Now to me, this is pretty shocking. I don't even tailgate. That's right, I don't tailgate. My gameday ritual usually involves watching other football games wherever I can until the time comes that I need to head to campus to get to the stadium early (usually an hour before kickoff) while plenty of people are still tailgating outside.
But here's the thing: one of my favorite parts of those fall gamedays is getting to drive and walk around campus to Sanford Stadium, passing the thousands of tailgating fans.
I've complained before about tailgaters, especially those in North Campus who fill the whole area with smoke and garbage, and many often leave their trash behind.
But on Saturdays in the fall, walking through that Red and Black metropolis of giant tents, smoking grills, huge TVs playing live football games and blaring music is part of the tradition. Despite the mess afterwards, the transformation of North Campus from quiet trees and grass to thousands of barking fans bringing their homes to nature is perhaps the most memorable place other than Sanford Stadium on gamedays.
I'm not really certain how one tailgates without tents, grills or televisions. This makes me wonder if anyone will still tailgate on North Campus, other than those who want to sit in lawn chairs and enjoy the peace and quiet. This also makes me wonder if these new rules are some kind of joke/purposefully harsh measure to just scare people, and when everyone complains they'll lessen the penalties. I don't know. All I do know is that for this non-tailgater, it'll be sad to see the death of tailgating on North Campus, and along with it the death of a priceless Georgia tradition.
(NOTE: I'm all for keeping North Campus preserved. A lot of UGA football fans are just that: football fans, but they don't necessarily care about the University itself. I do. As an alum who loves his school, I care about the history, reputation and image of the University and everything related to it. From what I've seen, the worst result of the raucous tailgating in North Campus is damage to the grass and soil, and obviously the trash on top of it. If UGA is willing to pay enough money, I think that could be cleaned up/fixed easily. If the tailgating was somehow doing irreparable damage to the most historic and beautiful part of campus, then I'd agree that something needs to be done. But when it comes to eliminating temporary trash and preserving grass and soil, or a sea of Red and Black and a memorable Georgia gameday environment, I have to go with preserving Georgia gamedays as we know them.)