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Putting the tail in tailgating 

 

A couple of Saturdays ago, between the Zac Brown Band concert and the Panthers game, Charlotte was just one big tailgate. It seems as though nowadays we tailgate for any occasion ... games, races, concerts. Just about everything except church.

Now I'm not talking about going to a bar and drinking. I'm talking about pulling down the tailgate of a truck with a cooler full of beer, cornhole boards, ladder golf, Soho cups, chips and maybe even a chip clip in the back, and setting up in a lot somewhere — or, in the case of Panthers games, every parking lot in Uptown.

I departed from downtown (where people had been tailgating since morning for an 8 p.m. game) aboard RockHouse Events' Ragin' Uptown party bus to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, where I wandered onto what appeared to be a campground at a NASCAR race. Charlotteans do take their tailgating seriously.

The only problem with tailgating, in the Carolina summer sun especially, is that by the time you get to the game, concert, race — or whatever you're tailgating for — you're too "dehydrated" (aka drunk) to know what's going on. Thank goodness for cameras. (Sure wish the movers from the moving company I used didn't steal mine.)

If you don't have the camping equipment to tailgate, you can hit up the WFNZ Dog House ... or just wander into someone else's tailgate and eat their food — which is what I typically tend to do.

And this year we get to tailgate for the ACC Championship game played at Bank of America Stadium, which I of course hope involves Virginia Tech. And when the UNCC football program starts, we'll actually have local college football to tailgate for as well — if that counts. At least the UNCC students live in Charlotte and thus have good role models to show them how to tailgate right.

After the concert, I tried to convince all my tailgating partners to go see Little Cassie with me at Uptown Cabaret. Alas, convincing your friends to go see a midget stripper is harder than one might think.

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