Georgia Sports Blog FanShop



Nike Georgia Bulldogs Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Red

Georgia Bulldogs Slider Coaches Short Sleeve Pullover Jacket - Gray

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Performance 2013 Coaches Polo - Black

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Performance 2013 Coaches Polo - Red

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Performance 2013 Coaches Polo - White

May 6, 2008

Tailgating at Arizona State: When World's Collide


AStateBigJon publishes the "semi-defunct" (his words not mine) House of Heat blog. He and I traded some emails, and he offered to shed some light onto the ASU Tailgate Culture that we can expect to encounter. His preface to me:
"As an ASU alum and a native Southerner (parents now live in Savannah), I have a unique perspective on the match up and I would like to help out if possible."
As a point of background, Kanu and I found the ASU tailgating rules when we were researching the issue of how to get tickets to the UGA vs. ASU game. When we saw "no tailgating until 3.5 hours before kickoff" and the "no hard liquor" rule, I responded. "These people live like savages." From there, the UGA fans who've heard of the rules have ventured over to ASU message boards to ask..."Seriously?"

Below, Jon takes a shot at explaining why they are so different, and what we can expect using analogies that we can all relate to.
If you haven’t been checking out related scout.com message boards, the Arizona State-Georgia game looks to be a clash in cultures. I grew up in the Southeast and attended Arizona State, and quite frankly some of the differences appall me as well. I’ll try to tackle the differences and dispel some of the myths, having fully experienced both sides of the fence. We’ll start with the subject that seems to weigh most heavily on the minds of the Dawg die hards…

We don’t tailgate. I went to a South Carolina high school where people tailgated our games, so when I showed up in Tempe as a wide-eyed 18 year-old I too was given a “huh?” response when asking upperclassmen where the good tailgating spots were. There’s a perfect storm of circumstances that prevent a swath of all-day cookouts and beer guzzling, the major ones are such:

It’s really, really hot. Like the scorch of a thousand suns hot. A September day in Georgia is no picnic either, but the Arizona sun is a completely different animal. I once got a sunburn in Tempe before 9 am, so the thought of tending the grill all day doesn’t appeal to me all that much. That “it’s a dry heat” business is factual, but comfort-wise a double 90 day in the coastal empire is comparable to a 110+ degree afternoon in the valley of the sun.

I have always described a dry heat as presetting an oven to 350 degrees, leaning towards the door, and feeling the blast when you open it. In recent years the ASU administration has fought to keep kickoff times at 7pm or later for any home game before mid October, but tv and the magnitude of this game dictates otherwise. It’s a 5 pm local kickoff, and you’ll probably hear a heap of complaining, mostly from anyone seated on the East side of the stadium.

We lack the infrastructure. My girlfriend is a North Florida native, and when I took her to a game in 2005 her comment from the flight into town in was “where are all the trees?” She complained about the Tempe heat throughout the trip, and it was Thanksgiving weekend [emphasis added]. Lot 59 is the main parking area for Sun Devil Stadium, and the only shade you’ll find in the vast asphalt wasteland comes from the light posts.

The lack of trees and grass means that your 105 degree tailgate gets closer to 115 degrees due to the heat that radiates from the asphalt and vehicles. This is a stark contrast from the oak-lined campus in Athens, which is a fine segue to the next point:

Like the weather, the campus is really dry. There are a great number of ideal, shade-covered spots on campus where one could park the RV and fire up the grill, but our current administration frowns on that sort of thing. After a multi-year reign atop Playboy magazine’s list of the best party schools, the University has taken great strides to ditch the image.

Dr. Michael Crow was appointed as president in 1999 from Columbia (NY) and has implanted several policies to thwart alcohol-themed fun of any kind, including the choking out of the Greek system and a partnership with the Tempe Police Department known as the “Party Patrol,” where the police target house parties. This attitude is probably the driving force behind the policy prohibiting tailgating beyond the three hours prior to kickoff. Even on game day, central campus will be a complete ghost town.

The folks out West aren’t very social. This is just a theory of mine, but I feel like the great atmosphere of college athletics comes from the camaraderie shared among alumni, something the professional counterpart can’t seem to recreate. One of the biggest cultural shocks for me is that there just aren’t a lot of openly friendly people in Arizona. It’s not that they aren’t nice, but you won’t see anyone wave at you, don’t expect a lot of “thanks for coming and good luck to you” comments from strangers, and you likely won’t be invited to participate an any local reindeer games just because you’re from out of town.

This is most obviously expressed in the local architecture and planning of the area, as house facades are garage dominated, there are no front porches, and backyards usually boast 7-foot high cinder block walls on all sides. It’s very Brave New World, and the person that thrives in this environment isn’t usually the type to grab a rolling cooler and set out to say “hi” to a bunch of strangers. See mom, I’m using my Urban Planning degree!

It’s not like tailgating doesn’t exist at all, it’s just a watered down version of what SEC folks are used to. Alternatives? My group of friends usually held a daytime house party/cookout to watch the out of town games. We would typically head to the downtown Mill Avenue bars for an hour or so before the game and hit the gate minutes before kickoff. It’s hard to advise what to do as lodging situations will be different for most, but if the internet holds an accurate portrayal of a fan base it seems that you’ll be bringing your own fun to the desert.

I sincerely hope you can show the Sun Devils how to have a good time because, as Mr. Westerdawg describes our tailgating procedures, “these people live like savages.”

See Also:PWD

13 comments:

Crane said...

I am the opposite of AStateBigJon I lived in Scottsdale, attended a number of ASU games while I was in High School before moving to Georgia.

I most definitely believe it was the better choice. Though, ASU girls have a panache of wearing very little while hanging out at Lake Havasu. An experience I would have enjoyed quite a bit.

Another word of advice in the realms of a dry heat versus humidity. Drink a lot of water the night before and morning of the tailgate. Even if you were not in the heat the dryness will suck the water out of you. If you don't hydrate properly before your drinking bourbon and coke you will get drunk much faster than the southern body is used to.

JasonC said...

Gosh, it almost makes playing at Penn St while having frat guys cuss at you and hurl bottles at you while you walk by their "party" sound appealing.

Anonymous said...

I graduated from UGA and my wife graduated from ASU. She been to games at both schools and says Georgia fans are light years more into their football then those at ASU. ASU was pretty good when she was in school but she says the students weren't really into football. For that reason alone, she is rooting for the Dawgs to beat the Sun Devils.

Hunkering Hank said...

It's soooo hot you can fry an egg on your car!

Really!

Crane said...

It's so hot I burned myself after leaving the coffee in the car for 6 hours.

Kanu said...

Tailgating, no tailgating, whatever.

We're still going to have a rockin' fun time.

See y'all in the desert.

Jason said...

Mill Avenue is honestly the best bet before the game.

Or crashing a house party. I have tailgated once in the blazing hot sun on the black asphalt parking lot.

It suuuuccks.

Anonymous said...

What's the beer price like in the campus bars? Are they ridiculously cheap like in Athens, or have the inflation rules of the big city set in?

Big Jon said...

Best campus bar is definitely The Vine on Apache Blvd. If you're getting in on Thursday night they have 32 oz. drafts for $2.50 but the specials are slim on the weekends. Dos Gringos is on 8th street and a little isolated in relation to other bars, but I think they still do $2 Coronas all day every day.

Inflation has unfortunately affected everything on Mill Avenue.

Anonymous said...

Hapless pups had their ranking inflated to entice Hawaii to condescend to play them. Dawgies know that an inflated pre-season ranking is all that they have to look forward to in 2008. But will ASU pop their baloon or will it be TENNESSEE AGAIN! I just hope that the language barrier doesn't cause INS to start detaining bands of Dawgie Fans lost in the desert thinking that they might be here illegally.....

I'd also suggest that that the Dawgies coming by Mule wagon remove their Hillary & Obama campaign stickers before they leave
Trailer World

Anonymous said...

Hapless pups had their ranking inflated to entice Hawaii to condescend to play them. Dawgies know that an inflated pre-season ranking is all that they have to look forward to in 2008. But will ASU pop their baloon or will it be TENNESSEE AGAIN! I just hope that the language barrier doesn't cause INS to start detaining bands of Dawgie Fans lost in the desert thinking that they might be here illegally.....

I'd also suggest that that the Dawgies coming by Mule wagon remove their Hillary & Obama campaign stickers before they leave
Trailer World

Paul Westerdawg said...

Nice double post dumb ass.

asugirl said...

Contrary to what many have posted ASU has come a long way from where tailgating used to be. Students are a lot more involved and if you can find pictures of two years ago when ASU hosted USC and ESPN had their game day you will see that it can get crazy. The girls definately wear close to nothing and the alcohol (beer and liquor) was everywhere. Even though ASU states no hard alcohol, I have never had any issues. Police enforce when crowds get too roudy and underage kids look to be present, otherwise, I wouldn't worry. I am assuming ESPN will most likely have game day for the ASU Georgia game and the tailgating experience will be fun for all of the Georgia fans. The issue of tailgating comes from the large spread out campus and large spread out city. I am looking forward to making peach cobbler or someother inspired peach food item in honor of the bulldogs, maybe bulldog fajitas, just kidding. Good luck with everyone's travels. GO DEVILS

 
Copyright 2009 Georgia Sports Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan