WACO, Texas: Although Baylor canceled their official tailgates for the 2020 season, fans still rented out private lots to prepare for the Bears’ season opener against the Kansas Jayhawks Saturday.
Baylor alums Matthew Douglas and Ryan King have been tailgating together for nine years and will do so this year even while deferring their season tickets to 2021. Living in different parts of teh state, this is the main way for them to connect.
“This is the time of the year I look forward to,” Douglas said. “Just because of the way schedules are and stuff, we’d like to visit each other and we try to during the summer but just with kids and school and all the different schedule changes, this is the one actually time of the year we can actually get together.”
Of course with anything in 2020, the parties come with extra health measures in mind. These fans bought a thermometer to take temperatures and came equipped with hand sanitizer, gloves, and single-serving utensils for food.
Brad Nevil is a Baylor alumnus and lifelong fan. He knew he needed to step his tailgating game up a few years ago when his son was in high school and he was considering attending TCU.
“We just decided we were gonna take it to the next level and so we put a permanent tent in and then I purchased a tiny home,” Nevil said. “I put a tiny home in and so it stays here permanently and we just enjoy it during the football and I think we’re gonna come down here probably for even away games and come down here and celebrate and tailgate.”
For some fans, it’s a step in the right direction to getting everyday life back to normal.
“It’s exciting, it feels like it’s a little bit of a step back towards normalcy,” Baylor fan Ashley Hodge said. “We’re excited to just be able to do things in a responsible way but have another step towards a normal experience.”
For those tailgaters going to the game, safety was not a concern.
“Baylor is doing it in a responsible way and I’m gonna be with my family,” Hodge said. “I have no concern about the safety issues.”
The Bears will return home on October 17 to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys.