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Columbia Missourian

Tailgates, rituals and attire: Auburn University

By Hannah Burkett, Julia Boudreau, Kate Everson, Kaysie Moore
November 26, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CST
Auburn Tiger football fans gather at Toomer's Corner after the two giant oak trees are "rolled" following the 2010 BCS National Championship win against Oregon.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Hometown: Auburn, Ala.

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Team: Tigers

Colors: Blue and orange

Tailgating: "The best way to describe it — controlled chaos," said Mark Cooley, general manager of the popular Momma Goldberg's Deli on Magnolia Avenue, which is close to Jordan-Hare Stadium.

RVs begin to arrive Tuesday before a Saturday game, and the next wave arrives Thursday or Friday morning to rope off an area with orange tape, he said.

"It's amazing how much people spend on the tailgating experience, from the clothing to the tents, the grills," said Michael Hood, service support supervisor of the Auburn Outdoor Events department.

"They really bring their backyard."

Food: Barbecue and potlucks.

"They'll have alligator when we play Florida," Hood said. "For Arkansas, we have roast pig. A lot of people have a whole pig on the grill."

Attire: Khakis, navy blazers and orange ties for Greeks; T-shirts and jeans or shorts for the rest.

Women like orange or navy dresses with cowboy boots, said Jason Harbison, manager of Tiger Rags, a spirit-wear store.

Rituals: Before every home game, fans line the route to the stadium, creating a corridor to the field for players called Tiger Walk.

"Thousands of people line up along the walk to support the team. It becomes a large pep rally," Cooley said.

After a victory, the trees at Toomer's Corner get "rolled" with toilet paper. Toomer's Corner marks the border between downtown Auburn and the university campus.

Fans often see an eagle from the university's Southeastern Raptor Center released to fly around the stadium. The bird symbolizes the War Eagle, an Auburn mascot.

"It doesn't sound like a whole lot, but when you see it in person it really is amazing," Cooley said.

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