Tailgaters Welcome for Mississippi College Football Season
August 9, 2013
Fans of TV’s Food Network will discover a fabulous feast during Mississippi College’s tailgating season.
Every fall, the Quad is filled with tables, chairs and tents plus a smorgasbord of unlimited food and sweet tea. This fall, the heart of the Clinton campus will be more crowded than ever as thousands of MC supporters come calling for six Choctaws home football games.
The food frenzy gears up early the afternoon of Saturday September 7th or hours before the Choctaws face Millsaps to open the 2013 football season. Kickoff for the Backyard Brawl is at 7 p.m. so tailgaters close things down to watch the metro Jackson rivals play at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
The blitz of heavy tailgating is a growing part of the college game day experience at MC and schools nationwide.
It’s definitely on the fall calendar for former MC Choctaws football players like Jim Turcotte.
Over the years, ribs, jalapeno poppers and yummy cakes have been the most popular and best-tasting items for guests on Turcotte’s tailgating turf.
Good food, fellowship time and a little fun flavor the pre-game festivities at Mississippi College from September through November. And MC folks can’t wait for the new season to begin.
“Tailgating has become an important social gathering before home football games for students, parents, alumni and friends,’’ says Turcotte, MC vice president for enrollment management and dean of students. “We have a lot to offer and this is one more example of what makes Mississippi College more like home,’’ adds the Clinton resident.
Jonathan Nutt, an MC student affairs staffer and alumnus, oversees the tailgating scene at the Christian university. Somebody’s got to do it, and he loves the job. He’s seen and tasted tailgating at its very best at Mississippi College. Tents with blue and gold decorations, creative MC logos, giant TV sets tuned to SEC football games, and loads of funny stories are key components of the tailgating scene on the Quad.
MC social tribes & clubs, the Student Government Association and other student groups trot out freshly cooked burgers, pies, dips, giant cookies and much more. Caravans of parents from Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and other Southern states make the journey to Clinton’s campus and set up shop in tailgate city.
“Tailgaters bring everything from sweet and salty dips to MC themed cookies,’’ Nutt said. “You see a little bit of everything on the Quad.’’
Whether their preference is chili, chicken wings, nachos or oatmeal raisin cookies, people will find dishes are plentiful during MC’s tailgating season .
The food, the networking and friendly people will bring tailgate regulars back for more on September 7 and future home games this season.
“You get to bond with other Choctaws and their families,’’ says Pearl High senior Hannah Kanengiser, 16, who plans to enroll as an MC freshman next year. “And the food is delicious.’’
Tailgating is seeing rapid growth on the Mississippi College landscape. Typically, up to 45 tailgate groups show up for the Backyard Brawl and other football games on the Clinton campus. That includes 20 student and academic departments plus 25 parent, alumni and community organizations during the height of MC's tailgate season.
There are a few rules that go along with tailgating at America’s second oldest Baptist university. People are required to register with Nutt’s office in Nelson Hall by Thursday if they want to tailgate on a game day Saturday. To make things easier, he’s set up a page of information on the MC website about the topic. Check out www.mc.edu/tailgating or call Jonathan Nutt at 601-925-3248.