West Virginia tailgating and hospitality are like best friends in elementary school. You rarely see one without the other.
We love to share our food, drink and love of Mountaineer football, the university and the state of West Virginia with anyone who happens to walk by. We are among the friendliest and most bighearted fans as you’ll ever find. And if you don’t believe me, read this letter from a Baylor fan.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow basic party etiquette. After meeting someone at our last tailgate who lacked common-courtesy decorum, I felt compelled to write this post.
First, always bring something (not just beer for yourself) or offer money to help offset the cost for your generous tailgate hosts. Now, this doesn’t apply to students. Dave and I love to feed the students so we can teach them how to “pay it forward” when they graduate and come back to tailgate. But adults should definitely offer to help either physically or financially after they’ve spent the morning or afternoon at someone else’s tailgate.
Don’t be obnoxious and try to corner the hosts into lengthy and/or controversial conversations – especially hosts you’ve just met and who have real friends there to socialize with. Also, don’t be a Penelope (Kristen Wiig’s SNL character) and butt into situations you shouldn’t.
For instance, at our last tailgate, we had a Penelope who managed to get front-and-center in a group shot I wanted with Nick Stevens and my friends. My friends and I barely made it into the photo. Fortunately, she didn’t make it into our Tailgate Fan interview, but that wasn’t from the lack of trying.
Don’t just split when it’s time to pack up the tailgate (especially if you haven’t offered to contribute in any other way). Offer to help tear down and clean up. Even the students do this.
This last one is a small thing but I thought I’d include it anyway. Bring a chair, if you can. If not, then be sure you offer your seat to the hosts and those who brought chairs if you see they need a place to sit.