Indiana University- "We've Never Lost a Tailgate"

Most people wake up a few hours before their team is to take the grid iron to put on their war paint, fire up their grill, grab a few beers and cheer their team on to victory. If the team is good, the fans usually wake up a little earlier to see the scouting reports on ESPN before they go to the fields, but not the Hoosiers. If a game starts at 8:00pm, we will be up at 6, headed to our favorite bars (for those who are 21, others go to the fraternity of their choice), and begin their day with a hearty dose of scrambled eggs or cold pizza, and the liquor of their choice (I prefer mimosas or the ever popular Kilroy’s long island).

Then you grab lunch if you aren’t already passed out- it happens to the best of us, and head to the tailgate fields. However, one thing that makes Indiana tailgates different than most college tailgates. The no handles of liquor rule. That’s right, we at Indiana University cannot have hard liquor on our tailgate fields. Beers and open containers? Sure. Handle of cheap grain alcohol? No way. Due to the massive amounts of drinking tickets Hoosiers get on a regular basis, the higher powers at Indiana University have now banned handles of hard alcohol at the student tailgate fields.

When asked, students are a little upset but have just learned to be more resourceful. “Yea, the no handle rule stinks- but we have just come up with better ways to go around the rule. It’s still there, just not in the Karkov bottles that people are expecting” said Lierin Ehmke, a Junior. And she is absolutely right. No one has stopped partying; excise officers are still around and still giving out tickets. Students are still drinking they just do it before the fields (to avoid underage drinking tickets) or bring a container of their favorite beverage with them.

Although many people don’t make it to the actual game, because they have been partying for 12 hours straight, but the ones that do are the ones who really enjoy the games. “Yea, I try to make it to the game after tailgating… I’m not going to say it’s easy or that a nap sounds more tempting, but I try to support my team” said Katharine Finn, also a Junior at Indiana. “Even if not a lot of other people go, it’s still good for us to show support for all of our teams”.

I admit myself that it’s hard to go to a game when the party is next door, but when people (who will remain nameless) tell us that we are “horrible fans of football” we reply with “Yes, but we have never lost a party”. And although that may not be the strongest response, we still have that going for us. We also aren’t a school that prides itself on football, that may be sad but it’s true. We are a basketball school. End of story.

I know that I have been preaching about the need to go to the games, but I’ve done something that a lot of people have done- accepted it. The fans won’t go to games until we start winning, and we won’t start winning until we get more support and can get the recruits needed. Wilson is doing a great job trying to bring the team around but I just don’t think he will have the fan base of the students. I think it should change but I also have to accept that if there is a way for students to drink with over 1,000 of their closest friends, they are going to.

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