For 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:
There 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 a beer.
Make a list of what you need to bring; this will ensure nothing is left at home. Put your game tickets on the list too.
Bring 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 afterward instead of cleaned.
Buy 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.
Bring chairs. Rookie tailgaters never have them.
Choose a parking lot that has a view of the stadium if on-site parking is not available. A tailgate that is not within the site of the stadium just doesn’t feel right.
Choose 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.
Bring 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.
Have 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 cheesesteaks against the Eagles, and fish against the Dolphins.
Wear team colors and fly team flags. Show a little team spirit!!
Things that are needed but are often forgotten:
- Trash bags
- Paper towels/napkins/wet naps
- A good kitchen knife (but don’t bring it into the stadium!)
- Bottle opener/can opener