Duke University, where do I begin. It's known mainly for two things: academia and basketball. The pristine campus is lined with luscious lawns, stone buildings, and towering oak trees. But on Saturday mornings in the fall, academia is put aside, the basketball and lacrosse team's 2010 National Championships are forgotten, and the students take a break from the "working hard" to embrace the "playing hard" of their unofficial motto. I shit you not, people, the Dukies know how to throw a tailgate. The best way I can possibly describe it is if you take Preakness (obviously the old one) and throw out the guidos; add hot girls in skimpy, ridiculous outfits and Bros dressed up in even more ridiculous outfits; take out the beer throwing and the fighting; and instead add everyone pouring beer on each other.
The Duke tailgate is located in a parking lot that is so secluded from the rest of the University that you can easily forget where you are — or that there's a football game against the No. 1 team in the country about to kick off. The school has started to regulate the drinking a little by only allowing the tailgate partying in the student parking lot to go on for three hours before the game, but this doesn't stop these kids from bringing in the equivalent of seven hours worth of booze. The other special thing about the tailgate is that frats, sports teams, student organizations... the entire student body is herded in the same parking lot. It's one big, happy party.
These groups each register a parking space, and collaborate with their female counterparts to make sure that their tailgate scene is the best. This involves having the most beer, having the best theme, and having the loudest music. It's basically an all-out dance party in 10 different sections of the parking lot. The integration between all the different groups is also hilarious to see. You have soon-to-be eye doctors pouring beer on frat stars who have no idea how they even got into Duke. It's truly is a remarkable sight. (This is all to say nothing of the action surrounding the bull at Shooters later in the night).
Here's a video of the Duke vs. Alabama tailgate festivities: