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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Stella: 4 ways to tailor the best tailgate experience


Collegian | Brian Peña

Michael Stella, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

College football is one of the greatest privileges as an American, and there is nothing better than spending your Saturday in a parking lot by your favorite college stadium tailgating. Tailgating is an art, and when done right, the outcome of the game does not really matter. Here are four ways to make your tailgate experience one to remember.


 1. Find yourself a good beer

Any good tailgate needs good beer, and in the case of Colorado State University’s Homecoming weekend, you would be remiss to drink anything other than a New Belgium Brewing’s Old Aggie Superior Lager. Not only is it the official lager of CSU, but it is also a quality beer that will get you through the day. 

Let’s be honest: With the way CSU’s football season is going, you are going to want to consume a healthy amount of beer, and Old Aggie is a beer you can sip all day long. 

If beer is not your drink of choice, a Bud Light Seltzer will not let you down and is light enough to keep you going. Then again, if you are at a football tailgate in Fort Collins, you should be drinking beer.

2. Get out your miniature grill and games

An equally important aspect of the tailgate experience is the food.

A camp grill or stove might just be the best investment you can make for tailgating so you can have hot, fresh food. You do not have to go overboard with the food. Keeping it simple with hot dogs and burgers will make everyone happy. Throwing some potato salad and baked beans in there will go a long way as well. 

Tailgates can drag on if you do not have entertainment or something to keep you busy. This is where America’s pastime of cornhole comes in. The classic backyard game — popular in the Midwest — is a great sport to bring. 

“At your tailgate, now you have the beer, the food and some entertainment. The last few things you need for the perfect tailgate come down to the individual tailgater.”

3. Await the marching band’s triumphant arrival 

Possibly the best part of tailgating at CSU is the opportunity to see the CSU Marching Band during Ram Walk.

Ram Walk — when the CSU Marching Band walks the CSU football team to Canvas Stadium from the Intramural Fields, where other pregame activities take place — happens a few hours before kickoff.

For the Homecoming game, the band will leave Canvas Stadium at 1:55 p.m. and start performing on the Intramural Fields at 2:05 p.m.


Once the football team arrives on the team bus, they start the walk back to Canvas Stadium.

College football is superior to NFL football for a lot of reasons, but the most distinctive difference that makes college football better is the marching bands. Take a break from your tailgate and get in the spirit by listening to the CSU Marching Band during Ram Walk. 

Making time to stop by Ram Walk is a great way to get in the spirit to cheer on the Rams as they take on the Mountain West Conference football champions Utah State University Oct. 15.

At your tailgate, now you have the beer, the food and some entertainment. The last few things you need for the perfect tailgate come down to the individual tailgater. 

4. Manage your accessories and time

Bringing camp chairs and a shade structure is always a good idea. Having a football to toss around to remind you of your high school football glory days cannot hurt as well.

Crowd sizes have been relatively smaller at Canvas this year due to poor on-field performances by the football team, but leaving your tailgate in time for the pregame festivities is crucial. Make sure to leave enough time to get through the entrance line at Canvas Stadium so you can see the CSU Marching Band’s pregame performance at 4:43 p.m. 

Reach Michael Stella at or on Twitter @MichaelStella_.

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