Brothers rant on benefits of tailgating

Brothers rant on benefits of tailgating

by David Morain and Matt Morain

So let me get this straight. We need fans; we get fans. We want to tailgate; we tailgate. We want fun; we have fun. We want to continue this on homecoming this Saturday, the college places police officers at the parking lots next to Pote Theatre and McNeill Hall.

This is where I lose it. Lots of cursing, throwing my computer out the window, kicking my dog if I had one… the whole nine yards. Yet, even after this short lived tirade that ends in my roommates administering a local sedative, I am still left asking the question: why?

Ever since the first home game this season, students have been turning out in droves to enjoy a Saturday together before an afternoon of football. You see everyone together having a good time: frats hang out with independents, music majors grill brats with finance majors, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

The college finally got what it wanted; its students are interacting with each other in a peaceful manner with results that yield a “Simpson Experience.” Yet, in a seemingly inescapable cycle, the administration seeks to destroy this before it even has a chance at becoming tradition.

Tailgating is a part of college football, as essential to the game as the “one-foot-in” rule or John Madden drawing lines on the “telestrator” in between bites of a Coney dog. It bolsters attendance, draws parents and students together and provides an arena in which students can socialize with complete strangers on the upcoming game while psychologically preparing themselves to mindlessly cheer their lungs out in undying devoted support of their team.

Why, then, shut down something as positive as the tailgate? “It’s unsightly for the campus.” You want to see unsightly? How about a half-empty student section, the other half choosing to leave after two quarters of play or not even come because they were scolded for being “too rowdy” or “unbecoming of a Simpson model student”

And, pray tell, what should model students look like? Varsity sweater? Perfectly parted hair? Blonde hair, blue eyes? Sounds like a “rah-rah” version of a Nazi superman to me. Maybe model students are those who show up to the game and cheer as loud and as long as their lungs will let them. Maybe these students even wear a humorous t-shirt about Central or, in this week’s case, Luther. These aren’t meant to be serious. If they were, our student section would have been quite tired at the Central game. They are merely jokes, something to add a little spice to the casserole of college rivalries. Enforcing a ban on these shirts is something you might find at a middle school (who remembers “Big Johnson” shirts?), not at an institution of higher learning. You want us to grow up? How about treating us like adults?

Such a crackdown on tailgating is the kind of thing that may result in a return to decreased enrollment, with students discouraging high school friends from coming to Simpson because of the concentrated effort to impede cutting loose on the weekends. We work hard during the week so we can play hard when Friday (or Thursday, for you upper classmen) comes around. Affect one and the other suffers.

Tailgating is a liberal expression of sportsmanship and support. Simpson is a Liberal arts college, yet weekends have become about as liberal as break time in the GULAG. Stalin didn’t tailgate either, and see what happened? Don’t let history repeat itself, and don’t take the liberal out of liberal arts.