Tailgate of the Week: NC State
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:
Jeff Lanter leads a group of 30-45 tailgaters per game. They refer to themselves as “sidewalk alumni” since no one attended Carolina. The sidewalk alumni hail from Delaware, Greensboro, Atlanta, Outer Banks, and RTP area and are big UNC supporters. At a typical tailgate you can catch up with the Lanter’s, McCartney’s, Groeschen’s, Roy’s,and Tysinger’s families as well as Matt Terrell, Brent Richardson, Dwight Bisher, Clark McCarthy-Miler, Dana and Ben Reeves.
Setting up a Prime Location:
Lanter started tailgating in the Bell Tower Lot. He relocated to the Nash Lot four years ago but once the Venable Lot opened he and the sidewalk alumni started tailgating there. They have been there since against the stone wall.
3+ Seasons and Running:
This group has been together for three years however as individuals they have been “properly” tailgating since 2001.
Tailgate Keys to the Game:
The tailgate has two must haves which sound amazing: grilled shrimp and a “bacon-off.” At first I thought Lanter said “a bake off.” I was getting my hopes up for some great presentation reminiscent of the end of Cupcake Wars. Quickly, I was corrected and extremely curious. Each home game several tailgaters bring a new special type of bacon to be judged. This past weekend’s bacon options included: garlic onion, cayenne brown sugar, molasses, and maple. Now, this is not to be taken lightly or your ordinary supermarket bacon. Kenneth Tysinger from Randleman, NC (proud Blue Zone seat holding Rams Club member) probably is the most intense bacon competitor. Tysinger starts his bacon process by purchasing a pig. He then controls the entire bacon process (curing, smoking, etc).
This Tailgate’s Specialty:
BACON, music, and a television with satellite connection.
More than Just a Game:
Prior to the season starting Lanter was excited for the Virginia Tech tailgate. He, his wife, and lots of their friends are from Virginia so it was going to be a bragging rights game.
Best and Worse Tailgating Memory:
Lanter’s favorite tailgate memory was the Notre Dame tailgate. About 67 tailgaters were out making the day even more electric. The energy sounded the game had everyone excited for kick-off.
His worst memory was the 41-10 game. When the rest of the group got back to the tailgate they were shocked to find Lanter nowhere to be found. He had packed up and went home.
The Tailgate Marathon:
For the 12:30 p.m. UNC vs. NCSU game the group arrived at 8:00 a.m. The group is extremely organized so the transition to game time was very quick. The group heads into Kenan 30 minutes prior to kick off. It is not unusual to find the group post game tailgating and watching the currently televised game(s), which is exactly what they did after the exciting victory on Saturday. The grills were fired back up and loaded with shrimp, steak, wings and brats. The celebrating lasted until around 8:00 p.m. Lanter described it best, “We had some making up to do.”