I wouldn’t exactly call myself a seasoned tailgater. I’ve attended approximately two tailgates at Yale (and by approximately I mean exactly. But it makes me mysterious that I said approx, right, guys?).
This isn’t because of some anti-social tendency, or an aversion to football. It isn’t because I have a “lot of work to do” or because I don’t like the cold weather. (In fact, I never have work on the weekend until Sunday night, I drink a considerable amount, am a die-hard Jets fan and don’t believe in winter jackets until January.)
The reason I’ve only been to two tailgates is because I loathe the morning. It’s a struggle for me to get up at 11 on weekdays, so I resent that in order to tailgate properly, I would need to wake up even earlier.
Nonetheless, the two tailgates I’ve been to are the two Yale-Harvard games that have happened since I began at Yale. So while I may not be an expert in all-around tailgating, I know just as much as the next guy about Harvard-Yale tailgating.
Ask anyone that saw me during either tailgate, and they will confirm that despite my lack of experience, I did it right. And now you can too!
Let’s be honest here. It’s Saturday morning. We’re in the pits of hell (Harvard stadium). We’re technically on Thanksgiving break. It is freezing. We’re all looking to get plastered.
Pre-tailgate, you’re going to want to keep it classy and quick. Have your cold drinks early to ensure a strong buzz at the tailgate. Mimosas, Bloody Marys, anything with Malibu and shots should be consumed pre-tailgate.
Harvard has a ton of tailgating rules that include a ban on hard liquors, so if you’re looking to do that you’re going to need to conceal it in a flask of your choice. I urge you not to use a moustache flask because as quirky and unique you think you are, I promise you they have Urban Outfitters at Harvard too, and you look like an idiot.
By far the best way to drink during the tailgate and assuage your tiredness (and therefore your disgust with everything around you) is hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps. It tastes exactly like a peppermint latte from Starbucks, but in addition to making you fat, it gets you drunk. This was my drink of choice at The Game of 2011, and my spotty memory of the event confirms its effectiveness. A great alternative (that I will most likely be indulging in this year) is the traditional Kahlua and coffee. Despite what Meredith from “The Office” will have you believe, you can get drunk off Kahlua. It will be wonderful, and it will also wake you up!
Calories don’t count if you don’t remember them. If you wake up 10 pounds heavier, it’s probably water (i.e., alcohol) weight. Also, avoid empty calories. Go straight for the things that are really good — mac and cheese, burgers, hot dogs, egg sandwiches, pulled pork, or even alcohol (yes, that is a food). I even vaguely remember some kind of soup last year. I think it was pretty good. Eat it if you can find it.
If you’re a freshman, don’t expect some rich alum to feed you oysters a la “Gilmore Girls.” So suck it up and eat some fried food. Please eat. Don’t go to the hospital, don’t throw up, don’t die. Thanks.
The most important thing to remember about The Game is that we are better than Harvard. We will inevitably suffer an embarrassing loss of epic proportions on the football field, but it is up to you to ensure that we win the tailgate. I have high expectations that every single one of you sings, dances and proudly wears blue and white.
My freshman year, I had no idea how to navigate the tailgate area and ended up passing through the entire Harvard tailgate before arriving at Yale’s. We were relegated to some tennis courts while Harvard got the plush grass, but they were somber and sober (my least favorite combination) and wearing their ugly crimson sweaters. There was no frivolity. But the Yale tailgate was a hilarious and welcome contrast with debauchery and liveliness to spare. I expect another resounding win for our social prowess this year.