Dos and Dont’s of USC Tailgates

October 15, 2015

Fight on! If there’s one thing you absolutely must do as a USC graduate student is at least tailgate once for a home football game, if you can’t actually attend one in person! By football, I mean American football, not what the rest of the world calls football. Trojan spirit on game days is contagious! It’s so contagious that tailgating, usually a small barbecue and get-together done in the car parking lot next to a sports arena, infects the entire campus almost every Saturday in the fall semester.

Why is it important? Because it celebrates school spirit and allows to you have some fun outside of just studying and research.

For those of you coming from abroad or new to USC tailgating, here are some dos and don’ts:

1. Bring cold beverages
2. Bring ice to keep beverages cold!
3. Wear as much cardinal and gold as possible
4. Dress casually – jeans, shorts, old tennis shoes or sandals
5. Set up a tailgate at least 4 hours before the game
6. If you have a game ticket, go to the LA Memorial Coliseum at least 1.5-2 hours before the game to get a good seat in the student section
7. Bring some sort of music player – whether it’s your phone or a portable speaker system
8. Listen to the Trojan Marching Band as they march through campus
9. Kick the flag poles at the end of Trousdale for good luck on your way to the game

1. Wear yellow and light blue (That’s our biggest rival UCLA’s colors)
2. Try to drive or park in or around campus on game day
3. Cook elaborate food for the tailgate. Food there is all about being unhealthy – chips, drinks, burgers, maybe a little salad, meat, anything you can grill
4. Try to have a philosophical conversation on the meaning of life
5. Compete with undergrads – they have that young, buoyant energy you fondly remember having a few years ago
6. Expect a place to sit down unless you bring folding chairs or sit on the grass
7. Be intimidated. A tailgate is just a fun way to hang out with friends and make some new ones

Published on October 15th, 2015

Last updated on August 29th, 2017