Pops is a man with a deep-rooted, 50+ year history in the art of tailgating. His loyalty is to The Ohio State University. This is where he graduated from college in and where he has posted up in the same zone tailgating ever since. We gave him a ring to get his tips on how to give’r when tailgating.
Consistency establishes an old-school “pin” for fans and friends to come on by. You never know who will drop in and every week there is a surprise. It could be a classmate from 40 years ago, an old family friend, or an out-of-town visitor … who are all brought together over cold beer, grilled bratwurst and fellowship that goes way beyond the sporting event.
Running a proper tailgate requires tons of planning, effort and most of all, dedication. Over time it evolves into a thing of beauty. Lady Di, Pops’ partner in crime, is to thank for keeping it all together, ensuring that the operation runs like a well-oiled machine (additional shout out to Timboq, Kelley and the other “supafans” who make magic happen every Saturday, rain or shine).
That said, there is always room to iterate, improve or mix things up. Prime example: dish TV allows for people to watch the game from the parking lot, enabling more to enjoy the scene, even if they can’t get a ticket to the game.
Preparation and experience come into play here as you have to bring everything you need for the day. Pops loves to run a grill, often with burgers and brats … lots of brats (current record for brat consumption at Pops’ Tailgate is held by the infamous James “Jimmy” Kirch with 6 Bahama Mamas). Others roll with pre-made sammys, pulled pork, chili, BBQ, sloppy joes … the list is endless.
Why sit in traffic for hours, when you can keep the paehrty going? Second-wind tailgating is not for the faint of heart, you gotta dig deep … and you just never know what will happen. Note: For Varsity double-letter status, make sure you’ve got some solid tunes and speakerbox to match.
You can incorporate some serious music and games to the scene. Cornhole is a favorite of Buckeye Fans and many make their own for their tailgate. (An aside, below is custom made Give’r cornhole set, crafted by Give’r athlete Kevin Kirch, brother of the Bratwurst Record holder from Pops’ tailgate).
While you are cheering on your school and team, there is no time for being rude or exclusive to visiting fans. Pops has attended some incredible away games, and has been on the receiving end of this generosity. It is the way it should be … a friendly competitive spirit, especially before the game.
This point cannot be understated. That said, “if you do run out of beer, it is likely the best tailgate of the season.”
Closing thoughts: Have fun, be safe and enjoy the quality time spent with others. Fire up them grills, pop a top, soak in the day and most importantly … GO BUCKS!
Also, check out Pops’ Interview with Jackson Hole Community Radio. Give’r Team Member, Graham Trainor, invited Pops to be a guest on Teton Sports Talk!