From the Basement – the tailgating takedown

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One would think that tailgating of all things would be pretty difficult to screw up. If the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined tailgating, it would likely be something along the lines of: “groups of enthusiastic and dedicated football fans gathering together to root on their team before heading to the game.” Seems pretty simple, right?

Not so fast. Tulane University, its students, (very few and far-between) fans, organizations and overarching culture fail to properly engage in this essential experience in college football culture.

Why, you ask?

  1. Tulane tailgates are not “tailgates”

When Tulane students gather on the Newcomb Quad during home game days, they are not going to tailgate but to throw a rather raucous party. I’d argue that a mere one-fourth of the students you see on Newcomb actually make it to the game; the majority are too drunk to walk to the stadium and would much rather go back to their dorms to prepare for a night of party hopping than watch the team they posted support for all over Instagram. This is in stark contrast to our counterparts at Louisiana State University: at LSU, the game is the party. Surrounded by our SEC neighbors, whose gameday intensity has become the benchmark for rabid college football fanaticism, Tulane’s attitude towards tailgating doesn’t just make us the odd man out, it makes us the drunk uncle disinvited from family functions.

  1. Who are we playing, anyways?

A little over one year ago, The Hullabaloo asked some Tulane students if they knew who the Green Wave was playing that particular Saturday. Very few knew the answer to that question, and I’d wager even fewer know the answer to that question on a week-in, week-out basis.

Tulane students could care less about their football team – they are too focused on the reopening of The Palms, anyways. While a lack of interest in a mediocre program is somewhat justified, their disregard to Willie Fritz’s miraculous rebuilding process is nothing less than tragic.

  1. A party culture out of control

Though Tulane’s status as a top-tier party school is debatable, it is no secret that Tulane has a thriving social scene. The effects of this can be seen clear as day at tailgates, where sloshed students can be found hanging around at fraternity tents looking for the next rounds of drinks while listening to the oh-so-subtle sounds of “Mo Bamba.”

Thus, Tulane students have essentially transformed the Green Wave tailgate experience into nothing other than a recreation of a Boot Friday night: everyone seeking either a partner or another drink, just this time under the guise of school spirit. None of this madness has anything to do with football: it all has to do with Tulane’s ridiculous party culture.

Tulane students themselves have, through a systematic imposition of their own ideas of what social events should be, destroyed the utter nature of the collegiate tailgating experience. It often feels that the student body could care less about its school pride or football program, and students carelessly discredit the very integrity and decency of their institution through their indifference, immaturity and idiocy. Only time will tell if these individuals come to realize how their actions have consistently debilitated the reputation of their own alma mater.