I have to say the latter is better.
At Virginia Tech (and I assume most schools with a legit football team) people would actually tailgate the “right” way, meaning they'd set up cars and tables and whatever and cook meat on grills and just dick around for a few hours before the game starts, and then mosey their way on down to the game when the time came. Here at UMD…oh no, we don't do that. I'm not going to pretend that I know anything about sports, but our football team hasn't done so hot in the past few years and it's led to the word “tailgating” to adopt a new meaning of “let's all get blacked out in some frat yard somewhere and when everything gets busted we can eat ratchet bar food and wake up with an $88 charge on our credit cards and cry about how stupid we are the next day”.
And it's fucking awesome.
First of all, it's hot as fuck in Maryland during the summer and it stays that way well though September. Now ask yourself, would you rather just be so drunk that you don't notice that your entire shirt is drenched in sweat, or mostly sober and watching a football game and 100% aware of the fact that the entire stadium is starting to reek of b.o.? I don't care how big of a football fan you are, no one likes sweating so hard their balls have actually detached from their body…not that I would know what that sensation feels like or anything. Also, take into account the fact that stadium seats are made of fucking metal and will burn your ass faster than you can blink. So what've we got here so far, sitting around sweaty people that smell and frying your butt to the point where it resembles the overcooked and shriveled fries everyone winds up with at some point from McDonald's. Lovely.
I could go on to talk about how if your team sucks then watching them lose nine times out of ten sucks and how you might as well be drunk instead, but I'll skip to that and go straight to something a little more obvious: people suck at day drinking. I suck, my friends suck, and the majority of us pass out by 5:00 during the 12:00 games and sleep for 15 hours straight. It's a skill that lots of people don't have, and most can't even figure out how to do it properly without either being 100% sober and miserable around all the blacked out people, or smashed and puking in the street. So if you're like the 85% of the student population that can't handle drinking before five, it's probably best that you don't go to the game in the first place since you'll either get kicked out, arrested, or be incapable of standing up and just fall into the people sitting in front of you and THEN get arrested. What kind of fucking fun is that? It's not. Sure you might get cited for passing out in someone's yard during a fakie UMD tailgate, but if you're even moderately functional you'll probably be fine.
Besides, since no sane “real” adult would ever go to these tailgates there's no limit as to what you can do, meaning I can simultaneously make my parents disappointed in my choices and embarrassed to have raised me in the first place. My family is probably the definition of “waspy”, so if we were to have our own tailgate there would be no beer bongs, no shot gunning, no drugs, no vodka and no dancing. Even if we weren't that bland, the people around us wherever we set up would probably call campus security at the least since doing coke bumps off the hood of a car probably isn't something most people over 30 are used to seeing in public. But hey, take away anyone who's even slightly likely to look at you like you have a dick growing out of your forehead all because you just poured a beer over your head because “FUCK DUKE” and it's pandemonium out here.
Support your team if you want, I'd rather be irresponsible and drunk.