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Tailgate food: Play-by-play

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
Aug. 13, 2003
It's game day and no matter if you're at MSU's Scott Field, Southern's M.M. Roberts Stadium or Ole Miss' Vaught-Hemingway Stadium there's more than football on your mind.
For many avid football fans the question is, "What are we going to eat?"
Reynolds said it's common to see dozens of RV owners setting up camp two and three days before the game.
Whichever stadium you visit, you'll find that tailgating is alive, well and cooking in America.
For Marcus Irby of Meridian, a 1992 graduate of Mississippi State University, home game day starts early.
Irby said that planning is what makes each tailgating meal successful.
Irby has been tailgating at MSU football games for five years.
But one of the things Irby looks forward to is seeing what fellow MSU fans cook up. When State played Florida, MSU fans cooked alligator tails. When State played the South Carolina gamecocks, chicken was fried up and when State plays LSU, many fans serve up a cajun meal.
Irby said food is an important part of the game experience.
Average tailgaters spend more than $500 a season on food.
The coldest tailgaters were Green Bay Packers fans, who braved a wind chill of 48 below zero in a 1967 game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Packers won, 21-17.
The top venues for tailgating are NASCAR events and football games. But no one has anything on Jimmy Buffett fans, who have been known to bring in bags of sand and build islands in the parking lots.
At the University of Mississippi in Oxford, tailgater Sara Mize has been tailgating under the same tree for 46 years. "Your spot is like your church pew," she says. "Nobody takes your spot until you are gone."
Source: Better Homes and Garden magazine