Tips, traditions and advice from a West Virginia insider on the best ways to tailgate at a Mountaineers game this college football season.
Jake Engle is in the Mountaineer Maniacs, the student fan group for West Virginia, and emphasizes the importance of knowing the words to Country Roads and of eating plenty of pepperoni rolls.
How/where to park: Definitely the Blue Lot if you can get your hands on a pass, or go in on a pass together with a group of friends.
When to get there: The aforementioned Blue Lot opens at 7 a.m. every game day, no matter what time the game starts, so get there early to get your spot. It is always first-come first-serve for each spot.
What to wear: Mountaineer fans are pretty forgiving on this topic, as long as you have some form of WVU gear on, whether it’s a jersey, T-shirt, or hoodie. Just make sure it is WVU themed and you’ll be fine.
What to bring: Bring some form of tailgate beverage (again, WVU fans are not picky on this, so your personal adult beverage preference, but if you can get moonshine, they’ll love you even more!), and you’ll likely need a cooler to store your drinks unless your tailgate destination provides this great amenity for you. You also better know the words to Country Roads and the correct way to sing the chorus of Sweet Caroline.
How to pass the time: The classics apply with cornhole, watching GameDay on TV at your tailgate, grilling/smoking some awesome tailgate food, finding the mascot and getting your picture with him & hoping he has extra deer jerky for you to try.
Best things to eat: Pepperoni rolls (homemade preferably), deer jerky (freshly made), main dishes vary (but some pulled pork, brisket, any kinds of BBQ or tailgate food).
Best sights to see: The RVs in the blue lot are a must. The Mountaineer Man Trip is also a must-see: it’s when the team walks through the lot into the stadium and passes a piece of coal, paying tribute to the history of the state and its tradition of coal. Also, find the Mountaineer by following the sound of his musket throughout the morning/afternoon throughout the Blue Lot
Selling point: The pepperoni rolls, deer meat/jerky, the actual mascot visiting tailgates, the Mountaineer Man trip and of course, moonshine are all the reasons why West Virginia is the best spot to tailgate in the country. We'll see you at 7 a.m. on game day this fall.