Tips, traditions and advice from a USC insider on the best ways to tailgate at a Trojans game this college football season.
Connor McCarthy the Brand Manager for Trojan Fever, USC’s student fan group, on eating that postgame Victory Dog and kicking that pole.
Where to park: Park at parking structure X early and get to campus. Otherwise, you will have to park around the Coliseum, something that’s still a great time, but it’s much more crowded around Exposition Park.
When to arrive: People at USC typically get to campus around 8 a.m. to secure the best spot on campus to set up their tailgate. The best spot is underneath the Traveler Statue across from the iconic Tommy Trojan statue at the heart of campus on Trousdale Parkway, the same place where the USC band, the Spirit of Troy, marches down blasting the most iconic fight song in college football on their way to the LA Coliseum.
What to wear: At USC tailgates, you shouldn't be seeing anything other than cardinal, gold and black. Face paint, Mardi Gras, and even the occasional Trojan helmet are always met with admiration.
What to bring: A grill, as long as it's 15 feet away from a structure. Beer pong tables, hamburgers, cornhole, a tent for shade and lawn chairs are staple marks of a good tailgate.
How to pass the time: Passing the time at a USC tailgate is the easiest part of the day. Relax, sit back, enjoy the always beautiful California weather and the beautiful people around you that all share in the passion for Trojan Football. Head over to Heritage Hall around an hour before the game to see the marching band rally the crowd and head over to the Coliseum through Trousdale Parkway.
Best thing to eat: One of the best traditions at USC is the postgame Victory Dog that celebrates another Trojan win and provides you with much-needed grease and sustenance to carry you home on the walk back to campus or fraternity row. These hot dogs, wrapped in bacon and cooked on tin foil oven pans outside the Coliseum, cast off a smell that can only be described as angelic. Loading your victory dog up with grilled onions, peppers, and veggies is a pro move that will not disappoint.
Best sight to see: While no one is sure of its origin, "Kicking the Pole," is as sacred of a Saturday tradition at USC as a Trojan victory. The flag pole in question is the one that resides at the end of Trousdale Parkway on the edge of Exposition Boulevard, and the kicking of it is for good luck. It creates a loud but beautiful sound of clanks that invites everyone passing by to join in. While there's always a few "unbalanced" people who either whiff or jam a toe, it’s always a sight to stop at and take in while heading to the game.
Biggest selling point: It's simple—only at USC are you getting the chance to hang out with your best friends, throw a few beers back and enjoy the country's best weather before seeing the best football team in the country take the field. At USC, our tailgating tradition can only matched by our team's championship-winning ways.