Friday Five: Tailgates

Ken Morton, Jr. | September 7th, 2012

Football season is upon us. Subsequently, so is that favorite pastime: tailgating. Some prefer the quiet solitude of yelling at the replacement referees from the comfort of their own living room sofa. But many prefer the soothing sounds of a stadium parking lot and smells of diesel engines and propane grills on a weekend morning. This morning’s Friday Five celebrates that pickup truck attachment that inspired the whole shebang. Little can top The Preservation Hall Band’s “Tailgate Ramble,” but since we’re keeping this (mostly) country, we’ll bump them off the list today in favor of some other favorites. What are some songs in your collection that mention tailgates?

5. Luke Bryan – “Tailgate Blues”

Several rumors abound as to the history of the tailgating and where it actually got its start. Ivy League fans claim that the first pre-game party occurred during the first college football game between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869. According to legend, attendees preceded their game by grilling sausages at the “tail end” of their horses.

 

4. Split Lip Rayfield – “Redneck Tailgate Dream”

In The Browns Fan’s Tailgating Guide, author Peter Chakerian writes that because of the slow train that brought many fans to Yale’s first football game in 1904, a spontaneous pre-game barbeque broke out and became standard fare for the famished fans.

 

3. Joe Diffie – “Pickup Man”

Green Bay Packers fans claim they’re the first to coin the actual term “tailgating” in 1919, the team’s first year in business. This was before the days of field-side seating and fans would back up their pickup trucks around the field and fold down their tailgates for seating. Eventually they got hungry and…

 

2. Jaydee Bixby – “Tailgate”

It’s possible that tailgating goes all the way back to the Civil War. In 1861, at the Battle of Bull Run, Union-supporting civilians arrived with baskets of food and cheered on the blue team.

 

1. Chad Brownlee – “Lay Down the Tailgate”

The history of the tailgate party isn’t complete unless you mention the father of the tailgate, Mr. Henry Ford. He created the first factory-assembled pickup truck in 1925 and sold it for a whopping $281.

 

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