3 Reasons Why Family Tailgates are More Than Just Football

It was late August, and I was backing out of my driveway on my way to the first Nevada football game of the 2019 season. As the garage was closing, my daughter, 2, screamed from her car seat, “My Wolf Pack chair!”

I stopped the car and thought about it for a second. Does she really need her child-sized, fold-up, Nevada Wolf Pack chair?

Not really. She can sit anywhere; and really, she doesn’t sit much any way. 

Despite that, I went back and grabbed the chair. She was thrilled. In the end, it wasn’t about in what she would sit. My main goal is to make the tailgate fun for her, and if it meant getting the chair, then that’s what I had to do.

Tailgates can be perceived as yet another reason for immature males to get drunk. Sure, alcohol is consumed, but it’s more about having fun and spending time with friends and family.

And the fact that you get to go to a football game afterward is an optional bonus.

Here are three reasons why you should take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with the family by tailgating.

It’s fun, even if you don’t like football

Connecting football with tailgating makes sense. But why?

Whether you like football or not, how can you not like sipping on your favorite beverage and eating delicious food? More importantly, it’s a great opportunity to gather family and friends in one place.

I’ve been going to tailgates since I was born. My dad bought me a mini football and would throw passes to me in the parking lot near the KWNZ pop up tent. I plan to do that with my daughters if they so choose.

There are always a few people at tailgates that have no interest whatsoever in football. They can’t tell a quarterback from a cornerback. But they still come to tailgates.

Tailgating doesn’t require a ticket. As soon as the tailgate ends, you can go home. And you shouldn’t feel bad because hanging out with family and friends is more important than the game.

Support your university, encourage it for your kid

The University of Nevada campus is simply one of a kind – especially in the fall. There are beautiful historic buildings near the quad and new luxury student facilities near Mackay Stadium.

Add in Lake Tahoe in the summers, and the UNR campus pretty much sells itself. By exposing your kids to tailgates and games if you choose to do so, you’re opening them up to the experience of what it’s like to be a student.

This experience could impact their decision to go to college or not go to college.

Why not give them a positive experience out of the gate so they can see how they can become a part of something great and live the university life?

Family tradition

My family has been going to Wolf Pack football games since I was a little dude. I would watch a little bit of the game, but mostly I played Nerf ball, two-hand-touch in south end zone, back when there was grass.

I remember watching when Nevada came back from 35 points down to beat Weber State. I remember all the Chris “Magic Man” Vargas come backs, including that one. I remember all the great wide receivers to come through like Bryan Reeves, Alex Van Dyke, Trevor Insley and Jeff Noisy.

I didn’t have a choice to go to the games, but I’m so glad my parents took me. That’s why it’s so important for me to take my family to all the games I possibly can.

Finally, when Nevada came back to beat Purdue on Aug. 30, there were so many emotions as I was jumping up and down. I was high-fiving the people around me.

The last guy I high-fived was my dad. Then I gave him a hug. It was one of the best games I ever saw, and I got to see it with my dad, who along with my mom instilled in me the importance of family and Nevada football.

I can only dream that I can share a moment like that with my children.

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