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Published on September 8th, 2016 | by Brittain Thompson

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2016 Ole Miss Grove Guide

Trust me—hosting a fabulous Grove tailgate is not easy. Here in Oxford, we are widely known for two things that we kick ass in—writing and tailgating—with food coming in a close third. We haven’t been called the “Holy Grail of Tailgating” for nothing! Famous for our linen tablecloths, flower arrangements, and chandeliers, the Ole Miss saying, “We may not win every game, but we’ve never lost a party” couldn’t ring more true. That being said, there are some things you need to know about the Grove and game day in general.

#1: Every Ole Miss fan is a representative of the University—so be on your best behavior
We all love a great party, but that doesn’t mean we need to be acting a fool. No one likes to see someone getting sick in broad daylight (or at night, for that matter) or someone openly peeing on something. Also, word-vomit is highly frowned upon, as well—being a jackass is never attractive.

#2: Eat!
There’s a lot of alcohol flowing in the Grove, and one quick way to miss out on the memories being made is by not having something on your stomach to soak up all that booze. Over the years, I have noticed that people eat more throughout the day when they have bite-sized food to constantly snack on, rather than being forced to make a plate. One box of donuts and a bag of chips with some salsa will not be enough for five people, though, not to mention a group of forty. If you find that your tent is experiencing a food drought, and you see the one next door is flourishing, do not try to be sly and snatch a bite while no one is looking. Simply ask. I don’t know a single Grove host(ess) who will deny a hungry (or drunk) person a plate of food. It’s not their job to feed your entire fraternity, though.

#3: Be respectful of all Grove tailgates—even those from the visiting team
There will always be someone who sets up somewhere you don’t like, or someone who has something you want. That doesn’t mean you have a right to move their tent(s) or take what is not yours. They got there first, and it’s their stuff not yours—so keep your hands to yourself.
#4: Put it in a cup, and lock it up
The University is under county law which prohibits the possession or consumption of light alcoholic beverages (beer, for example) throughout campus. You sure as hell don’t need to walk around with a case of beer in plain sight. All drinks need to be put into an opaque cup, and all alcohol stored appropriately and not left unattended. I recommend all coolers be locked and chained to a tent or table—making it extremely difficult to access their contents or haul away. I don’t think it needs to be said that it’s illegal for anyone under 21 to be in possession or drinking alcoholic beverages.

#5: Plan on long lines and purse/pocket checks when entering the stadium
The best way to get pumped up for the game is to be there in time for pre-game. There is nothing that will put you more in the mood than 60,000 Rebels swaying back-and-forth to “Lock the Vaught” and the stadium-wide roar of the Hotty Toddy.
#6: Dress appropriately
The Ole Miss “uniform” is quite famous. There are some things you may want to consider, though. It’s hot as hell until October! Cotton is the way to go when it’s hot, and regular deodorant is not enough, go for the heavy-duty antiperspirant. Ladies, wear shoes that you can wear in the dirt for 12+ hours and that don’t cause you to walk like a Monty Python skit, and never take them off. During colder months, wear clothes that reflect that day’s low temperature—there is nothing attractive about a girl with blue lips and goosebumps, who’s shivering and standing like an angry Quasimodo who needs to pee. And for goodness sake, if you’re in a dress wear underwear that actually covers your unmentionables!

#7: Pick-up after yourself and your group
It shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently it does: put your trash in the trash can. Just like a church, the Grove is a sacred place, so before you drop it on the ground ask yourself, “Would I throw this on the floor of a church?” and proceed accordingly.

#8: Cheer on our boys until the end of the game
When you are there for them, they will be there for you. Simple as that.
When it comes down to it, enjoy yourself, show our visitors what hospitality truly looks like, and make the University of Mississippi proud when you say, “I AM AN OLE MISS REBEL!”
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About the Author

Brittain is an associate editor of The Local Voice, ex-journalism student, and bad noise maker from the highway town of Brandon, MS.



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