Georgia Tailgating Help Page
How to party on gameday
Rose Tahash (2003) and Aaron Sayama (2008)
Tailgating at the University of Georgia is one of the factors used to attract future freshman and transfer students from all over the country. Who would pass up a chance to ring the chapel bell after a particularly dirty victory over Tennessee or scream, “It’s great (woof woof) to be (woof woof) a Georgia Bulldawg!” at the opposing team’s fans? University of Georgia has one of the most in-depth and exciting tailgate systems in all of college football. Tailgaters are the many, the proud; the Georgia fans who will always bleed red and black. During football season, classes mostly exist to take up the time in between games and tailgates so that the southern belles in their little black or red dresses and the frat boys dreaming of the upcoming plays by the silver britches don’t get bored. Whether your first experience with tailgating was playing between the hedges or participating in the DawgWalk, where fans line up to greet the players on their way into the stadium, you can be sure that tailgating lies near and dear to every Georgia fan’s heart.
Southern specialties, grilled delights, catered affairs; the food at Georgia tailgates is one of the main attractions and ranges from chic to college-style. Some fans haul out grills and smokers, deep fryers, chairs, and picnic tables, everything but the kitchen sink. Others choose to set up under their rented tents with platters full of catered food and snacks. Walking around could lead a hungry man to insanity; the smells of tailgate food drift and mix to form a haze over most of campus.
Tailgate preparations begin early in the week with pre-planning for menus, locations, alcoholic sustenance, and even attire, which will be worn to the game. Each and every car or vehicle not belonging to the opposing team should be adorned with car flags, windsocks, car magnets, and stickers. Everywhere you look you will see red and black. By the time you get out of class on Friday morning or afternoon, the RV park has already been set up and square dances and opponent friendly potlucks are already planned. Cars and trucks will be parked at random across campus in the prime tailgating spots. Make sure to have a list with the most important things to remember- alcohol, ice, food, and plenty of that Bulldawg spirit!
Early Saturday morning, (or late Friday night if the game is at noon) make a mad dash to get everything together. Then, anywhere from four to eight hours before game-time, meet up with friends, make sure everyone is sporting red and black and set off for campus. When you see the crowds, hear the music playing, and smell the food cooking, you know you are at the heart of Georgia tailgating. This is also when you know you are truly part of some larger network of Bulldog fans, any of which will share a drink and a story or two about this play or that win, sometimes even lament that loss or that injury. The Big Five teams are most often the topic of conversation. You may see Hairy Dawg, members of the Redcoat Band and Georgettes on their way to Sanford Stadium. Wave and see if you can’t get a chant going!
Important Early Tasks
1. Ice down beverage of choice
2. Heat up the grills, smokers, fryers, etc.
3. Tune into 106.1 to listen to the “Pre-Game Show”
4. Sit in your camp chair and have a drink
5. Begin grilling, smoking, cooking, etc.
6. Look for other loyal Dawg fans to bark at
7. Hassle the other team’s fans by chanting, taunting, swearing, whatever you can do without getting beaten up
8. Have more drinks and try to figure out who let the Dawgs out?
Gather your group and conceal your alcohol. Many use the bag-taped-inside-pants method, while others use pill bottles, film canisters, or even coerce the female members of the group to put minis in their shirts until past stadium security. Get in, find some seats and wait for Uga to run out on the field through the big Georgia banner, amidst wild barking and cheers. Watch the cheerleaders carry the gigantic Georgia “G” flag and stagger under its weight. Try to spot Vince Dooley or Mark Richt on the sidelines and make a few comments about their superior abilities and the athletic department for any opposing team fans around you. Mix your concealed Beam with a stadium Coke for a big and tasty refreshing game-day treat. Admire the Georgia G painted on the field and pass around the Beam and Coke so everyone can feel the mood. Make sure not to get caught or you will be ejected from the game and have to stand on the bridge outside to watch, or more aptly, listen to the remainder of the game.
After the game, the fans disperse in huge crowded groups, discussing the highlights (and the ever-so rare lowlights) of the game, but also the plans for the post-game festivities. The families head back to pack up their tailgating gear and worry about traffic they will face on the way out of town, while the students and alumni head downtown or to a party to relish the whole Georgia football experience.
Georgia tailgating cannot adequately be described in words to an outsider. You must attend at least one game before you graduate or you can never think of yourself as a true Dawg! Once you do, you will never want to stop going. Even though getting tickets is a huge hassle and some games are sweltering sunburn fevers or rainy sloppy messes, tailgating in Athens is part of a religious experience known as Georgia Football. You too can find redemption. You too can live a happy life knowing that heaven is certainly hues of Red and Black.
Beam and Coke – popular drink among Georgia fans consisting of Jim Beam and coke
between the hedges - the hedges are the illustrious and legendary shrubs that outline the field at the stadium; the Georgia Bulldogs play football "between the hedges"
Big Five teams - Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Florida, and Georgia
bleed red and black – a phrase used to express undying devotion to Georgia
Dawg - the spelling of dog by Georgia fans, derived from pronunciation Larry Munson - "the voice of the Georgia Bulldogs"; legendary radio commentator ringing the chapel bell - the bell is traditionally rung after a big win
silver britches – The silver uniform pants the Bulldog football players wear
Uga - Uga (pronounced "uh-guh") an English bulldog; the #1 mascot in College football
Vince Dooley - former athletic director and legendary football coach
The Georgia Tailgating Help Page in DawgSpeak I (2001) was written by Ryan Manchee and Emily Patrick.