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The school spirit is great, but the food is even better
Bulldog tailgates mainly made it on this list for the quality food you’ll find in the tailgating lot. Elaborate spreads are accessible in a warm, welcoming environment that makes tailgating for the whole family enjoyable. There are a few restrictions as to where you can cook, so be sure to check the lot out before you commit.
#25 South Carolina State University
Bulldog tailgates mainly made it on this list for the quality food you’ll find in the tailgating lot. There are a few restrictions as to where you can cook, so be sure to check the lot out before you commit.
#24 University of Michigan
We have one thing to say about the University of Michigan’s tailgating experience: #GoBlue! Ok, we have a little more to say about it than that. The party starts when the lot opens at 7 a.m. and continues on until the beginning of the game, when dedicated fans head in for some quality field watching time. Roughly 90 minutes before the show, fans are invited in to watch the traditional drumline stepshow to get them psyched for the game. In the tailgating area, you’ll find a spacious lot where tailgaters can spread out to get their pre-game party on. On the way to the stadium, some fans hang out at the local Quickie Burger, which also serves breakfast all day for those who need a boost to last through the game. There are also plenty of surrounding spots to pick up a bite to eat if you don’t want to cook at the game.
#23 University of Arkansas
Razorback fans know a thing or two about how to properly tailgate a game. Tailgating setup can be stressful, but when you are a pro like any Razorback fan is, you can set yourself up in style. After all, the campus caters to organized tailgaters by offering fans a chance to reserve a spot in their Victory Village lot. Fans can rent everything from a simple space to a huge tent that includes four tables and 20 chairs. All you have to do is show up. They even offer a catering service so your game-day meals can be supplied as well if you don't want to cook yourself.
#22 University of Virginia
Look at the stands at the University of Virginia's home game and all you’ll see is a sea of orange and blue. Students, known as Wahoos, gather around the grounds for a spirited tailgate full of fun, and palpable school pride. Hanging out on the Lawn is great for laid-back tailgating. Then there is Rugby Road, a row of fraternity homes once dubbed by Playboy Magazine as the site of "the best party in America." The party has been tamed, but the wild spirit still exists.
#21 Arizona State University
Sun Devil fans are not shy about their school pride. At the game itself, there is a section dubbed "the inferno,” where fans go to bleed gold and cheer loud. The party starts five hours prior to kick-off and tailgaters are welcome to grill (propane tanks only on the roof) and guzzle beer and wine. Near the school, tailgaters can take the party to any number of the surrounding bars for a rowdy, football-loving’ good time.
#20 Northwestern University
Back in the glory days, Northwestern’s ability to tailgate was unrivaled — so much so that the school had to put a cap on the partying. Since then the tailgates have gotten tamer, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still a blast. In fact, the school even has a Northwestern University Tailgating Society, which ensures that the good times keep rolling.
#19 University of Kansas
The University of Kansas’ atmosphere is alive with Hawk pride, and tailgates here involve a whole town of celebration. While the fun stays family-friendly for the most part, the students and alumni know how to cut loose for a good time. Hospitality on the Hill, a tailgating organization that provides rentals and catering, is a guaranteed way to make KU tailgate a success!
#18 Florida State University
What could be more hardcore than cooking and eating your rival's mascot? Florida State University’s Seminoles fans always host an alligator roast to celebrate their football team. Plus there are a ton of tents and grills fired up for a good time in the surrounding lots.
#17 Ohio State University
When an Ohio State University game is going on, the whole town pitches in to celebrate, especially when facing their arch-nemesis, the University of Michigan Wolverines. Despite the fact that Buckeye fans’ tradition of getting drunk and jumping into the Mirror Lake is totally frowned upon (not to mention dangerous), the spirit of their tailgate goes far beyond that. Surrounded by college-friendly bars and fully loaded tailgate lots, a Buckeye tailgate is full of fun for all.
#16 University of Georgia
This tailgate is all about the party all the time. With a great atmosphere, Bulldogs fans can start setting up as early as 7 a.m. and proceed to grill and party until the start of the game in their spacious tailgating lots. Plus, Bulldog fans who are of age can hang at any of the surrounding game-day friendly bars around this college town to keep the party going.
#15 Oklahoma State University
At Oklahoma State University, there is no shortage of fun, especially when homecoming time rolls around. Not only is Oklahoma chock-full of enthusiastic school spirit, its traditions are carried out with pride when it comes to tailgating; you’ll catch both alumni and current students belting out "The Waving Song” and indulging in a tented tailgating good time.
#14 Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is one of the schools to envy when it comes to a killer tailgate. The celebration begins many hours before kickoff, thanks to the "Midnight Yell" on Kyle Field. But Texas A&M has other rich traditions unlike any other school to make way for game day, including the giant maroon tailgating buses arrayed around campus and the Corps of Cadets March-In about an hour-and-a-half before kickoff..
#13 University of Tennessee
A University of Tennessee tailgate is sure to have one thing: diehard fans. Their allegiance to the school and tailgating doesn’t disappear after they graduate from college. Even parents of former students return after their kids have long since left the school’s hallways. The Neyland Stadium is right on the Tennessee River, hence the "Vol Navy’s" creation back in 1962 so sea-loving tailgaters could party right on the water. Did we mention that there are waterslides? Waterslides, seriously! Plus, Tennessee fans know a thing or two about delicious tailgating tradition. In addition to elaborate Southern cooking spreads, they also enjoy a classic cocktail known as what one fan called “the Knoxville Ice Pick.” It is widely held hereabouts that you don’t know tailgate cocktails until you’ve tried this one.
#12 University of Wisconsin
The Badgers know how to kick off a game; their pre-game parties include the entire town for a public display of fun and food. The Badger Bash Tailgate and Pro-Game Concert Party include fun for the kids as well as plenty of beer and brats for adults roughly three hours before the game. There are cheerleaders, dance teams, and of course mascot Bucky the Badger. Other organized celebrations like Badgerville (an open-to-the-public tailgate that features a ton of local fare) and plenty of surrounding bars for viewing and brews are available to everyone who wants to really get pumped before the game.
#11 Auburn University
Tailgating at this university takes dedication. Fans line up in their campers days before the actual kickoff. Auburn University’s school tradition of the pre-game walk with the players to the stadium, called the Tiger Walk, is one in which students and alumni proudly participate. Before the walk, fans enjoy a myriad of delicious foods and drinks in their Tiger gear, including iconic Southern barbecued pulled pork. Should the team win, Toomer’s Corner (a fanzone hotspot) will be TP-ed, so bring extra toilet paper.
#10 University of Nebraska
Three words: Omaha Steak Dogs. This iconic food makes a frequent appearance at tailgates and totally blows average franks out of the water. With an alarming amount of food and pimped out tents, the party is pretty profound in the tailgate area. But it doesn't stop there; post-game celebrations continue at the Historic Haymarket, where fans can either drown their sorrows from a loss or keep their post-victory adrenaline rush going.
#9 Michigan State University
With the fight song "MSU Shadows" ringing from Beaumont Tower over the crowd, Spartan fans get pumped for a day of serious tailgating. Their lots are wide, spacious, and totally packed with people looking to party and have a great time, and they are surrounded by bars to keep the post-game party going,.
#8 Penn State University
With close to 100,000 fans swarming the games and mulling around "Nittanyville" (formerly Paternoville), the tent city students set up before game day to get the best seats in the student section, there is no denying that this is a top place to tailgate. The crowd is rowdy, but the spirit is strong and there are tons of traditional foods to enjoy other than just your average tailgate fare. Penn State “stickies” (sticky buns laced with caramelized sugar) from the Ye Olde College Diner are a game-day must.
#7 Purdue University
The band leads the way to Slayter Center to get the Boilermakers amped up for the game, while the lot overflows with spirited fans. The mindset at Purdue? It is all about the tailgate party; don your black and gold for some good old working-class fun. Or, if you are feeling really spirited, join the Purdue "Breakfast Club." Surrounding bars open their doors to students around the campus early in the morning for a costume party (yes, people take this sriously and super dress up) that lasts all day.
#6 University of Florida
Partying around a place called “The Swamp” might sound like a bad idea, but if you’re a Gator, you know that this is where the party is at. A Gator tailgate just may be the biggest such affair you’ll ever go to, with dozens of out-of-towners filling up tents and RVs for a good time. Gator fans are always decked out in extravagant tailgate garb and fry up amazing Southern food for a celebration the whole town can enjoy.
#5 University of South Carolina
Gamecock fans literally take the party to the streets. With a stadium located off campus, game days mean rowdy fans chowing down on bacon-wrapped hot dogs and washing them down with apple-pie moonshine. But the coolest part of the University of South Carolina’s tailgate scene? It has to be the "Cockabooses.” They are repurposed, South Carolina-themed cabooses on an abandoned railroad track that are fully loaded with all the things on your tailgate wishlist.
#4 North Dakota State University
Reserve your spot early if you are a Bison fan: things are about to get intense. With a killer marching band, an intense spread of food, and a whole lot of diehard fans, tailgating in North Dakota is an experience. The coolest part about a North Dakota State tailgate has to be their” traditions. For one, at the game, you can play a real life game of “Where’s Waldo?” by finding the one kid at the game who is dressed up like that elusive character. Deer sausage, as it is affectionately called, is a must for the menu. And Icehole (mint schnapps) is a staple. You shouldn’t have to ask about it though, because according to real fans if you need an explanation, “stay far away.”
#3 University of Southern California
Hours before kickoff, fans flood the Trousdale to set up for a wild day. Be sure to follow the band as it plays around campus and partake in the game-day tradition of kicking the flagpole at the edge of campus for good luck. The USC tailgate is only majorly amped up for UCLA games, where you’ll find plenty of UCLA teddy bears dragged around campus or hung up in trees.
#2 University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
To have a tailgate experience like you’ve never had before, you have to visit The Grove at Ole Miss. Prepare for sensory overload: in addition to the miles of tented, Rebel-Nation-loving fans in red, white, and blue garb, there are folk hanging chandeliers and donning bow ties and pearls. This is one very serious party time. All of this is just a precursor to the Walk of Champions, where players walk to the stadium through The Grove full of fans on the way to victory. The spirit and pride Ole Miss fans have fills the stands and overflows outside the game for post-parties that rage on and on.
#1 Louisiana State University
LSU fans won our hearts by offering one of the most gourmet tailgating experiences you could have. Channeling that true Baton Rouge spirit, tailgates are overflowing with alligators and pigs on the pit, boiled crawfish, and steaming gumbo. The LSU band marches down the hill to the stadium, inciting an atmosphere of pure fun. Tailgate setups are so elaborate, you feel like a living room has moved onto the lot, which is good because you should get comfortable — the party doesn’t stop all day or all night.
The Best Colleges for Tailgating
School unity is something that is often palpable, especially when it comes to sports. It is an energy that is hard to encapsulate into a single feeling. The bonds of pride, teamwork, and passion roll into one ball of emotion that explodes fanatically every time your team takes the field. And for colleges that live and breathe that sense of pride, tailgating isn't just a casual endeavor. It is an art form.
Tailgating is the perfect blend of fanatical sports pride, savory foods that you can't believe were cooked in the back of a truck, and plenty of delicious beer (and stronger stuff). You're entertaining while being entertained, which is part of the reason that nothing compares to a college tailgate. From alumni reliving their glory days, to current students looking to have a good time, a college tailgate is an epic event for all involved. And what makes a tailgate great actually has little to do with the school's team itself.
Sure, if your team is on a winning streak, that always keeps the crowd going, but a successful tailgate is measured by far more than success on the field. It's all about traditions: war paint dutifully applied, folks who'll camp out for days waiting for the perfect spot, the expenditure of hundreds of dollars on food all season long to feed the masses and create the perfect atmosphere. Much as a team works together to win a game, the fans work together to create the perfect tailgate.
What exactly makes a tailgate one of the best in the country? We decided to do a thorough investigation that gave fans not only an opportunity to vote for their alma mater, but also to reveal their favorite tailgating traditions. To do this, we took to social media and asked the fans and followers of 70 college teams (the ones that are considered to be the best football colleges in the country) to vote in a 10-question survey.
In addition to the survey results, we factored in each school's top traditions, how many traditions there were, and how many people participated in them at each tailgate. We also took atmosphere into consideration. Were tailgate lots wide and spacious or overcrowded? Was the crowd wild and rowdy or gleefully inebriated? And just how long did the party last? Our fourth category was, of course, focused around the food and drink. We favorably marked schools that not only have iconic tailgate dishes and cocktails, but also have access to surrounding catering and bar scenes. And finally, we conducted our own editorial review, which took all of these factors into consideration, and looked at how strong the alumni and student spirit was through their social engagement and program offerings.
If you want to cheer on your favorite college football team, then, stop by one of these epic tailgates for a guaranteed good time!
Food: munchies galore
If you host a tailgate without food, your guests will likely bolt out of there faster than your star runningback. Buy enough food and drinks to feed however many you&rsquore expecting, but don&rsquot be afraid to over-stock. Even your best friend will leave your tailgate if you run out of food, so err on the side of too much food. Besides, why not share some leftover cookies with that car next to yours? Community and conviviality are what tailgating is all about!
Keep your tailgate food simple, and don&rsquot underestimate the power of basic snacks like chips and dip, cookies, pretzels, etc. You can go crazy with a travel grill, burgers, and dogs, but that can be a big production in terms of packing and set-up, money for ingredients, and time spent manning the grill.
I recommend keeping your spread to two or three food items, like cheese and crackers or veggies and hummus. This enables less preparation on your part and also helps those guests with picky food tastes or allergies navigate your buffet.
The Interwebz are full of tailgating food ideas (thank you, Pinterest). Here are some of our favorite easy snacks:
- Tortilla chips with salsa, guac, queso, bean dip, and/or seven-layer dip
- Potato chips and dip (French onion is best, obvi)
- Carrot sticks, celery, and hummus
- Cold fried chicken (pre-bought, because who has a deep fryer in their dorm?)
- Potato or pasta salad
- Cheese and crackers
- Pepperoni or other cured meats
- Pretzels (maybe honey mustard for dipping, if you're feeling fancy)
- Assorted cookies, brownies, mini cupcakes, etc.
My parents came to visit me at Penn State my senior year, and it was their first time hosting a campus tailgate. Mama Seraphin&mdashbless her kind, motherly heart&mdashwanted to cook us malnourished college students some chicken sandwiches, but due to a dysfunctional portable grill was unable to properly cook the chicken. She&rsquos been mortified ever since, but what I&rsquove told her repeatedly&mdashother than the fact that no one really noticed or remembers the chicken fiasco&mdashis that college students have a very simple appetite. Keep this in mind, because the satisfaction of a chicken sandwich is the equivalent of a bowl full of pre-made potato salad. Don&rsquot embrace the fancier tailgating techniques (i.e., grilling) until you&rsquove armed yourself with the proper tools and have moved out of the novice tailgating classification.
Finally, a note about booze: we're not going to pretend like college students don't drink at tailgates. Obviously, it's illegal if you're under 21. And who can say what college administrative eyes are watching over your festivities? Getting suspended over a game of tailgate beirut just isn't worth it. In any case, play it safe, and if you're going to drink, be smart about it.
There's no doubt that Syracuse students love to party. Orange is (usually) the new black here, so make sure to put on your best all orange outfit. There are endless options for tailgate locations and everyone knows it's less about where you tailgate and more about being with the right people. Make sure to stop at Marshall Avenue for your choice of game day meals or snacks on your way to the Dome.
#SpoonTip: Syracuse is one of few college stadiums that sells beer, so if you miss the tailgate, you're still in luck.
25 Tailgate Games the Whole Family Can Play
The only thing better than going to the big game is playing one of these tailgate games first.
We know you love football&mdashand we do too&mdashbut let's just take a minute to reflect on what's really the best part about watching the big game: all the tailgating that happens beforehand! There are a few important elements to throwing the perfect tailgate. First, there's the easy tailgating recipe ideas. Once you have perfected the balance between healthy Fall recipes and easy chicken wing recipes, it's time to plan the tailgating activities. And if you're keeping your tailgate festivities at home this year, all of these games are backyard-friendly. We've rounded up our absolute favorites that fit right in with your football decorations. Each has the potential to bring your group closer together while maximizing the excitement of the entire day. And yes, if we do say so ourselves, these games really just might steal the show. Jumbo-size versions of checkers, dominoes, and Connect 4 allow you to play the games you've always loved in a bigger, more inclusive way, while newer additions to the roster of the best tailgate games give you a chance for some fresh fun (think: steel ladderball games and "Trick Tac Toe"). A little (healthy!) competition never hurt anybody in fact, we have a feeling it'll only add to the exhilaration of the day.
11 of 25
Chef John's Queso Dip
Chef John says, "I used to make something very similar to this queso dip at the Mexican restaurant I worked at in college, where we called it 'chili con queso.' At first I thought it could be thicker, but later I realized the saucy texture was the key to its addictive irresistibility. Instead of too much cheese piled up on your chip, we just get a beautiful, silky coating, and as soon as you finish one, you can't wait to dip another, and another, and another, until there are no chips left."
Hype up the tailgate!
With tailgating, the environment is key. Whether you’re outside with tons of people or at home by yourself, you can still make any tailgate fun! But, if you’re not hyped up for a tailgate, how can it be any fun? How can you make home by yourself feel like a party in a parking lot? Well, CW has your back!
Get some fun music going! Music can make any event 1000% more fun. From Spotify playlists to Apple music to even YouTube, you can make a fun playlist that will make anyone hype, even if you’re watching a game by yourself! With the perfect playlist, your energy will stay hype all day. From Pop hits to R&B to country music, to whatever keeps your excitement levels high, create a fun playlist!
Another fun way to make the environment fun for a virtual tailgate is to make sure your living space matches the theme of the games into the mix. Whether you set up your own pong table, cornhole, video games, pool tables, ping pong, or anything else, add some fun. Another fun idea could even to include online trivia with friends – perhaps related to the teams playing. Any sports trivia, or trivia about a certain team or the history of the college or university could be a great way to encourage added engagement.
The 25 Fittest Colleges in America
No. 4 Indiana University, Bloomington, IN This is Hoosiers hoops country, so it’s no surprise that the campus has 15 basketball courts. Every April, IU holds the Little 500—the country’s largest collegiate bike race—which raises money for working students’ scholarships. Club sports range from table tennis to Taekwondo. There are two full size gyms, one with an Olympic size swimming pool, the other with 12 racquetball courts. An online NetNutrition plan helps students plan their meals—it even factors in allergy restrictions. IU also holds the annual Midwest Fit Fest, a conference at which students and staff can learn all sorts of fitness techniques. And portly professors can slim down with the summer-long Step Into Fitness program. No. 3 Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI The largest of MSU’s four gyms is Intramural Center West—a 175,600-square-foot behemoth of a facility that features seven basketball courts, four volleyball courts and three squash courts. MSU offers classes like kickboxing, yoga and cycling more than 20 competitive club sports and access to sailing and a self defense center. Lake Lansing is a quick 15-minute drive away, with additional hiking trails, kayaking and rowing classes. MSU mascot Sparty the Spartan doesn’t get any points for name originality, but he does have two tickets to the gun show. No. 2 University of California- Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA UCLA certainly breeds fit competitors—the Bruins have won the most NCAA team championships of any school (107). The FitWell program hooks up students and faculty members with the classes, education and facilities they need to attain their fitness goals. The on-campus gym is open 24 hours from Mon day to Thursday and boasts certified personal trainers, four exercise studios and three basketball courts. The Student Nutrition & Body Image awareness campaign helps promote the proper way to lose, gain and maintain weight heathily. Off campus, students have access to more than a dozen challenging hikes, all within six miles, as well as the Marine Aquatic Center, where students can kayak, row, surf, or windsurf. Legendary Muscle Beach is located just 20 minutes away in nearby Venice, and during the winter, students can travel a few hours north to ski some of Cali’s snow capped peaks. No. 1 Ohio State University, Columbus, OH Why so fit? For starters, OSU scored a near-perfect 99.6 out of 101 for the Fitness Index (for more details on our methodology, see “How We Ranked ’Em”). Troubled football team aside, there’s nothing “improper” about the fit benefits offered here: four rec centers, a tennis center and even a skate park, all named after Buckeyes alum Jesse Owens. To boot, its nationally recognized Recreation and Physical Activity Center offers up all equipment imaginable, including video-game virtual fitness options at “The Lounge.” More outdoorsy? Hit up the ice-climbing wall, take up wakeboarding, or rent a canoe and paddle or snowshoes for the day. And if you’re a part of the school’s K1 kickboxing team and/or love lifting, immerse yourself in the Columbus MMA and strongman hub. The world-renowned Arnold Sports Festival in March offers up amateur bodybuilding contests, along with participation in CrossFit, fencing, skateboarding, martial arts, arm wrestling and Ping-Pong. That’s right, Ping-Pong.
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THE WEBSITE FOR TAILGATERS & SPORTS FANS, ABOUT TAILGATING
Chef Joe Cahn, culinary icon, Commissioner of Tailgating, funny man, and brand spokesperson, passed away from complications of cardiovascular disease on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2018, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 70.
His wife of 34 years, Karen, said, “Joe went out with a bang!,” displaying the same razor sharp wit for which he was known. “Joe’s infectious personality and his love of life, people, and food inspired him to spread joy far and wide. This was the most important thing to him,” she added. Tailgating became the vehicle for him to spread that love.
The self-proclaimed Commissioner of Tailgating, Joe took his passion for food and transformed it into a career in 1996 when he sold his home and cooking school in New Orleans. He tailgated at football stadiums, NASCAR tracks, and other sporting events. In twenty seasons on the road, he traveled over one million miles, visited hundreds of cities, and reveled with thousands of fans at over 1,000 tailgate parties.
His career has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network, ESPN, FOX & Friends, CNN, CBS, and The Weather Channel. He also made myriad appearances in local media throughout his lifetime, notably in New Orleans.
Brands he represented have included Campbell’s, Kraft, Coca-Cola, and the Aluminum Association.
Prior to that, Joe owned and operated the New Orleans School of Cooking and Louisiana General Store in the JAX Brewery. He was a graduate of Warren Easton High School and attended business classes at LSU in Baton Rouge.
Joe’s passion for life led him to support St. Michael’s Special School, the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and he volunteered to better the plight of the homeless. To all of his passions, he brought boundless comic energy and laughter.
He was also a special friend of Mother’s Restaurant, and served as “Honorary Doorman.”
The family says obituary and other arrangements are pending.
Joe Cahn The Commissioner of tailgating here. As I contemplate my tailgating tour and media blitz for the remainder of the summer and fall sporting season I’m already excited for the start of another great football tailgating season which is just around the corner! There are so many great tailgating venue’s I plan to visit again this season, but let’s not forget a wonderful start this spring beginning in Louisville at the Kentucky Derby, or the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” the Indianapolis 500 in late May where millions of fans celebrated by tailgating. Entering my 20th season of being an integral part of it all I look forward each season to traveling the country to be with friends, and you my tailgating family in the parking lots of America and beyond!
I look forward to sharing our common ideas of tailgating food, family, country, and hopefully meeting you whether it be at a concert, NASCAR race, or the Super Bowl as I travel the parking lots researching and cataloging my annual travels of your favorite sporting event. Whether it be a media tour or just sitting in a hot tube in front of the stadium the commissioner of tailgating wants to bring you the fan all the LATEST TAILGATING TRENDS, WHERE FANS CAN COME TOGETHER TO SHARE, FIND, AND LEARN ABOUT TAIGATING FROM THE COMMISHIONER OF TAILGATING while I continue with my celebration of winners. How about those Black Hawks winning their 3rd Stanly Cup, any photo’s you can share? I’d like you to submit them, and I’ll get them posted right away. Did you say Triple Crown Winner, share your story, send a photo, take my poll and enjoy the one thing we all have in common tailgating the last great American Social.
As one dictionary puts it…Tailgating is to
"Host or attend a social gathering at which an informal meal is served from the back of a parked vehicle, typically in the parking lot of a sports stadium". Reserve your spot and invite the Commish, I may just drop by to celebrate with you!
In the meantime, stop by often to see what I'm up to and hey if you have time drop me a line and let me know what you would like to see more of and I'll do my best to provide you the fan with more stories, more tailgating recipes and events to follow and attend.
Wisconsin: Camp Randall Stadium
You would think mixing a century-old stadium and tens of thousands of jumping fans would be a recipe for disaster. But at Wisconsin, it makes for one hell of a tradition. When the horns of House of Pain’s party anthem, “Jump Around,” blare on the speakers after the third quarter, Camp Randall shakes with every hop of Badgers fans across the stadium. While the stadium seats over 80,000 fans, it has an intimate environment where people can celebrate and commiserate with others around them.