Tailgating Much More Than Just a Celebration of Sports
Ahh … Autumn! Time for pumpkin-carving, corn mazes and hay rides, and fall foliage tours!
For many in Sooner Country, this season also marks another perennial fall fav: tailgating.
For more than a decade, the Brasel family has enthusiastically hosted tailgate parties in a big way prior to each home football game.
Ron Brasel of Blanchard, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2014 with a bachelor of arts degree in administrative leadership, is joined in these joyful occasions by family members and fellow OU alums Leslie Eugene Brasel (School of Pharmacy, 1963), Ronald Brasel Sr. (School of Pharmacy, 1969), Ronald Brasel Jr. (School of Liberal Studies, 2014) and Ronald “Trey” Dale Brasel III, a future OU graduate. Joining them “in spirit,” according to Brasel, are several late members of the Brasel family dating back to Dudley Burney “D.B.” Brasel (Indian Territory University 1904).
While the family has enjoyed some form of gatherings centered around football games since Brasel was a youngster, they officially began tailgating on a regular basis 10 years ago. The Brasels tailgate at “Sooner Village” at Lloyd Noble Center–where an estimated 20 to 50 family, friends and visitors turn our per game.
“We decided as a family that OU holds values, traditions and honor at the heart of all it represents, and we believe this is a place to wrap ourselves around, to gather, cheer and support an institution that means so much to our family.” In addition, he says, “it is a great place to watch true champions of both sport and education.”
According to Brasel, the “art of tailgating” calls for the involvement of family, friends and fans in a celebration of their alma mater.
“It is often a place to share in life’s hopes, dreams and even most difficult times,” he adds “Tailgating is more than celebration of sports, it is a place to come together and bond beyond colors; it is a place to celebrate life.”
Of course, a mainstay of tailgating is food. For this family, beer bratwurst and baked beans (see related recipes) are a tailgate staple, but the family also enjoys a time-honored tradition of picking up “Freddie’s ribs, tabOUli, and cabbage rolls from Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and sharing the Lebanese cuisine with fans from all over the Big 12,” says Brasel.
Love the idea of tailgating, but don’t want the bother and expense of hosting one? The OU Alumni Association offers “Boomer Bash” three hours before home games (and at one away game) every year.
Held in the ballroom of Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave., this event offers a tailgate-like experience indoors. Tickets are $15 per person, and must be purchased in advance. For more information, visit ou.edu/content/alumni/events/boomer_bash.html.
A New Tailgating Option
Beginning this fall, tailgaters have another option to the traditional tailgate. The OU Athletics Department has joined forces with the Tailgate Guys, a company that works with game-day fans to make their tailgate experience the best possible, with a minimum of fuss to the fans.
Fans who work with the Tailgate Guys no longer must stake out their venue early or search frantically for a place to set up the day of the game: their reserved space is set up just steps outside of Gaylord Family–Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The company offers packages for small groups up to a crowd of 2,000, for one or more games or for the entire football season.
For more information, visit tailgateguys.com/home/ou, or contact the Tailgate Guys at 655.3437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.