Family, friends, food and 15 years of tailgating
Story and photos by Zach Henke, NewsNetNebraska.
It’s 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. Otherwise known as “game day” for Husker fans across Nebraska. In about four hours the Huskers will play the Illinois Fighting Illini in the roaring Memorial Stadium packed with over 90,000 fans.
But at this time in the morning, it’s still quiet outside. Even in the parking lot directly to the east of the stadium where only about five parking stalls are filled with people beginning to unload their food, TV’s, portable power generators, and Husker memorabilia.
Two of these stalls are reserved for the Kimbrough family who has been tailgating for the last 15 years. While many people still have yet to arrive and set up, the Kimbrough’s already have their food tables prepared, red solo cups filled up, and the TV turned on and set to ESPN.
The Kimbrough’s try to set up a few hours before kick off to avoid the traffic and congestion of setting up their tailgate in a parking lot full of people. “The lot was really bad for the Oregon game. It took some cars about 20 minutes to even park in their spot because all the people, ” said Jared Kimbrough, from Lincoln Neb.
Clint Kimbrough, from Humboldt, Neb. said that tailgating is about Husker football and bringing people together.
This week Clint invited his friend Mike Blicka, from Humboldt, Nebraska to tailgate with them before the game. Clint and Mike know each other from their days together in Humboldt when Clint was a superintendent of schools and Mike owned a gas station in the town.
Each week they have a different theme for the food they serve at their tailgate. For the last home game their theme was barbecue, which for the Kimbrough’s meant grilling a 60-pound hog. They have cooked up to a 230-pound hog in the past, said Clint.
This week, for the Illinois game, their theme was Mexican, which includes everything from tacos, to fajitas, to bloody Mary’s. All prepared and ready to feed anywhere from 20-70 people, said Jared.
While each week of tailgating brings some kind of variety, the Kimbrough’s will always do it because of “the atmosphere of game day,” said Clint.
*The location of this tailgate was in the parking lot directly east of Memorial Stadium, on the side of Morrill Hall with the mammoth statue.