Football season is around the corner, and at USC we all know what that means… Saturdays become sacred at the school with the best football team in the country. (Go Trojans!) We also know that some of us will not even remember the games due to too much yeast juice. Actually, some of us will not even make it to the games. But that is fine, because the best part of a football game is the pre-game. And for a perfect pregame, you need to know how to tailgate, so at Society19 we decided to give you a few tips for the perfect USC tailgate!
1. Get your tailgate permit.
Although this is more of a rule than a tip, it is important to highlight it. If you are planning on preparing a big tailgate, know that USC requires fans to get a permit if they plan on bringing big tents, are with a big group of people, decide to use a common container of alcohol (such as a keg), need to use electricity, or if they will have items or services for sale. Remember, tailgating is supposed to be fun, do not let the lack of a permit ruin your day!
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2. Prep your meals (& drink).
The game (and the pregame) might be on Saturday, but that does not make Friday a day off. To have the perfect tailgate, you need to prepare for it. After you are done with classes on Friday, be ready to head to the store to buy whatever you will need for the tailgate. Pick out some snacks, ranging from chips to vegan hot dogs. Get ingredients that are easy to put together and that will give you the energy you will need to make it through the day. Of course, if you fancy it, get alcoholic beverages of your choice. Beer is normally the best option, as it is easier to pace yourself and does not require you to go through the pain of chugging hard liquor.
3. Wake up early.
It is very important that you wake up early on Saturday, because you’d be surprised how early people start heading to University Park Campus. However, do not get there before 6AM, as you may get into trouble with the University if you do so. You also want to allow yourself some time to shower, get dressed and have breakfast.
4. Get your school gear ready.
At USC, there is something that is far more important than anything else, and that is the school spirit. Whether you fit better or worse in this school, you are a part of the Trojan family. Pick USC gear for Game Day to show how proud you are of your school, and to show support to our football players. If you do not have any school gear, or you simply would rather wear your own clothes, try to go for cardinal and gold clothes. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, worse than wearing blue and gold to a USC game. Seriously.
5. Use frozen water bottles instead of ice in coolers.
This is a classic. Instead of filling up your cooler with ice do it with frozen water bottles. This way, once the ice inside has melted, you can just drink the water. This way you save up on ice, and you make sure you have plenty of water for the whole day.
6. Put up distinct flags or tie colorful balloons to your E-Z up.
Try to find a way of making yourself visible to your friends. Put up a distinct flag or tie a bunch of colorful balloons to your car, E-Z up, or tent so that people can easily spot you. And that way, when you temporarily leave your spot, you won’t struggle to find your way back.
7. Don’t forget your toolbox!
Although most of the time you will not need a hammer or a screwdriver, you really never know what you’ll need during a tailgate. To be safe, bring your toolbox, and avoid wasting your time trying to solve whatever problem comes up… like MacGyver.
8. Bring some sunscreen.
This is probably one of the most forgotten items during tailgates by newbies. While you will probably be wearing your USC hat, your USC jersey, your USC sunglasses, your USC socks and even your USC belt, in Southern California we get sunny days 364 times a year. Bring sunscreen and put it on your face, hand and neck (and any part of your body that will be exposed to the sun). Tailgates can (and should) go on for a long time, and with all the alcohol you’re drinking, you might not notice how much sun exposure you’re getting too. Again, better be safe than sorry.
9. Clean up!
You should have your last meal a couple hours before the game starts. That way you allow yourself almost two hours to clean everything up, make sure that you do not leave anything behind and start heading to wherever you wish to watch the actual game.
10. Most importantly, relax, have fun, make friends, and enjoy football.
Remember that the Trojan family is your family forever. At the games, alumni, students, faculty and staff gather together to watch the best football team play. You will be amazed by the school spirit, so just enjoy yourself and Fight On!