Tailgaters descend on Spence Park
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 00:09
Hours before the Aggie football team dominated Saturday’s game against Rice, fans achieved a victory of their own — a successful first tailgate of the season.
Underneath a canopy of trees, people weaved in and out of the tents set up throughout Spence Park. Tables were covered in food as music hummed through personal speakers. Others played cornhole, ladder golf or horseshoes with a drink in hand.
Despite the early morning, it was undeniable: Aggie tailgaters set an energizing tone for the game.
One group, composed of students from various classes, organizations and different friend groups, found themselves in the middle of the day’s excitement. Nameless, the group decided to call themselves “The Tailgated” Community.
“We’ll think of a better name next week,” said Jake Mcknight, senior computer engineering major.
Tyree Pasini, senior allied health major, said the group of students was full of “die hard” Aggie football fans.
“My favorite part [of today] is being around my family and seeing how excited people are for Aggie football to start,” Pasini said.
With a majority of tailgating occurring near Reed Arena, Spence Park is a coveted location for tailgaters to relax and hang out before and after the game.
Derek Halling, Class of 1994 and services librarian at the medical science library, said this first game would mark his family’s third year enjoying the “camaraderie” and “excitement” in Spence.
“No one can do any harm at a tailgate,” Halling said. “Everyone here is friends with each other.”
Ashley Waite, Class of 2008, tailgated with friends she made during her time in Aggie Fish Club. She said the park was a place that was “steeped in tradition.”
“It’s a great mix of people and [it has] really easy access to watch the football team and band,” Waite said.
While seasoned tailgaters may boast grills to cook with or TV’s mounted to watch the game, a group of agriculture science teachers from the Houston area found a unique way to simplify their tailgate.
Cade Taylor, Class of 2010, said the group wanted to make their tailgating quick and easy.
“In Spence Park, you can’t bring out a trailer hitch or anything,” Taylor said. “You’ve got to make it what you can.”
The group repurposed a former receptionist desk by coating it in a maroon and white façade, adorning it with SEC logos and adding wheels to make it mobile.
Scattered on top of the desk were leftover cupcakes and cookies from their school’s teacher lounge, and drinks were stored on the inside.
“Who says you can’t bring your own bar?” Taylor said.
To complete the set up, the group hung an owl piñata from the tree branches to signify the Rice University team. Taylor Haliburton, senior agricultural science major said piñatas were already a part of their gameday tradition, but this year they found a woman in Bryan who would customize the piñata based on whomever the Aggies were playing each week.
“The tip jar set out helps pay for the piñatas each week,” Haliburton said. “Win or lose the game, we’re going to ‘beat the hell out of it.’”