Sam Truehart recently graduated from the University of Tennessee, and currently works as a web intern for Charleston magazine.
Football in the South is not just a game—it’s a way of life. We treat our football like a religion. Dresses, bows and blazers are typical game-day attire, and traditional meals are often served accordingly: mimosas and biscuits for morning games, burgers and beer for the afternoon kick-off, or chili and whiskey for night games. Planning a wedding during football season is unheard of down here, since none of your guests would consider missing Alabama weekend.
Attending the University of Tennessee (ranked the best tailgating college by the Bleacher Report) gave me the opportunity to frequent the tailgates and attend the games. (If you give me any sass about being a UT fan, I’ll Butch slap ya.)
Alright, I’ll admit it: I’m not the biggest football fan. I cared more about the mimosas and my color-coordinated outfit than who got drafted or player statistics. But now that I’m living in Charleston, a city without an SEC school, I was afraid I’d miss chilly autumn game days on Rocky Top.
Luckily, I got a part-time job at Charleston Beer Works, a sports bar on King Street that goes big for both college and NFL games. Watching the game is a different experience than attending a tailgate; especially when you’re there all day serving and completely sober.
I’ve gathered a list of the 5 common people you meet at a sports bar:
1. The Passionate FanAttire: Ridiculous amount of game attire. Probably has body paint or an obnoxious hat.Attitude: He’s the guy jumping on chairs and starting chants. He’s very happy when his team is winning, or very emotional if his team is losing.Drink of choice: Shots all around when his team scores
2. The Fantasy League TeamAttire: Normal weekend clothing; maybe a baseball cap with the team he’s rooting for.Attitude: These guys are here for the money. They’re taking notes and thinking things through.Drink of choice: Pitcher of beer
3. “I’m here for my boyfriend” GirlAttire: Game-day jersey and cute accessories.Attitude: Normally on her phone or wishing she was somewhere else. The things we do for boys!Drink of choice: Vodka soda
4. The girl who actually is into itAttire: Game-day jersey and silly accessories.Attitude: Screaming along with the passionate fan. Everyone around her is surprised when she knows a play.Drink of choice: Bottled beer
5. The DrunkAttire: Normal clothing.Attitude: A regular that is glad to meet new friendsDrink of choice: The usual
Whether you’re actually into the sport or not, football in the South brings people together, keeps tradition alive and welcomes friendly competition (with some trash talking every now and then). Front graphic from here.