Preparation Key to Successful Aggie Tailgate

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

Every Friday before an Aggie home game they start lining up.

Hundreds of fans sit and wait for the go ahead to set up their tailgate palaces in Spence Park.

"It's just weird to think how many people get here before 9:00 a.m. on a Friday just to set up a tent," said A&M student Hayden Smith.

"Yeah, we're pretty serious," said tailgater Mark Mitchell from Arkansas.

Aggies from all over brave all sorts of conditions to claim their stake of land to cook their steaks.

But before you can surround the spot for your sizzler, there is one golden rule.

"They'll blow some kind of horn to let everybody know it's time to go get your spot," said Mitchell.

"It's interesting," said organizer Steven Hodge.

Hodge has been part of the pre-game preparation team for Texas A&M for over a decade. On occasion he blows the air horn that rings at high noon letting Aggie fans know the university is open for tailgaters.

"We have a number of people throughout the park making sure nobody jumps the gun," said Hodge.

"Sometimes people get a little antsy but so far it's been a good thing," said Mitchell.

"Some people sprint to their spots, some people just walk. It depends on what you want," said Smith.

Blake Stone and his buddies just like to have fun while waiting, but when horns sound it's all business.

"We skedaddle out there, throw up some poles, and act stupid," said Stone.

And then it happens. The horn blows and organized chaos follows as folks rush to claim their spot.

"We're a little bit bloody, we lost a few, but we came, we saw, we got the spot we wanted and we're ready for game day. Gig em Ags," joked Stone.

A small price to pay for a piece of football heaven.

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