D.C. Diary: Tailgate! Say What?

Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000
Funger Hall Steps
2:05 p.m.

So GW’s going to have a tailgate party, I skeptically thought to myself while walking over to the Smith Center two hours before the always-exciting GW/Xavier men’s basketball game.

Jacked-up trucks, kegs of beer, painted faces, hot dogs and lots of chest bumping.ahh, the tailgate party. As a Southerner, I was pretty confident this tailgate party wouldn’t hold a flame to the ones I was used to, but I kept an open mind.

On the Funger Hall steps, the site of this imitation Southern hoedown, my excitement level deflated.

The cheerleading squad and band were in place for the festivities. Those GW dancers were there, too. But where were the manly trucks, the drunk fans, the face painting? Heck, this supposed tailgate party didn’t even produce one car, crazy fan or open flame.

To top it off, the students didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.

Freshman Carolyn Conhman, a member of GW’s dance team the Sensation, had a hard time determining whether a tailgate party got the name because the game follows the cars or the game is in the back of the car. This is the time I began to realize GW students are clueless about time-honored college traditions.

A group of cheerleaders wasn’t completely clueless about this foreign concept of pre-game partying. Freshman Jill Pettit knew a tailgate party involved screaming and barbecue, but she pictured cars crammed together creating a tailgate.

Adam Cheques Zambuto, a veteran cheerleader, set the confused students straight by explaining that people down South put the tailgates (the rear flap) down on their trucks to sit, to barbecue and drink some brew.

Sophomore cheerleader Jon WWF Gill took the concept one step further by telling confused students that these parties usually involve naked women and kegs.

I scoped the scene one last time thinking maybe, just maybe, I had been transported back to those good `ole University of Georgia Bulldog tailgate parties, only to find SA presidential candidates begging students for signatures. Ahh, GW.

So there were no cars, no open flames, no crazy fans, no naked women, no kegs and not much school spirit. At least I got to talk to the cheerleaders. Oh, and those GW dancers too.

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