Southern Girls’ Rules: Tailgating

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If there’s anything a true Southern girl knows, it’s that there are quite a bit of rules for one to follow. From how to address your second cousin’s third wife to what to wear to a funeral, to how to properly insult someone– there’s a Southern girl rule for everything. We’re here to help with our Southern Girls’ Rules series.

It’s (almost) football season. That glorious time of year when you can only attend weddings on away-game weekends and the preacher prays for your home team. It’s football time in the South and there are rules for even the most casual of Saturday occasions.

Here are 10 Southern Girls’ Rules for Tailgating:

1. Show up before the game.

This is imperative, as most (all) tailgates happen prior to kickoff. You want to arrive with enough time to mingle, eat, drink, pose for Christmas card photos and generally get your mind right before heading into the stadium.

2. Do not show up empty-handed.

Showing up empty-handed to a tailgate is a misdemeanor in most states. Even if you’re the world’s worst baker and have never seen a chip and dip tray, you have to show up with something. This can and should usually be in the form of alcohol.

3. Be hospitable.

If you see rogue fans walking by looking lost or just out of place, invite them under your tent for a chat! Visiting fans are usually harmless. You want to be one of those fan bases that other bases say kind things about after their weekend visit to your stomping grounds.

4. Don’t talk trash.

Even during football season a Southern lady must exhibit grace and class, because few else will be doing so.

5. Be supportive.

This comes in the form of saying positive things about your team, not being a fair-weather fan and showing up no matter what. You should also stay as long as humanly possible during the game. Even if Alabama is up 45-0 at half-time, stay. There likely won’t be a historic comeback, but you can prove to everyone how loyal you are.

6. Keep the tailgate area beautiful.

If your team is a disaster, don’t carry that over into the tailgating area. Clean up after yourself and at least keep campus beautiful if the scoreboard is not something you want to look at very often.

7. Always be prepared.

A Southern lady should be like a really pretty Boy Scout. Pack a game day kit with all the necessities– scissors, fabric cleaner, extra koozies, paper towels and the like. You don’t want someone’s tailgating experience ruined because of an unfortunate spill.

8. Dress for the weather.

Yes, a Southern lady dresses for a football game much different than other ladies, but don’t be that lady at the tailgate dressed so poorly she brings the mood down. If it’s raining, wear a rain jacket with a hood to protect your lovely locks. If it’s hot, don’t wear tall boots. If it’s windy, don’t wear a dress. Be classy. Be smart.

9. Drink the appropriate alcohol for the tailgating time.

Ladies, when acting like a lady, you’ll note that you’ve probably never seen your mother-in-law sipping on taste of the Rockies at 8 a.m. If you’ve got an early kickoff, stick to a Bloody Mary or Screwdriver. If you do choose to indulge in Miller Time at the (maybe) wrong time, at least pour it into a cup. Editor’s note: Most Southern girls would agree that any type of alcohol is fair game post 11 a.m.

10. Tailgating is a privilege, not a right.

You must treat tailgating as an act of privilege and not something you’re entitled. Not everyone has the luxury of eating and drinking in the grass under a tent with a chandelier before a football game. Treat it right.

Most of all– have fun! There’s no better time of the year in the South than football season.