It's football season around the country, including Forest Grove

On Saturdays across the nation, thousands of Americans can be spotted outside of college stadiums participating in the oldest of traditions: the tailgate party!

A tailgate party can be recognized as simply a great place to grab a burger before a game or to find team apparel to sport for the upcoming contest. However, “tailgates” like the one held outside of Boxer football games is much more than a social gathering; it is a forging of the community.

In the last two years, Boxer fans have cheered on the start of a brand new team, removed since the early ‘90s, and in a way grew closer to the football team as it matured. Once a staple within the Forest Grove community, the Homecoming game was always a treasured memory recalled by Mike McCabe ‘77, a former player and alumni from Pacific.

“The bonfire always generated a great deal of excitement as well as the festivities and activities leading up to the football game,” remembers McCabe. “When I played for Pacific, the football fields were located where the tennis courts are now and in front of the Clark dorms. Because the campus was a lot smaller, football games were a prominent fixture amongst students. I remember many of our fellow students would hang out the windows during field goal attempts to protect their windows from being broken by the ball”.  

In addition to a change of venue for current Boxer games, McCabe also commented on the actual change of Pacific size. “Forest Grove was a lot smaller when I played, which made the community tight-knit and extremely involved with its football team and Homecoming celebrations. Many people would drive by the stadium because it was, at the time, an important part of the town which helped attract a lot of attention.”

During the Homecoming week, McCabe reminisced about the atmosphere on campus, “As a player, Homecoming was always more than just a game. It was about bringing the community of Pacific together and enjoying the excitement of the game. As a coach I can still partake in the excitement of the festivities and still feel the thrill of game days.”

This year Pacific plays host to Whitworth as a Homecoming opponent for a second time since the induction of the program in 2010. Whitworth won the last Homecoming matchup 24-12 and also last year’s matchup in Spokane by a tally of 48-6. Whitworth leads all-time series 18-2-1; the Pirates victors of the last five contests.

The Alumni Association has events planned before the games at University of Puget Sound and Lewis and Clark in addition to the big party at Homecoming 2012. Register today to be part of the tradition.

Posted by Rachael Burbank ( on Sep 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Edited by Martha Calus-Mclain ( on Sep 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Review/Edit in CANS

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