The Art of Tailgating October 15 2014
The key to any great tailgating session is preparation the night before, arriving early enough to get a great spot in your favorite parking lot and of course making sure you have enough food and beverages for the pregame celebration.
The Evening Before the Big Event:
This is the key time to ensure you have everything prepared and well thought out for the big game. Make sure all perishable items and beverages are chilled the night before to help as the base to your cooler. Layer the bottom with all your cold beverages followed by a layer of ice over the top to surround them and ensure a cold soda or brew is at optimal drinking temperature all day long.
Next, stack all your food on top of the drinks and use water tight containers to keep all the food fresh and dry. Packing the cooler as full as possible will ensure it stays as cold as possible.
A cheap plastic tub will come in handy for storing all your grilling accessories and condiments. A larger tub will come in handy for putting dirty dishes after the grilling and grubbing session. Finally find a metal bucket for dumping any left over hot coals to store and extinguish the fire from your grilling session safely.
Finally make some jello shots in the colors of your favorite team and prepare your Bloody Mary mix, vodka and extras for the ultimate tailgating beverage. The more you do the night before the easier and more fun you will have while you party it up during the pregame festivities.
Once You Arrive:
Now is the time to establish your setting up grounds among both friend and foe at a sporting event. Grab the best spot possible to start setting up and prepare your plot of pregame real estate. Putting up the shaded tent, finding a spot for the grill and cooler as well as getting out the games should be done right away. You deserve a cold beverage by this point, so in the unlikely scenario your first refreshment hasn’t been cracked, now is the the time.
Fire Up the Grill:
This is where all your hard earned work the previous night really pays off as you should be able to throw your hamburger patties on and be ready to go in no time. All your condiments and cut up toppings will be ready to pull out and serve. If you prefer kebabs just skewer and marinate them the night before so all you do is throw them on the grill. Grilling is made easiest by sticking with the normal grubbing options like hamburgers, brats and kabobs but as you become a season veteran you will likely get more and more creative. Just remember to prepare as much as possible a head of time so you can enjoy your time tailgating.
Grilling can be a major focus of the day during any pregame celebration. Fellow fans and rivals will surely wander past, noses in the air like a wolfhound ready to pounce. Let them know where they stand early on. Typically all rival fans will be asked to leave the area immediately while like minded fans may be offered any leftover food, just make sure your core group is well fed and achieves a good base for the day. After cleaning up, its time for the tailgating host to let loose and play catchup.
Games and Gambling:
This will now be the home stretch of any pregame festivities and when as host you have to get your mindset for the rest of the day. You will likely be a couple drinks in by this point and feeling your best for a game of bags or throwing the football around the parking lot. Do not underestimate the importance of this period of time. Playing a round of bags with some rival fans or talking smack to the enemy after hauling in a long pass over the hood of a Honda will ensure you get your game face on. You will also find this to be the time when most friendly wagers occur with fans or friends of the opposition.
Once the game is getting close its starting time, it time to call it quits on the tailgating session. This is the time you make sure everything gets picked up and put away before you head into the stadium. By this time you should have beaten your rivals in some games, gotten a few of your pregame drinks of choice in and be ready to root on your favorite squad for the the big game.