Tailgating creates a union of fans with one common purpose, to watch their team battle it out on the field. It’s an American tradition that means so much more than a pre-game cookout and outdoor games; it represents pride, loyalty and kinship with your fellow fan.
Tailgating dates back to early sporting events in America, as fans in the late 1800s began to gather before a game to flaunt their encouragement and support. According to the American Tailgater Association, the first recorded tailgate occurred in 1869, at the inaugural intercollegiate football game between Princeton and Rutgers. Rutgers fans sported scarlet-colored scarves to differentiate themselves from other fans while dually displaying their support. Thus, the idea of fans assembling all adorned in their team colors was born.
Since, the ritual has only continued to grow, and is interlaced into the sporting culture. Each set of fans have acquired their own array of traditions, from fight songs to battle cries to costume choices.
From high school games to the professional level, fans unite to laugh, connect and cheer for their beloved team. There is no greater display of spirit than the American tailgate.