By Annabeth Reeb
For those Aggie Loyalists who will be making the 473-mile journey to Oxford this weekend to watch Texas A&M take on the Rebels of Ole Miss, we have a few tips for you. The Grove, and Mississippians in general, have a uniquely different culture from what is the norm in College Station. To avoid culture shock, muddy feet, and a mug shot, be sure to keep this guide in mind when you are stumbling through one of the country’s premiere tailgating arenas.
- Let’s go ahead and define The Grove for those of you who have never been to Oxford. The Grove: 10 acres of tailgating glory, coupled with miles and miles of tents, mud, and bodies, located in the center of Ole Miss campus. Yes, it’s just as scary – and awesome – as it sounds.
- Set down the bottle. Whether you are of age or not, this rule is a strict one. Ole Miss police keep an eye out for beer cans, beer bottles, and liquor bottles in unsuspecting game-goers’ hands. If you want to carry a drink around with you: pour it in a plastic cup to avoid trouble.
- Ladies, there’s no need to fear high-healed enemies for this game. Unlike the dangerously tall shoes that Alabama girls were sporting last weekend, most Ole Miss students and fans wear boots to save themselves from the famed Mississippi mud. Don’t be afraid to bring your game day kickers to Oxford, although, you better be prepared to clean them.
- Look out for the new street signs. Tailgaters put signs up in the middle of the Grove to indicate dirt paths toward different tents. You’ll find signs like “our tent is on the left of the Walk of Champions, four tents to the right of the red one.” That being said – be prepared to get a little lost.
- Pace yourself. The tailgates start bright and early, with no shortage of refreshments. The Grove environment is a rowdy one, and you’ll need all of your strength to cheer on those Aggies.