Tailgaters replace burgers with breakfast for early Missouri football game

Saturday, September 3, 2011 | 4:04 p.m. CDT; updated 5:52 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 29, 2011
Sarah Yeagley, right, gets ready to fill her cup while tailgating on Saturday. The Missouri Tigers kicked off the 2011 season against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.

COLUMBIA — For Mike Yotzy, morning football games mean breakfast.

At Yotzy’s tailgate, a tableful of dishes such as cheesy potatoes and biscuits and gravy replaced chips, carrots and dips.

“We love 11 a.m. game time,” Yotzy said. “We can get up at 6 a.m. and drink beer and eat biscuits and gravy. College students might do it all the time, but when you’re my age, you don’t get to do it very often.”

Gates into the parking lots at Memorial Stadium opened at 8 a.m. Saturday for the 11 a.m. football game between Missouri and Miami (Ohio).

Some tailgaters were not happy with having to wait until then to begin tailgating.

“We don’t like getting in before 8 a.m.,” tailgater Roger Allen said. “It’s a traffic hazard. There were cars lined up down the road waiting because no one was allowed to go in before then.”

Once the lots had opened, however, the scene was very similar to what any other game day would look like. Canopies were put up, chairs were placed in the shade, and food and drinks were unloaded from coolers.

Most tailgaters fired up their grills immediately, but not all of them went straight for their lunch. Instead, some had breakfast.

MU student Kathryn Bader was at a tailgate with food for both meals.

“We have eggs, bacon and sausage for breakfast, but we’ll have hamburgers and hotdogs closer to the game,” Bader said.

Derek Hall, an MU graduate student, had a breakfast of doughnuts, mimosas and beer.

“Beer tastes the same at 9 a.m. as it does at midnight,” Hall said.

Although Hall was the only member of his tailgate who attends MU, he had many friends from his native Florida with him. Everyone but Hall went into the military after high school, but they ended up stationed around Columbia.

Many enjoyed the early morning start, but some would rather have all the games begin in the afternoon or at night.

“Coming to these morning games feels a little rushed,” Bob Teson said.

Teson is a graduate from MU who has been tailgating for 12 years. “You wake up, and all of a sudden you’re tailgating. There’s no transition into it.”

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