Tailgate of the Week: Duke

By Jennifer DiMeo | 1 Comment(s) | Posted

Our Roving Tailgater, Jenn DiMeo, is out and about before home games looking for Chapel Hill's best tailgate. Before the Idaho game, she found a brave group of tailgaters who have been tailgating from the same spot at the Craige Deck for years. If your group would like to be part of our next "research," send Jenn an email. After the Georgia Tech game, you'll be able to vote on which of our weekly winners is your favorite. And the winner of that vote gets a fully catered tailgate at the Nov. 24 Maryland game courtesy of McCall's Barbecue and Seafood

About the Tailgate Party:
The tailgate was hosted by the GAA and Rams Club. The sold out event was filled with over 300+ Carolina tailgaters. You buy tickets though the GAA’s website.

Setting up a Prime Location:   The location varies based on where the away game is. They try to set up at a location that is close to the stadium and easy for the tailgaters to get into the game. The Duke tailgate was in a prime spot on campus off Towerview Drive beside the Ambler Tennis Stadium. The setup was on the path heading into the stadium. Many Duke fans did not seem happy heading into the game having to pass hundreds of Tar Heel fans tailgating on their property.  

10+ Seasons and Running:
The GAA and Rams Club have been jointly hosting away game tailgates for years. Over the last 10+ years the tailgate has been a more consistent away game ritual. This joint venture allows Carolina fans to commune, network, and analyze the upcoming game.

Tailgate Keys to the Game:
The joint tailgate is a way for Tar Heel fans to enjoy other Carolina fans company prior to a game. The tailgate buffet for the Duke game consisted of pulled pork and chicken, BBQ beans, potato salad, coleslaw, hush puppies and dessert all catered by a local restaurant. The UVA tailgate fare will include a burger bar featuring organic, local beef burgers, salad, fries, and boneless chicken bites.

This Tailgate’s Specialty:
Most tailgates’ specialities have to do with food items whereas this tailgate’s speciality is the appearances made pre game. This is the only pre game guaranteed spot to see the band perform on the opposing team’s campus and have the cheerleaders and Rameses drop by. Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham, UNC football radio color commentator and Associate Athletics Director Rick Steinbacher ’93, GAA President Doug Dibbert '70 and Rams Club Executive Director John Montgomery all were apart of the Duke tailgate. They addressed the crowd.

More than Just a Game:
Nick Fulton of the Rams Club is most looking forward to the UVA tailgate before this season started. It was a guaranteed night game with it being a Thursday game. There are still space left to join this tailgate which will be hosted at a local Charlottesville restaurant, Boylan Heights. The GAA and Rams Club have arranged to have fans transported to the game from the restaurant on a trolley.

Best Tailgating Memory:
This season Cunningham and Steinbacher have gone out of their way to make sure to drop by during the tailgate party.

The Tailgate Marathon:
The tailgate starts 2.5 hours before kick off and ends a half hour prior to the start of the game. The best part of joining the GAA and Rams Club is you don’t have to worry about setting up or cleaning up your tailgate. When ready you can just head into the game to cheer on the Heels to victory.


  1. Robin Ungano's avatar
    Robin Ungano
    | Permalink
    Hi Jenn, good speaking with you last week...Glad you were able to work out covering the GAA/Rams Club tailgate over at Duke on Saturday. Nice job and love the video!

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