illegal now on campus. And don't get Rex Boller started. He says the new rule is "an infringement on my personal Grizzly rights...I used to have a cigar to celebrate the game. No more. Are they going to outlaw alcohol next?" Another smoker, Marcy Best, says, "We're just killing ourselves—why can't they just let us be?"

Do: Start drinking early. "If you don't get started early, you can't drink all day long," says a white-bearded man named Tom, who's leaning on his tailgate, gleefully drunk at 11 a.m.

Don't: "Don't count the beers coming out of your cooler," says Bob Lins. "There's no accounting." Mi cerveza, su cerveza.


Do: "Always make sure your food's prepared well so you're not getting anyone sick," says Bryce Lawrence, with the scent of bratwurst rising from a nearby grill.

Don't: "Don't leave your stuff sitting around at halftime, because it will disappear," says Kathy Brodie, who learned this lesson the hard way.

Do: Play beer pong with the Kappa Psi guys, who have a table set up in front of the Adams Center. Why play beer pong before a game? "It really brings the fans together," says frat-boy Bryan.

Don't: Leave your crap behind. Bharat Acharya urges others to practice the "Leave no trace" ethic in this Grizzly semi-wilderness. "Pack it in, pack it out."

—Matthew Frank

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