College Lifestyle Blog - College Game Day Tailgate

How to Ensure Alcohol Doesn’t Get the “W” on Saturday

It’s finally Friday. Walking home from your last class of the week, you can’t keep a grin from splitting on your face. There is a faint fall chill in the air and the leaves are beginning to flutter down to the sidewalk. Though you don’t have class tomorrow, you still plan to wake up early, but for this occasion, you don’t mind. With the early alarm brings the most exciting news: college football is back.

Your team has been looking forward to this day since the season ended last year, and so have you. They’re the ones who will suit up and run out onto that field, but their energy and excitement is in your hands. The fan, after all, is the most important player of the game.

It is because of this responsibility that you find yourself already making plans on your walk back from class. You’re not alone, the entire campus is doing the same.

The list of things running through your mind goes something like: Make a tailgate plan. Designate who brings what. Pick an outfit that doesn’t have any of the other team’s colors. Create the ultimate playlist. Invite your friends. Make a sign. And most importantly, get the beer.

Frazzled you race to check things off your list.

Game day is here and you have put together the most epic tailgate. Everyone showed up, the vibe is right and you’re liking your team’s chances of bringing home the W. As you look around you think, “there is literally nothing missing.”

But chances are, there is.

An essential thing that fans often leave out of their game day list is a plan to get home.

Research suggests that spectators of college football games report higher consumption of alcohol on game days than during parties or other social events. Between the excitement of tailgating before the big kickoff, the roller coaster of the game itself, and the celebrations or grievances depending on the outcome, fans tend to drink.

Bloomberg reports that one out of every ten fans leaving a football game will be legally intoxicated.

In order to ensure that both teams come away with one type of win on game day, be a team player and make a plan:

  • Determine a designated driver before the day begins. This person should completely refrain from alcohol.
  • Utilize a ride sharing service such as Uber, Lyft, or a local taxi service.
  • Never get into a car with a driver who has been drinking.
  • Have a solidified plan before the day begins, so there are no decisions to make after alcohol is consumed.

Because most college students have the luxury of walking to their football games, you are probably rolling your eyes at the thought of having to make a plan to get home. However, pedestrians leaving football games are in grave danger of being struck by those who chose to drink and drive.

In 2015, almost half (48 percent) of crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths involved alcohol – whether that be the person behind the wheel or the person walking. Pedestrians leaving sporting events, such as a football game, are at a higher risk than average due to the high volume of traffic in the area at that time.

Motorists are impatiently trying to exit the grounds, many coming from busy parking lots. Some drivers are visiting the area for the game and do not know their way around well. Many, consumed alcohol. These factors added up put the pedestrians exiting the stadium at risk.

Pedestrians need to be team players as well:

  • Utilize the sidewalks at all times.
  • Refrain from crossing streets illegally – as there is a higher volume of traffic than normal.
  • Look both ways repeatedly before stepping out onto a road.
  • Avoid engaging in distracting behaviors such as texting and walking, as this takes away your attention to the vehicles passing by.
  • Use your best judgement – be aware of swerving or speeding vehicles that pose the greatest threats.

Your team is counting on you to show up loud and spirited for the next game. Make sure that you do your part by having a game plan before drinking to ensure your safety and the safety of everyone on campus so alcohol doesn’t get the “W”.