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8 Tips for Great Tailgating
Football season is back, and it couldn’t be too soon! Our camper got a few upgrades this year and we can’t wait to show them off. There’s nothing like the show before the show known as tailgating, where we share food, fun, and get psyched up for the game ahead. Speaking of sharing, here are some ideas for making your tailgating experience the best ever (even if your team loses).
- Prepare everything you can the night before. All of the preparation that you do before the event will make your tailgating that much better. Failing to plan is planning to fail! It’s no fun having to interrupt your party because you forgot ice.
- Use a six-pack holder for condimentsWho knew that a six pack holder could be so useful? You can fit bottles of ketchup, mustard, tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and more into those things. They store flat when you’re not using them, and keep your condiments contained.
- Make a checklist of your essentials. One of the best ways to stay prepared is to have a laminated checklist of what you need for your parties. Going through your stocks the day before and checking off what you have can show you what is missing for your big party.
- Get a commercial under-counter refrigeratorYou know the saying, ‘go big or go home’? We believe in taking it to the limit. We just didn’t have enough space to pack the beer, the soda, the meat, and everything else into the fridge built into the camper, so we added a second under-counter fridge. Much easier than stocking extra coolers with ice!Label Your Coolers Appropriately
- Even with extra fridges, a few coolers will be needed so you don’t have the whole world in your camper. Labeling coolers will help people find beer and soda easier, especially if your partiers like to get a little buzzed before the game. Decorate them in team colors, but make sure that you know what’s in them with some clear labels.
- Get there as early as you can. To get the best barbeque, you’ve got to give it some time. When the people show up to taste your eats, you don’t want them to go away disappointed. It’s a party, and you’ll make a lot of friends if you play your cards right. Show up early and you can be ready as soon as the first guests arrive. Plus, you can avoid a lot of traffic.
- Find out What the Rules Are Different places have different rules for tailgating. You don’t want your plans to go to waste because you were kicked out for bad behavior. You might also find out cool stuff about whether you can bring generators and other equipment to the party.
- Clean Up When You’re DoneNobody wants to clean up your mess. Make sure that you bring enough trash bags. You don’t want to have the rules changed just because there was a lot of junk left behind.Tailgate parties are awesome, and we hope that you have a ton of them. Now take these tips and go party. May your favorite teams win!
As we found in a recent article, the tailgating experience is a uniquely American event. The roots of this fascinating, yet strange cultural activity goes back nearly 100 years – longer depending on which legend strikes you as most believable.
One interesting excerpt from The Browns Fan’s Tailgating Guide, written by Peter Chakerian, writes in detail of three of the most probable roots of the first tailgate party which I will heavily paraphrase below.
The first theory is that the tailgate party occurred during the first college football game between Rutgers and Princeton. Apparently, spectators spent their pre-game ritual grilling sausages at the “tail end” of the horse. This theory seems a bit weak to me, but it has persisted for a long, long time.
The second theory seems a little bit more plausible, as it seems logical to the human mind. The story goes that a train transported a large number of fans to a Yale football game in 1904. By the time the fans had arrived to the game, most were quite famished and, according to Peter Chakerian’s excerpt, the fans made sure to bring food and beverages to the stadium prior to the start of the game.
The third, and the theory I like the most, was that Green Bay Packersfans coined the actual term “tailgating” during the teams first year in business in 1919. Back then, the fans would back their pickup trucks around the field and fold down their tailgates for seating. Naturally, food and beverages were brought along to keep the appetite in check.
Option three seems to be the most genuine to me, if simply because tailgating had to have been practical prior to it becoming the spectacle it is today.
As for me, my only experience at a tailgate party took place on opening day in 2008. Well, not opening day, but the Monday night after opening day. The Broncos drubbed the Raiders 41-14 in that game – it was quite enjoyable for me.
One thing I learned was that the tailgate party is likely the only time when fans of both teams can intermingle without hard feelings on either side. I recall drinking some beers and eating some grilled meat with my Raider fan brother and some guys I met through Silver and Black Pride. There was some light trash talk, but for the most part it was an enjoyable pre-game party. I even got my picture taken with some Black Hole characters. I know, blasphemy! However, it was a memorable experience.
That said, by nights end, Raider fans were looking for Bronco fans to drown in the clogged urinals, the parking lot had turned into a war zone from some third world country, and all of the nice people I met were nowhere to be found.
So enjoy the tailgate party, for its the only time where both sides can come together to eat, drink and be merry – for in a matter of hours some or most will no longer be in the mood for that kind of activity.
I have shared my lone tailgating experience; how about yours?
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