My Epic Notre Dame Tailgate With Generation Opportunity (Photos)

November 26, 2013

College neighborhood liquor counters are the only places in the country where the demand for bottom shelf liters of Vladimir and Skol vodkas outpaces the demand for top shelf brands. Most undergrads are limited by strict budgets and unsophisticated palettes, so they happily guzzle repackaged rubbing alcohol with joie de vivre.

"Fireball and Sprite. Fireball and anything is what I’m about," a couple of eager, future contributors to American society told me during the Notre Dame tailgate this weekend.

Contrary to what the White House and MSNBC tells you, college undergraduates are "young invincibles" because their youth and pristine livers fortify them against life's challenges.

Those challenges include gnarly hangovers.

Notre Dame

9:30 AM

I had already been huddling for warmth with Generation Opportunity for two hours. The anti-Obamacare advocacy group was amused enough by my recent take on their tailgate at the University of Miami that they asked me to tag along to tailgate and educate students about the dangers of Obamacare at the University of Notre Dame. Young people enrolling into the health exchanges is critical for Obamacare to function properly, thus validating my assertion that 2013 is "the year of the bro."

"We use grassroots efforts to take the message to where they are," said Generation Opportunity President Evan Fienberg.

Sometimes that takes you to Big Ten Country in November.

Behold the majesty of God's country.

Robert Charette
Robert Charette

The only way to endure the bitter temperatures is to use beer blankets. Fans of mediocre Midwestern football teams have even more of an incentive to get rowdy. Their intoxication numbs the pain of sub-zero squalls, as well as the pain of Irish QB Tommy Rees's passes sailing into the dirt.

The tailgating lots at Notre Dame open at 7 AM, but people didn’t start circulating into GenOpp’s tailgate until long after circulation had ceased in my feet. One of the first visitors, already toasted, rocked a lightweight New York Yankees jacket with a Notre Dame knitted hat. That makes him possibly the most insufferable fan on the planet.

But I can swing at what he was pitching.
Notre Dame

Shortly afterwards, Norte Dame student Mark Gianfella dropped by to survey the tailgate. Gianfella was the enterprising young American responsible for GenOpp barnstorming into South Bend. He contacted the group after reading a post about the tailgate in the 305.

"The snow will provide a beautiful, cold backdrop. I’m looking to have a good, responsible time after spreading the word," said Gianfella.

Gianfella promised he would bring a healthy-sized mob to the tailgate since Notre Dame has a sizable conservative contingent. That makes sense since it's the premier Catholic university in the country. I remained a tad skeptical, though. Why would college students want to trek out to a tailgate with zero booze when they could just get blasted where they were?

11:30 AM

On my journey to procure a beer blanket of my own at the 7-11 across the street from campus, I bore witness to fully gestated Domer fans.

Robert Charette
Robert Charette

It is reassuring to see that young Notre Dame fans have such stellar role models.

By the time I returned to the GenOpp tailgate, Gianfella's words had come to fruition. I was happily proven wrong as I forgot a key tenet about drunk college kids: when there is a free pizza to had, they will find a way to have it.

The Domers awoke the echoes by bringing a payload of the finest college liquors to the Generation Opportunity tent. They settled in nicely. They even turned a spare table into a mini-bar. The ingenuity of youth!

Robert Charette
Robert Charette

According to a WSJ graphic, young people in the Indiana exchange have to spend $120 more than currently available insurance for the lowest-cost Obamacare plan.

With that money, Notre Dame undergrads could purchase:

  • Two handles of Fireball whiskey
  • Two boxes of Franzia boxed wine
  • One case of Hamm's Light
  • Four bottles of Andre champagne


When college bros are your single legislative achievement's only hope of survival, you deserve coming to you.

Notre Dame

12:30 PM

Due to the inclement weather most of GenOpp's tailgate was scrapped. The frigid temperatures forced their DJ to cram his equipment into the back of his car and play songs from his iPod. The weather froze the plastic cash vault GenOpp brought for the students. The money cage may have been frozen, but that didn’t stop Gen Opp from providing ice.

1:30 PM

Any performer knows you don’t play Free Bird until the crowd is lushed and ready. GenOpp debuted the man of the hour, Creeper Uncle Sam, to the kind of response you'd expect from a bunch of sloppy undergrads.

Robert Charette
Robert Charette

Even though the scene looks like a preview of Miley Cyrus' next music video, Creeper Uncle Sam is winning.

Notre Dame

2:30 PM

With kick-off 60 minutes away, Domer fans began meandering from the tailgates to the stadium. The only remaining students at GenOpp's were much too hammered to realize that it was time to pack it in for the day, or to realize who they were and where they lived. You know the type. Every good party has these malingerers: They are pains in the ass to kick out of your house.

GenOpp wrapped up the day by having roughly 150 students pledging not to sign up for Obamacare. So far a total of 15,000 millennials have signed the pledge not to purchase health insurance. Only in AMerica, kids.

"There hasn’t been this type of activity of youth movement since the campus protest in the 60’s and the left knows that," said Gen Opp Communication Director David Pasch.

As you would expect, the left is whining and shaking their pointy fingers with fury. They're angry that GenOpp figured out the way to appeal to college students: treat them like college students. Shocking, I know.

Senator Angus King is so aghast with righteous indignation, he said advocates against Obamacare are "guilty of murder."

Notre Dame

I don't know what murder in Maine looks like, Senator, but that's not murder. That's just life of a college student.

And yes, I got her number.