Now I know what you’re thinking, tailgating a high school hockey game??? Or, you may be thinking, nice, tailgating a high school hockey game! To be honest, I have no idea what your thinking, but you already knew that, didn’t you? Sorry, getting off topic here, but for The Tailg8’s first ever throwback Thursday article ever, I will tell you the tale of when myself and four friends tailgated my little brothers high school hockey game in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania at the Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the triple A Pittsburgh Penguins. The arena holds high school matches a few times a year to make the kids feel special. Now I know the scene I just set sounds pretty awesome but let me dive a little deeper for you all.
The tailgating was awesome, the hockey was not. In order for my high school to have enough people for a team, they needed to partner with two other schools. The stadium only opened up two sections for fans (basically parents) to watch and no food was served. The players couldn’t skate, shoot, pass, or play good hockey, and to be honest, good thing we didn’t know this before tailgating because it may have dampened our spirits. But we didn’t know this and we tailgated hard. Granted, being high school kids living in the middle of nowhere, we had limited tailgating experience, but we didn’t let this fact hold us back. We went out and bought a small charcoal grill, enough food for probably thirty people (burger and hot dog buns were on sale at Weis, why wouldn’t we buy 10 bags each?) and had washers and a football ready to keep us occupied. I know, I know, there was no alcohol, we were like 17 and didn’t have the hook up, but we were ready regardless. It was finally time to drive to that arena and tailgate the shit out of this high school hockey game.
As soon as we started setting up, we realized we forgot charcoal. Luckily, high school games start early so the grocery store a mile away was still open. Almost blew it, but the tailgating God’s were on our side. With charcoal in hand, we had everything we needed from food to entertainment. The car radio was blasting some Red Hot Chili Peppers, our little charcoal grill was making delicious hot dogs and hamburgers, we had extra buns to whip at each other, the washers were falling our way and we basically had a full parking lot to ourselves to throw and kick the football. The tailgate was going great and life couldn’t have been better.
And then it was ruined. Granted, we had about a good hour of tailgating with an additional hour expected, but security eventually noticed us (please keep in mind we are five kids tailgating in a giant parking lot of like 30 cars) and they put an end to our fun. They asked where the weed was. Then they asked where the alcohol was. We say there is none and we are just tailgating the big game between Abington Heights High School and some Wilkes-Barre team (we had no idea who they were playing). After searching our car, they told us to put an end to the tailgate immediately and either get in the arena right away or leave. We were scared for some high school us reason and did as we were told. But let me tell you, I will never forget what the one security guard said to the other as we were walking away. He said to his counter part and this is a direct quote, “who the fu@K tailgates a high school hockey game?”
And at that moment, I knew that tailgating would become an enormous part of my life. Wait, that was a complete lie, I had no idea at that point, but it was hilarious. But in the end, tailgating did become a big part of my life. Crazy how life works.
We at The Tailg8 would love to see comments or submissions of your own throwback Thursday tailgate stories. Tailgate on my friends, tailgate on.