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A pre-game pig roast in CharlotteFor many football fans, a game is not a game unless a tailgate precedes it. This is true if you have a "Mobile Dawg Pound" or "Emergency Tailgating Response Unit", or if your tailgate is just a few beers and a bucket of chicken.

Here are some simple tailgating tips to remember for any tailgate:

bulletThere is nothing worse than running out of food at a tailgate, except for running out of beer. It is worth the extra money to have too much food; you can bring extra food home, but you can't eat what's not there. This is true at least ten times over for beer.

bulletMake a list of what you need to bring; this will ensure nothing is left at home. Put your game tickets on the list too.

bulletBring your food in zip-lock bags whenever possible.  This way you can just throw the bags out, instead of trying to clean a bunch of Tupperware containers.  When you need a pan, invest in a tinfoil pan that can be thrown away afterwards instead of cleaned.

bulletBuy good rolls for your food; nothing can ruin great burgers, chicken, or brats like a bad roll.  Spend a few extra cents on good rolls.

bulletBring chairs. Rookie tailgaters never have them.

bulletChoose a parking lot that has a view of the stadium if on-site parking is not available.  A tailgate that is not within site of the stadium just doesn't feel right.

bulletChoose a parking lot (and space) that allows you to interact with other tailgaters. If you're going to tailgate alone, just drink beer in your driveway at home instead.

bulletBring water; you will need it to put out the fire, and it comes in handy for general cleanup too. Not bringing water is another rookie mistake.

bulletHave a theme for your tailgate. If it's Thanksgiving, bring a turkey. If its Christmas, bring a tree.  Or choose a theme based on the opponent; have Cajun food against the Saints, Philly cheese steaks against the Eagles, and fish against the Dolphins. 

bulletWear team colors and fly team flags. Show a little team spirit!!

bulletThings that are needed but are often forgotten:

bulletWater

bulletTrash bags

bulletPaper towels/napkins/wet naps

bulletA good kitchen knife (but don't bring it into the stadium!)

bulletBottle opener/can opener

bulletClick here for tailgating books!

Have tailgating pictures or recipes?  Send them to tailgating@ johnnyroadtrip.com and we'll post them!!

Party

An NFL car-shopping guide: Our picks for the best tailgating cars

Going car shopping? If youíre an NFL fan, you might want to read this first. While most people look for things like horsepower, safety features, and quality of ride in a new car, there could be one big factor youíre completely ignoring. Tailgating.

Letís face it. If love pregame madness as much as you love to bet on NFL football in sites like sportsbettingonline.ag, you need a car that can accommodate your food, drinks, hoodies, folding chairs, and other gear. And you need a car that can bring extra frills to the mix. Some cars seem like they were designed by a tailgater, so if youíre in the market, check out our favorites.

Best small SUV Ė Subaru Forester
With standard AWD, the Subaru is great for getting in and out of those muddy tailgating fields. And the cargo room of the Forester is in a class all its own. Plus, if you opt for the higher-end model, you get a cargo tray, which makes for easy cleanup.

Best Minivan Ė Honda Odyssey
We love the 2014 Honda Odyssey for its cargo room, widescreen entertainment screen that you can see from behind an open tailgate, and, hereís the best part, the HondaVac system. Yup, the minivan has its own built-in vacuum system, so you can leave the game without any evidence that you just tailgated.

Best Truck Ė Dodge Ram 1500
Itís a tall truck, but for tailgating itís right on your level. Thatís because you can actually lower the truck to parking height so you can access the bed much easier and remove contents. And with Uconnect WiFi, you get access to a private network near the truck, which is perfect for betting on sports.

Best small car Ė Honda Fit
Not everyone wants a tailgating monster. Some of us prefer small cars and want to enjoy the tailgating experience just as much. Thatís where the Honda Fit comes in. Itís a small hatchback, but it has surprisingly stellar cargo space. Plus, if youíve got a great distance to travel between your home and the stadium, it wonít make you go bankrupt every time you fill up.

Not in the market for a new car? Consider outfitting your vehicle with aftermarket displays to watch other games, or toss in a WiFi router to give yourself tablet and laptop access to all the scores. Thereís a lot you can do to get your car ready for the NFL season, so get creative.
 

 

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