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Tailgating the Bradley way

When you hear the word “tailgate,” there are usually a few things that come to mind.

Initially, you probably think of when you’re driving and some douchebag behind you is a little too close. But, that’s not the kind of tailgate I’m talking about.

This is the tailgate where you park your car, pop open the trunk, and blast music while surrounded by fellow beer drinking, sports-watching fanatics. The crisp fall weather consumes the energy in the air while everyone is full of spirit and rooting for the same team.

Typical tailgate fashion is centered around football. It’s the sport that gets the crowd going even when all the chicken wings are gone and the parking lot clears out.

Bradley does things a little differently.

The one thing our school lacks in the tailgate equation is a football team, but don’t think we let that get in the way of our school spirit. Every year, Bradley tailgates the soccer game as the grand finale of our homecoming week.

Soccer may not be a common tailgating sport, but this season the team is doing better than they have in a while, and have made going to games worthwhile.

This year we play Loyola, a classic Bradley rival. For homecoming 2018, Bradley is pulling out all the stops to make sure students know spirit isn’t something our university lacks.

With plenty of students repping their organizations, this weekend’s tailgate will feature music, giveaways, food and fireworks.

After asking Bradley students what they’re most excited for this Saturday, it became clear to me that I’m not the only one who sees the potential in a football-less tailgate.

Senior psychology major McKenzie Ruyle thinks, “it’ll be fun to catch up with friends and cheer on our soccer team, especially since they’re doing well so far.”

“The small school atmosphere at a tailgate is different because you can receive giveaway items like the scarves this year, and run into people you know,” senior hospitality and leadership major Abbie Brunstad said.

Grab your Bradley gear, paint your face and get down to Shea Stadium at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday to experience homecoming Bradley style.

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