Tailgating, for most, might be defined as an activity that ends when a football game begins. At McDaniel, though, tailgating and the game are one entity, and our unique style of barbequing and tent hopping through entire football games has now gained national attention.
On Saturday, September 10, The Weather Channel came to our home game against Moravian in order to capture our unique tailgating style.
Chris Counts, a field producer from the show, said that McDaniel has been named one of the top seven colleges for tailgating and that we will be juxtaposed against much larger Division I state schools. The goal is to convey views that no matter the size of a school, “tailgating, at its core, is the same.”
The Weather Channel not only took footage of the game, but interviewed students as well in order to better understand the McDaniel tailgating experience. Carissa Grove, a senior Phi Mu, said that she and her sisters were asked why we paint sorority and fraternity letters for games, what we eat and drink during the game, what the general small school experience is like, and whether having so many students at games was the norm.
Kara Schulteis, another senior and President of Phi Mu, said that to the final question the emphatic answer was “absolutely yes, rain or shine.”
Our persistence to show up for games despite weather was especially pertinent due to the downpour in the days leading up to and the hours directly before the game. “It’s fantastic to have [The Weather Channel] here” President Casey joked, “but I really wish they’d done something about the weather for the rest of the week!”
He went on to express his excitement that attention from the Weather Channel will “help get our name out” and illustrate “what we do at a small college.”
Viewers won’t see McDaniel students screaming in bleachers; instead, they’ll see rowdy games of cornhole and students traipsing from one tent to the next, catching up with friends and pausing every now and again to cheer on the team.
Senior Matt Draayer, President of Phi Kappa Sigma, claims that he wouldn’t trade the experience for a more typical one.
“I love being able to watch the game while I grill and enjoy a legal drink,” he stated. “It’s nice not to be confined to a seat because I get to see all my friends.”
The final product is projected to air sometime in October, and Peggy Fosdick, Director of Communications at McDaniel, says that as soon as the school knows more about the program schedule, it will be promoted to students.