Is a New Football Tradition Forming?

Kenneth Grady, Reporter

Dominic Augustine
A new post-game football culture is starting to take hold.

While tailgates, those celebrations of food and drink  before football games, are the norm, Cougars fans are forming a tradition of post-game tailgates.

After home games, players, parents and coaches regularly stay  to enjoy the tailgate festivities. Parents come together to bring food, drinks, canopies, music and much more for everyone to share.

Administrative Assistant Patricia Ross believes the post-game tailgates will help bring players and their families closer.

“The main goal is to bring our team and family together to enjoy each other’s company,” said Ross.

Not every player has parents able to attend the games, which leaves them to eat a lonely dinner, Ross said.

“Some players have family in attendance and after games would leave campus to have dinner with their family. Others who did not have family in attendance would stay on campus and eat in the cafeteria alone. We knew that there was something that we could do about that. So why not eat together and enjoy each other’s presence and get to know everybody?” said Ross.

Senior Captain Austin Deinarowicz believes this late tailgate will help build team chemistry and a culture that the football team has been trying to build for years.

“My immediate thought was it was an excellent idea and a great form of team and family bonding. A lot of guys simply run out to dinner with their families after a game, which is fine, but something such as a team and family tailgate can really bring the football community closer and further establish the culture that we’ve always been striving for as a program,” Deinarowicz said.

Sophomore defensive lineman Jacob Nagle and his family enjoyed the tailgate. “My family and I felt like we knew everyone. It was a good way to bring everyone together after the game,” he said.

Parents donated all of the necessary tailgating supplies in abundance.

“It was amazing how much food the parents provided. There was so much variety,” said Nagle.

The parents brought more than just enough food for the first tailgate.

“We had so much food, and some parents pitched in enough paper products and water to last throughout the rest of the season. The parents also brought tents to put over the food,” Ross said.

“We had homemade food, Chick-fil-a chicken platters, sandwiches, all types of desserts, and drinks. There was enough food for everyone and more,” Nagle said.

The tailgate was a “great time,” Deinarowicz said.

“I liked the tailgate simply because this program is more than just football. It’s a community and as a community I love to see everyone able to come together in support of one another,” said Deinarowicz.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I stood back and took in the gathering and felt such support and respect for the atmosphere we have strived to achieve,” Ross said.

The new tradition has everyone looking forward to the next one.

“My family and I can’t wait to take part in the next one. It was a great experience,” Nagle said.

“I’m excited for this tradition.  It is just an awesome experience overall to be a part of,” Deinarowicz said.

The post-game tailgates will take place after home games, near Metz field house. The next tailgate is set for Oct. 7.