The Eight People Waiting to Ruin Your Tailgate Party


For as long as there have been sports, there have been people getting embarrassingly drunk before watching sports. And somewhere along the line, mankind decided that the best place to chug and yell was in the parking lot outside the arena.

It’s football season, and the ratio of drunk to non-drunk is becoming dangerously lopsided. Therefore, we’re less likely to notice when one of 8 dangerous types is likely to ruin our fun. Thus, we’ve come up with a guide to spotting these people so that hopefully, you’ll get tomorrow’s headache like you deserve it.

The Parent/Child Combo


This one-two punch of old and young shouldn’t provide too much of a problem. Usually they’re making their way, hand in hand, in a straight line to the arena. However, they can possibly provide a nuisance, especially if the parent is over-protective. When inebriated, stay as far away from them as possible, never looking the child in the eye, as that can be taken as pedophile-ey. We know that the urge is tough, but you’ll be much safer if you resist bending over and loudly burping “GAME DAY” into the face of a terrified four-year-old.

The Frat Guy


Dressed like someone you instinctively want to hit, the Frat Guy, with their bright polos and tilted hats, can usually be found grilling out under their tents. Once again, the best way to deal with the Frat Guy is to stay as far away as possible. Any argument you start with the Frat Guy is a futile one, as there is no one who can out brag them. If you do engage in one, you’ll not only have to worry about him, but a chorus of guys behind him, ready to throw up lazy boxing stances and yell things like “Whoa. Whoa. That’s my bro, there.”

If you’re a girl, you can use The Frat Guy to your advantage, as you’re assured at least two hugs, free food and multiple apologies for touching. Take care to leave before you get roophied though.

The Sorority Girl


Like the Frat Guy, The Sorority Girl dresses in numbing colors and travels in packs. They too remain under their tents, sometimes associating themselves with the Frat Guys and trying to hide the liquor that they’ve snuck in. Dealing with them is relatively simple. They’re terrible at arguments and, during the later points of the tailgate, just make sure to dodge around them as they hold each others’ hair back and hop over the vomit puddles they leave behind. These are the future mothers of America’s children, ladies and gentlemen.

The Underaged

high school

Whether girl or guy, The Underaged provides you with the opportunity to not only think that you’re going to get laid, but also pay a fine when people of the law find out about it. The Underaged is extremely easy to spot if you pay attention. Usually they are “broke” and will laugh at any joke you make until you give them a drink. It may seem like you’ve gotten unnaturally lucky, but The Underaged will abandon you as quickly as the Frat Guy starts to lose sense and sees a potential target in her. Easy ways to stop The Underaged in their tracks are to ask questions like, “How old are you?” or “How hot is your mom? You should bring her over here.”

The Undercover Cop


They look normal, and they converse all too readily with you. But, when you’ve just given that short, too-friendly young blonde her fourth Miller High Life, beware. The Undercover Cop might seem like someone who’s just out to protect celibacy, but they’re really there to make sure that people like you aren’t stupid enough to repeat the mistake of giving a college freshman girl alcohol poisoning. They have a good purpose, and they shouldn’t be confronted, as the defense of “She was nineteen! Everybody drinks too much at nineteen!” doesn’t really hold up in court.

The Too-Old


There’s nothing worse than being by yourself in a drinking situation with people who are far too old to be doing the same. The Too-Old will be there the third earliest (only The Goatee and The Frat Guy will match their fervor toward getting hammered before 9 A.M.) They will be the first to open up their trunks, pop open their Food Lion rotisserie chickens, break out the Coca Cola fridge packs and drink lightly from their Coronas. The key to dealing with the Too-Old is to outlast them. With any sort of luck, by 11 A.M., they’ll be passed out in the deck chairs they packed and you can easily slip around them or steal all the ranch dip and light beer that you need.

The Serious Player


Cornhole has become inexplicably popular, especially for a game that’s about as excited as watching a starfish achieve orgasm. Nonetheless, drunk people love to play it while they get drunker. You, under any circumstances, must not step between the two wooden boards. Doing so changes the alignments of the planets completely, and will both ruin the game forever, and enrage the participants. This includes driving even near a cornhole game, an act that will often be avenged by a thrown bean bag through a window. Handle these people with care. They may not be players in the actual game, but underhand tossing a hacky sack into a hole is infinitely more important than any of the shit you might have going on.

The Goatee


First to arrive, first to drink, first to yell, first to punch and last to die. The Goatee comes in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common-an annoying, possibly graying goatee. These are the people that scream at you incoherently as you walk by, yelling team names that might not even be playing that day. They have nothing to do but stand in a circle, hit each other in the shoulders and drinking until drinking itself is just a futile effort and only makes your stomach hurt worse. As soon as you see their untrimmed facial hair, steer clear. They will engage you in conversation, hostile or not, as soon as you don’t show interest and will continue until you’ve either tricked them with a decoy topic, or have managed to pull an Underaged into the mess.

Daniel Dockery likes bad cartoons, dating advice and Twitter. You can tweet at him at @dandock and read more at