We went looking for Penn State's best tailgate to be crowned the 2013 Tailgate of the Year. The winner went home with a $1,500 prize package including gear from The Student Book Store and a brand new grill, plus $1,000 donated to the charity of their choice.
The title of 2013 Tailgate of the Year goes to Paternoville Alumni/Team Kayla! Thanks to everyone who competed, voted, or participated in any way!
We deserve to be the 2013 tailgate of the year because of our good food, our amenities, our spirit, our welcoming environment ( even the fans of the opponents are welcome), our continued support of our football team - it is because of them that we are here; we are not fair weather tailgaters- we are there in rain, sleet, snow and sunshine.
Our tailgate group was actually started after a contractor, Randy Allison, built a home for the Dunklebergers in 1997. The Dunklebergers would go to the PSU games with a college friend, Loris Grogan and her husband, Greg. During the last walk through, before the house was turned over to the Dunklebergers, the subject of Penn State football came up. The Allisons (Randy and his wife Kim) were big Penn State fans but could not get tickets. The Dunklebergers had access to tickets from fellow employees at the Pennsylvania College of Technology (a special mission campus of Penn State). They offered to contact the Allisons when tickets were being advertised for sale. The Dunklebergers were able to get them tickets for each game that season and the 1998 season. The Allisons then bought a motor home and became members of the Nittany Lion Club at the end of the 1998 season and our tailgate was born!
Some of our traditions include: weekly theme built around our opponent; posting game menu at each tailgate and what each member is bringing ; we have a band one game each season; our banners: one banner is the title of our tailgate: Come Early Be Loud Stay Late; first one in the parking lot; bloody Mary's while waiting in line to the parking lot; women of the tailgate sing "I Am Woman"; our men wear Lager Boy aprons; our breakfast menu (strata and stickies) even the parking lot attendants come looking for it; the good doctor and his flu shots; the men go to away games each season to visit different stadiums, we have a captain and co-captain of the tailgate.
Our charity of choice is the Pulmonary Fibrosis foundation. The mothers of two members of our tailgate have been impacted by this disease, one lost their battle and the other continues to fight.
We are amongst the most dedicated Penn State alumni. Most of us have camped out at Paternoville for every single game as students, and have now brought our traditions and dedication to Beaver Stadium each week with our tailgates. Each game, we have family and friends take planes, trains, and automobiles from across the country to be with us. We love showing our Penn State pride. At our recent tailgates, we’ve had a party bus, DJ, Beaver Stadium tunnel gates, S Zone, satellite TV, PSU inflatables, giant Jenga, stump (amongst other tailgate games), and of course a JoePa cutout. We also keep a theme for each tailgate, focusing on our opponent or a holiday theme.
The first ever Paternoville tailgate was at the 2010 Capital One Bowl in the pouring rain in Florida. Since then, we have brought our friendship and tailgates to Alabama, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Philadelphia and New York. We started regularly tailgating together last season (2012), the first season after we graduated. As undergrads, most of us camped out at Gate A for every single game to support the team and scream our hearts out from the front row.
Our favorite tradition is the “Drumline” which we brought over from Paternoville. We bang and drum on tables, garbage cans, and anything else we can find while singing Penn State fight songs to get ready for the game. Our most popular foods are always Buffalo Ficken (Chicken) Dip, Mike and Troy’s grilling, and Mrs. Brown’s various desserts.
We will be donating the money to one of our best friends, Kayla Nakonechni. She was recently diagnosed with brain cancer going into her senior year at Penn State, just a few months after dancing in THON. Kayla has a huge support system of family, friends and doctors, who have rallied around her as “Team Kayla,” because of her infections smile and always-positive attitude. As a Nittanyville camper, PSU football is a huge part of Kayla’s Penn State experience. Despite her ongoing treatments, she has been able to make it to the Syracuse, UCF, and Michigan games! The PSU community has displayed their support for Kayla with a purple “Team Kayla” banner in the first row of the student section, Whiteout Cancer shirts, and more. Each week, the highlight of ourSaturday, in addition to Penn State football, is spending time with Kayla and her great family.
Tailgating is more than just a Saturday afternoon activity. As dedicated PSU Alum, we're always the first ones in line to celebrate the day. Though some days we cheer on the team from the parking lots, our hearts still bleed blue and white. However, since our first tailgate this season, we also bleed orange in support of the " 73-year old loving stranger" who stole our hearts when she and her family just stopped by our tailgate at the beginning of the season. After inviting her family into our tailgate to live, laugh, and love, we found out she was battling leukemia. Our hearts melted, and since that day, we’ve been fighting for the opportunity to win and make the donation. Though we haven’t had the chance to celebrate with her again yet, we’re hoping that we eventually find her and have her be the “honorary tailgate hostess” in the future.
The nucleus of our tailgate is comprised of a close-knit, third-generation Italian family. We have been organizing large tailgates for nearly 6 years and plan to continue planning them for a long time. Our tailgates, however, would never be of the “epic proportion” without the outpouring of friends, alumni, co-workers, and other strangers who may stumble by.
Our tailgate is known for “The Joust.” Folks will stop by from afar to join in, take pictures, or enjoy the spectacle that the joust presents. We’ve jousted in every lot and at every game. It wouldn’t be “our tailgate” without “The Joust.” The best way to describe this game is an out of water game of chicken (like the game you would play in a swimming pool). The first pair to finish both drinks wins!
Other traditions include the proud flying of the Italian flag, hot spiked cider, Marty McFly hats, margarita jello shots, and the “six foot Jenga.”
Our donation will be going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of our "73 year-old jousting stranger" and all others who have been diagnosed with these diseases. We hope they all continue to battle blood cancer...and win. #SomedayIsToday
Our tailgate has a long standing tradition of all the good things Penn State stands for: unity, tradition, generations sharing the spirit of Penn State and kindness. All our welcome to our tailgate! We have feed the parking crew for years and we love to welcome visiting schools to share our spirit.
Our tailgate began around 1998. A group of friends always seemed to gather around the same space and over the years it just started become more organized and bigger!
We set up a theme schedule each season; we've had Mexican Fiestas, 50s night, City Tour themes, Luaus, you name it! Each year we also have a TailGreat Tourney with tailgate games (Corn hole, Ladderball, etc) complete with brackets and a championship round. Our favorite event is the Soup Cookoff. Each tailgater brings a crock of soup and we complete a taste test and secret ballot vote. Prizes are awarded and bragging rights are key! No tailgate is complete without Sweet Caroline sing along and a dance party with the kids.
Our charity is the Centre County Women's Resource Center. They support women and children who are victims of sexual and physical abuse. Their long range support sees victims through the other side of abuse and helps ensure their independence when escaping an abusive relationship.
TBS deserves the title because of the longevity of our tailgate and the core members, the extreme dedication of the members to follow tailgate and gameday themes, and the love/resect we have as a group. TBSers range in age from 3 to 80+ every season and our diversity is second to none. Penn State football season is what brings us together for three months every fall as a true PENN STATE FAMILY enjoying the dance floor, the themes, the music and the snakebites.
Our tailgate started in 1984. It started as a network of alumni who met through various relationships and has grown over the years by first time attendees becoming so enthralled in our themes and traditions that they have joined us.
TBS is the Tailgate Broadcast System and is a series of emails that are sent to each member and friends. We meet for the tailgate about an hour before the parking lots open so that we are sure to line up and be first in the lot to obtain the front row. Each week there is a theme for the tailgate based on our opponent and our food music, props and activities all revolve around that theme. We have a cowbell that is rung during the tailgate at which time we do a "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" shot of snakebites.
At the end of the season there is a closing ceremony where the cowbell is locked away and a member is chosen to guard the key for the off-season. We also have dance floor where the tiles of the floor are personalized and designed by tailgate members. We have a committee of Inner Circle members where a new member is nominated each year to continue our traditions of our tailgate.
If our tailgate wins the competition, we will be donating our charity money to THON on behalf of Atlas. We have at least 5 TBSers that have danced in Thon throughout the years from the seventies until today. Many of our members are also Atlas members or alumni. In addition to the contribution from the Tailgate of the Year award, we will match the amount to double the contribution.
We are a fun and inclusive tailgate. Our main joy is to pull others into our shenanigans. There is really nothing better than grabbing someone from the crowd (or an entire other tailgate) and pulling them in for a couple rounds of flip cup. Our unofficial motto is, “Never miss a tailgating opportunity”, and as featured in a PennLive article (http://bit.ly/15taImm) , “Case in point: last year the Cool Bus showed up at Beaver Stadium and tailgated for the Penn State-Nebraska game.... an away game.” We tailgate Blue-White weekend, every home game, travel to at least one game per year, and have also shown up to tailgate Women's Soccer and Spikes Baseball.
The origins of our tailgate started with friends from a local running group. With State College being a transient town, our group is always changing, and the current coordinator took the reins around 2008. We continue to draw tailgaters from the running group and mostly consist of locals, grad students & young professionals, who like being outside and having a good time so tailgating was a great match.
Our oldest tradition is our weekly themed food competitions. Each week we have a theme and everyone brings a dish to share. We judge the entries and a winner is crowned. In the past we had given the winners fun knick-knacks but this year we decided to up the ante and the weekly winner receives a $25 Otto’s gift card. Our new tradition, as of 2011, is the Cool Bus which is easily spotted in the sea of RVs and cars and even prompted visits from Penn Staters at MetLife stadium.
We have chosen Small Steps in Speech (http://www.smallstepsinspeech.org). It's a non-profit foundation out of New Jersey, created in memory and in honor of Staff Sgt Marc J. Small, a special forces medic, who was killed in action in February of 2009 while serving his country in Afghanistan. They assist children with speech and language disorders by funding supplemental therapies and treatments for individuals as well as grants to charitable organizations who serve children with communicative disorders. Their goal is to give children the chance to better express themselves in the world in which we live. This charity was chosen because Marc is the nephew of one of our longtime tailgaters and they are a smaller charity that would really benefit from the donation.