Tailgating, a true sport

It’s game day. Many girls, and some boys, can be seen sporting the jerseys of Ames High varsity football players, but no matter what anyone is wearing, they know that it’s game day. They may not care about the outcome of the game, and they may not know who the opponent is. While members of the football team spend all day looking forward to the task at hand, many others spend all day looking forward to a simple, relaxing pastime before they enter into the madness of spectatorship: Tailgating. Following the tragic death of Vortex, one questioned whether obnoxious students making obnoxious gestures at innocent passersbys would ever again populate the Ames High parking lot on Friday nights of home games. Perhaps one prayed they would not. Whatever the case, Malegate has arrived on the scene and is quickly making a name for itself in the competitive world of tailgating cliques. Senior Quentin Ring is the man behind the mayhem. He said that the group was created “to have some fun,” saying that the male bonding that takes place in the pre-game celebrations headlines the assembly. Senior Alex Schill agreed that the highlight of the experience is “large masses of men”. Malegate members, some wearing more clothes than others, can be seen before the game playing Twister, grilling out, listening to techno, or fighting. However, Malegate expresses this male agression in a safe way. Junior AJ Giebelstein described Malegate’s safe alternative to the ancient hobby of beating people up. “I think Sock’em Boppers are in,” Giebelstein said, speaking of the inflatable boxing gloves. From the beginning, Ring understood that creating an organization called Malegate implies severe exclusiveness. To clarify that Malegate promotes female attendance, he designed the group’s T-shirts to feature an informative slogan: Get your male date at Malegate. In addition, Ring said the group has been “trying to take our shirts off a lot more and invite a lot of girls.” Junior Lauren Bonnet was one of the first females in attendance. Despite the fact that there was only one other girl present, Bonnet said, “They play Twister; it makes me want to go back.” It appears that this special effort to emphasize female attendance has been paying off. Bonnet was not in attendance on October 3rd. In fact, it looked as though no girls would come until at last senior Taylor Steenblock arrived. “A lot of people would think it’s bad to be the only girl at Malegate, but if you’re the only girl, you get all the guys,” Steenblock said. Steenblock could not pick a particular highlight of the tailgating experience, however, because nothing was happening most of the night. On game day, everyone knows where Ring and company will be found- outside with some grilled goods and good tunes blaring, having fun, preparing for the competition to come, and hoping that a girl will come their way to improve their image.