Tailgating: How the Pre-Game Tradition Can Be Traced to Ancient Times

Tailgating before college and pro football games is an American tradition. From late summer until early winter, temporary tent cities appear in stadium parking lots across the country. A haze of charcoal smoke fills the air with laughs, jokes and the aroma of burgers and grilled hot dogs.

According to Tonya Williams Bradford, co-author of a 2015 cultural analysis on tailgating published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the modern hatchback has its roots in the fall harvest celebrations of ancient Greece and Rome. These events were marked with music, community and plenty of food and drink for a final feast before the onset of winter.

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