Hens Eat Chicken!
By Jim Kelley
The University of Delaware
Tailgaters are always ready for FOOTBALL! And no offense to our collegiate
big brothers, but Division 1AA fans can tailgate with the best of
Some 20,000+ Blue Hen fans come out on Saturdays
each fall to meet friends, family and fellow Blue Hen faithful. Thousands
of tailgaters flock to Delaware Stadium, bringing their favorite dishes to
the party and sampling each other's delicacies. Huge parties and big grills
are everywhere, with chicken, fish and steak served, among other
foods. Boy what a
It's not unusual to see tents, tables, blankets,
picnic baskets, grills, hotplates, coolers, generators and blenders throughout
the grounds of South Campus. Food and drink are being served in everything
from paper cups to fine crystal. Flowers, balloons, flags, streamers and
banners all can be seen at thousands of tailgates before, during and long
after our Atlantic 10 Conference and non-conference games. When our beloved
Hens are on the road, several thousand fans take their tailgate mobile to
college towns throughout the country.
The biggest game of the season is Homecoming,
or whenever archrival Villanova comes to town. Fans go all out. Usually there
are about six or seven of us regulars at each tailgate, along with plenty
of crashers making it a full-blown social affair.
The tailgating atmosphere at Delaware is electric.
The stadium and surrounding lots are large enough to approximate the feeling
of a Division 1 college game and small enough to avoid the congestion problems
of those bigger schools. The grounds are set up for tailgating in sections:
Zone - where the students and rowdy locals rave. North End Zone - where the
Alumni wax nostalgic. East Stands - where the local companies and organizations
merge. West Stands where season ticket holders and VIPs break open
the bubbly. Field House -- concrete parking for the common tailgaters. And
finally theres the Farm for those who like the mud and sludge.
Everyone else can usually find a spot on Route 896 and Route 4.
One of our most popular tailgating dishes for
Delaware games is Spiral Ham. It is easy to serve and goes well with any
side dish. It also makes for a great sandwich. My Blue Hen e-mail friend
John Kwoka and his gang tailgate on the other side of the stadium. His menu always changes
but the one staple is a marinated filet mignon sandwich that his friend Doc
spices up. They also have chili, chicken and dumplings, pork tenderloin,
burgers (ground beef w/ spices and onions), and taco salad.
Johns tailgate consists of three trucks
from three families: the Schleifers, the Dougherty's and the Kwokas. They
all grew up in the same neighborhood, going back a long time. Doc and his
dad, who has since passed
away, started the tailgating tradition with the families. I asked John what the best part of tailgating at Delaware is and
he said it is the time spent with family and friends, people who love each other
and who love sharing their affection for the Blue Hens.
Although University of Delaware officials are
enforcing an old policy of "no tailgating once the game starts", we Blue Hen tailgaters will find creative ways
to deliver a good time to the Faithful and fight for the Blue &
then we'll fight, fight, fight for
for the Blue and Gold...