A story has recently broken advertising hassle-free tailgating at all Auburn home games this fall. The company, founded by Auburn alum Parker Duffey (aside: you know you were born in the South to a family of wealthy plantation owners when your name is Parker Duffey; aside 2: how in the name of Terry Bowden can an Auburn grad have a pet bulldog named after the hometown of The University of Mississippi?) and appropriately dubbed "Tailgate Guys," provides hassle-free tailgating for those fans too lazy to pack their own cooler, unfold a few chairs, and get to the parking lot at a reasonable hour.
For a nominal fee (usually $350 for you and up to 15 of your closest friends or $875 for larger groups up to 35), you can pay Mr. Duffey and company to haul a nice little tent, table and chairs to a desireable location of your choosing and have it set up and ready to go by 8:00 a.m. on gameday. For an additional cost, you can then customize your tailgate to include gourmet food, potables, and even a live band. Or, if you happen to be a Pitt fan, you can also pay for others to come to the game and masquerade as other Pitt fans, just so you have someone to comiserate with.
First, I have to question how big a fan The Duffster really is if he is sacrificing his own tailgating time to overcharge others for performing the simple task of putting up a tent and some chairs, then procuring a cooler, ice, and beer. I mean, it's hard enough tearing down your own tailgate after a long day of football and drinking, let alone having to chase customers around the quad trying to figure out who stole your grill and where that guy went that still owes you $20 for the extra case of PBR he had you buy this morning. On the other hand, I credit him for combining his work and his hobby with such efficiency. Although, I have to wonder what he's going to do for money the other 353 days of the year (I almost said 352, but then I remembered there is no way Auburn is making a bowl game this year). Maybe he plans to branch out. Little League Guys: We'll go watch your kid's baseball game for you so you can manage your trust fund!
Seond, I have to question why any kind of real fan would ever pay someone else to do this for them? Isn't tailgating part of the fun? The best part of my day is when 5th Year Senior inevitably sustains a concussion from tripping over a loose tent pole and face planting into an F-150. I'm sure if 5YS could remember the rest of that game, he would agree with me. Look, if you have so much money that you're too good (or incompetent?) to set up your own tent and get your own beer, you probably shouldn't be tailgating in the parking lot with the rest of us peons anyway. Just head on up to your luxury box and enjoy some hors d'oeurves while you're sipping your Dom.
Despite these questions, I have to conclude that this idea is pure genius. Football fans, especially those of the SEC variety, will overpay for anything: coaches, stadiums, players . . . why not tailgating? As much as I enjoyed nearly castrating myself with a folding chair after the Eastern Washington game a few years ago, I must admit it would be nice to come back and pass out in the trunk while someone else cleans up the mess. Maybe if the idea catches on, TSM can run a smilar service in Morgantown. Of course, our services would have to include kegs of Natty, vats of hair gel for our New Jersey contingent, on-call attorneys for those unfortunate run-ins with Morgantown's Finest, and of course couches, lighter fluid and matches for really big games. Who else wants in?
[photo via www.gatortailgating.com]