This was my first time tailgating and I learned quickly, you need a team to pull it off. Especially, if you are having several cars meeting you at the game. Tailgating takes a lot of preparation and our dream team was Black Is Love (logistics, promotion, food, and beverages), Shaun Kelley Media (photography and video), Shenita Epps (event coordination and crowd control), and of course me, TonShay Theresa (promotion, media, and apparel). Now that we all have been introduced let’s get to this experience.

First thing is arriving early to secure enough spaces for you and your party in the parking lot. We arrived about 15 minutes before they opened the lot and there was a line of cars waiting to get in already. By the time we got in about 1/6 of the parking lot was full and the people were already starting to gather. We secured a spot for our cars and began to setup our sign, grill, table and chairs. Now everything is off to a great start. We posed for a few pictures. The grill is going, everyone is laughing and having a good time. Something was missing, you guessed it, music.

Right across from us in the parking lot was DJ J Roc (instagram @jrocbabee) and he had the southside of the south parking lot rocking. DJ J Roc took me back to my high school days with some good ole Chicago House Music. We reminisced on old times as we did the Perculator. He switched up the sound a little bit with with some ole school hip hop. You know I love me some Too Short. Then he hit us with a little R&B and we got our Poison dance routine on. Every time I got ready to sit down; he would play something else that made me bounce, move, or shake something. DJ J Roc was excellent at his craft and added a special touch to my first tailgating experience. Thank you DJ J Roc you are the best. Although, I could have stole his vibe the whole time, I needed to experience more.

As we walked and mingled about 1/2 down the parking lot we could see this large crowd gathered. We danced our way through the crowd and we came upon this beauty, Mixtress Meta. (Instragram name @MixtressMeta) She gave a whole new meaning to Black Girls Rock literally. Mixtress Meta had the northside of the South Parking Lot dancing. It’s something about seeing a women in power that puts a smile on my face. Especially, in a male dominated profession. We let Mixtress Meta command our dance moves for few more songs. Grabbed a quick pic and headed out for some more tailgating fun.

The thing I loved most about the tailgate was the energy and the camaraderie. Everyone was presenting something amazing. Of course, all of the HBCU alumni were representing their schools. The Fraternity’s and Sorority showed up and showed out. There were tons of people sending positive vibes through affirmation on their shirts. There were people representing former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. Of course, we rocked our Black Is Love and TonShay Theresa tees. We took a lot of pics, meet some awesome people and continued our tailgating fun.

Look at all this beautiful melanin. The women were welcoming and just like the men ready for a good time. They showed up, like the superwomen they are with their own tailgating set-ups and enjoyed their girl time. We took a couple more pictures, conversed and meet some new friends. Pretty Brown Thangs were everywhere. They gave off more positive energy and added to my tailgate experience.

We finally made it back to our tailgate family. The food was almost finished and by then I was hungry. Surprisingly, this was a very kid free environment and they were enjoying themselves. I saw a dance off, double dutch, and a whole lot of carefree smiles. We ate, talked, laughed, drank and danced with DJ J Roc until time to head to Soldier Field.

Thirty minutes prior to game time we ended the the tailgate and headed to Soldier Field for the game. The Football Classic is way more than a football game. It’s community, education, sportsmanship, and Black Excellence at its best. I was ecstatic seeing all the buses filled with kids excited about the game. Please bring your kids to experience this. They will get to see their future selves and get a glimpse of what to expect in college. Also, they get to see all the men and women just like them that went to college. It was more like Happy HBCU Day with a whole lot of extras.

The two teams competing in the Football Classic this year was Morehouse College and Miles College. I don’t know anything about sports but I enjoyed the battle of the bands. This is my personal opinion so don’t bite my head off. Miles College Band was huge and the sound echoed through the stadium. Morehouse College Band was 1/2 the size and great entertainment. Morehouse defeated Miles 23-21 at the football game.

Thank you to everyone who tailgated with us or stopped by to show support. Good food! Great music! Awesome people! Extraordinary networking! Thank you for making our tailgate a success and sending positive energy our way. Oh, and a special Thank you to Illform Screenprinting for our shirts.

I am Tonshay Theresa and that was my Chicago Football Classic Tailgate Experience. Thank you for reading. Until next time.

Please follow TonShay Theresa on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

For more information on Black Is Love. Visit www.blackislove.com and follow Black Is Love on Facebook and Instagram

For more information on Shaun Kelly email shaunkelleymedia@gmail.com and follow ShaunKelley_media on Instagram.

For more information on Shenita Epps Calendar Management and Event Coordinator phone 773-934-6434

For more information on Illform Screenprinting visit www.illform.com