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Thursday, April 18, 2024
The Observer

Scene's Selections: Tailgate Szn



Another Michael Goes Out for “Football”  

By Mike Donovan, Scene Editor

Saturday. Gameday. The parking lot bustles. 

“What a lovely day … Let’s play some football,” Another Michael hums excitedly. 

“I just learned the rules / You toss a ball around to everyone at school / And there are two teams …” 

A very large man, pigskin under arm, lets out a snicker from the bed of a nearby truck. Another Michael hears this and shrinks.  

“What am I doing here?” Another Michael whispers. “What am I doing here?”

Another Michael pulls out his phone, and queues up the really cool football video he’s been studying. 

“Why do some people look left? / Why do some people look right?” Another Michael wonders.  “Why is everything a mess? … I am clearly not alright.”

He slumps.

Everything reeks of Taylor Ham or Pork Roll or who really even cares. Somebody’s dad yells. He wants everyone to eat up. But nobody’s hungry. Nobody’s ever hungry.

“What am I doing here?” Another Michael repeats. “What am I doing here?”

Five People You Might Run Into at a Tailgate

By Nia Sylva

It’s 10:30 a.m. on a sunny Saturday. You’re standing in the parking lot, dressed in “The Shirt,” surrounded by rising barbecue smoke, mired in the cacophony of fellow Irish fans, cup in hand, already buzzed. Suddenly, you feel a tap on your shoulder — or, more likely, someone rams into you from behind, sending your beverage flying and causing you to wheel around and face your attacker. Except, wait. Do you know this person? Probably. Here are five people it could be:

  1.     That kid you met and talked to for 10 minutes at Domerfest freshman year. You don’t remember his name (Patrick, maybe? It’s a safe bet), but you know you have him on Snapchat because he used to send mass snaps with party info.
  2.     Someone from your USem. She sat across from you. You would glance at one another with wry disapproval every time someone started a sentence with “I don’t mean to play devil’s advocate, BUT …”
  3.     Your bio professor. Turns out, this is his tailgate. Whoops!
  4.     A semi-acquaintance who is absolutely blasted and should probably be back in her room with a water bottle and a trash can next to her bed instead of here, shouting excitedly at strangers, bumping into you.
  5.     Ian Book! Just kidding. You know where he is …
Or it could be someone else. Your best friend. A guy you dated last year. One of your grandparents. Who can tell? Odds are, though, you won’t bump into any strangers. After all, everyone knows everyone when they’re tailgating. 

Alternative Fun (The Anti-Tailgate)

By Colleen Fischer

You don’t need to tailgate to have fun. There are things to do on campus during Game Day besides hanging out at your roommate’s friend’s aunt’s tailgate. Some cool things to do that don’t involve drinking and eating are watching the variety of band section performances — like midnight drum circle or trumpets under the dome — visiting the Grotto or the Basilica or simply finding an unlocked air-conditioned building and sitting with a couple of friends. Seriously, enjoy the AC while you can before you go bake in the sun for four hours.

Also, if tailgate food doesn't do it for you, both dining halls prepare meals of a higher caliber during game weekends (Trying to impress all the visitors and families? Probably). There are only a few of these Candlelight Dinners throughout the semester, so if you might have forgotten to eat in all of your excitement for the game, these extravagant feasts may be your saving grace either after a long day game or right before a marathon of a night game.

An Ode to Ben’s Soft Pretzels

By Dessi Gomez, Scene Writer

Halftime hits. The students can finally sit down. In the colder weather, some face the choice between leaving for warmth or staying to endure frozen toes. A Ben’s Soft Pretzel can heavily sway this decision. 

Steaming, salty doughy goodness. Your dipping options are cheese sauce, mustard and cinnamon. The mid-game snack spurs many to stay at least one more quarter, refueled by this twisted treat. 

Don’t fall for the smaller pretzels. They aren’t Ben’s. And they’re not soft. One way to tell the difference is to hold the pretzel up next to your face. Ben’s comes way closer to covering your face. The other pretzels merely compare to the size of your hands. 

Patience is at an all time low when the line stretches longer than you expected. But you forget about it once you receive your pretzel with a phrase that is music to your ears, “Have a Pretzel Day.”

P.S. If you ever get a hankering for a Ben’s Soft Pretzel on a non-gameday, it is but a short journey to the South Bend Farmer’s Market, where you can watch them take shape from the magical dough itself. Satisfying and stress-relieving at the same time.

“Me and My Friends” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

By Willoughby Thom, Scene Writer

Tailgating is all about “me and my, me and my, me and my, me and my, me and my friends.” 

The parking lot is divided between enemy lines “like two sweet peas in an even sweeter pod.”

Flags are flying, dads are grilling and the pigskins are flying.

It’s just “me and my, me and my, me and my, me and my, me and my friends.”

We’ll weave through the crowd to our desired destination, a spot claimed by someone’s motor vehicle. The trunk is up, the tent is popped and the corn-hole displayed.

“I’ll be standin’ by my buddy and he’ll be standin’ by me,” as we cling to our Solo cups filled with our desired aperitif. We’re “just another half of the two headed freak.”

After the party died out at this location, we coddiwomple over to the next celebration.

“He drives a kooky green Chrysler bad as anybody’s Porsche,” but we love him anyways as much as he loves this sport.

The time has come to head over to the stadium. The herd moves forward with much anticipation.

Praying for an end of the game celebration with “me and my, me and my, me and my, me and my, me and my friends.”