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How tailgating enhanced my gameday experience

The smell of burgers filled my nose and the sound of the meat hitting the grill jammed my ears. I took a deep breath in, then took a deep breath out. The warm sun hitting my skin felt good, but not always while in a dark navy blue Cowboys jersey.

But being at AT&T stadium tailgating, nothing could ever compare to that.

Going to an NFL game is an experience like no other. Tailgating is fun, relaxing and you can enjoy some good food. Now take both and combine them, and things go to another level.

Growing up and tailgating was something I grew to get used to. Since I was a little girl before I even understood football or was ever into it. Waking up somewhat early on game day and helping my dad load up things into the car. Now that I’m much older I’m able to help out a lot more.

We would always take his truck, which was a bright blue that could sparkle when you looked at it hard enough. He would deck his truck out and cover it with magnets. Flags would stick out from the windows, which blew through the crisp air when he drove.

His truck would always receive compliments on the way to the stadium and even more when we arrived.

Offloading the truck and setting the tent, tables and chairs up wasn’t always something I enjoyed, but I got through it. Sometimes it was hard, whether the blazing heat of Texas would hit my skin during September or October, or the cold winter air would leave me freezing in November through January, no matter how many layers I wore.

No matter what the weather was like, I was still there to have fun. The best part of tailgating was definitely the food, at least it was for me. My dad would always cook burgers on his grill, which was shaped like a cowboy helmet. While I waited for them to be done, I would play cards with my mom or play cornhole.

A classic thing my family and I would always do was joke around with fans of the opposing team on game day, making jokes and talking a little bit of trash talk.

What made tailgating even more fun was I got to spend time with people that were close to me. Memories were made, ones that we would laugh about in the future. It’s a chance to socialize with your close ones and other sports fans. It’s something that anyone can do, especially those that may not be able to get into the stadium for the game. Often when tailgating you’ll see people bring their own TVs and play the game from there.

Tailgating can become such a tradition within families and be passed down. It’s something that I plan to do with my loved ones when I get older.

Tailgating has been around for a long while. It’s not just around football, but other major league sports as well. It enhances game day and gives fans of all sports another way to have fun rather than just going to the game itself.

Photo Courtesy of Araceli Reynoso

Going to the game to watch is mesmerizing. One of the best experiences is after you’ve had a nice meal from the tailgate, played some games and enjoyed other pregame activities, you walk into the stadium to enjoy some football. After an amazing tailgating experience, it makes the game that much more exciting.

I go from being in the scorching hot heat to a nice cooled stadium. Or from freezing weather to a warm stadium. I get to take in the smell of food from the concession stands, the sound of so many people around me talking and every moment someone’s sneakers hit the floor.

The sound of the loud volume coming from the big screen hypes everyone up before the game. Eventually, after making it through the crowds of people, I locate the seats for my family and I.

We sit down and I take in the view I have around me. The thousands of other seats around me, the blue lights that light up the walls and the field. The vibrant green grass, the carefully spray-painted white lines on the field. The yellow goalposts stand tall and mighty. Watching the boys come running out of the tunnel. And the next time I go to a game, I get to do it all over again.

Yeah, it doesn’t get better than this.

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