Tailgating is one of the most enjoyable aspects of football season. Diehard fans, casual fans and indifferent attendees alike can all enjoy the pregame football festivities. If you’ve never been tailgating and want to try it for the first time, here are 5 essentials that will help make your experience a fulfilling one:
Charcoal or gas, it doesn’t matter – a tailgate isn’t a tailgate unless you bring along a grill. Cooking your favorite meat over a steaming hot surface on an autumn afternoon and enjoying time with family and friends is what tailgating is all about.
Don’t want to marinate or baste anything? Charcoal is your best bet, as it naturally instills a smoky flavor in the meat. Want to dress your meat with your favorite marinade or sauce? Use a gas grill – with gas grill, you don’t have to worry about smoke overtaking the flavor of your concoction.
What will you bring to keep your stomach full throughout the day? Chicken wings, barbecue pork, burgers, steaks, sandwiches, finger foods, potato salad, and coleslaw are welcome fair at any tailgate. And make sure you bring along plenty – common tailgate etiquette includes offering food to friends, family and fellow fans who come by and visit.
Beer, bourbon, cola, you name it. There’s nothing like basking in the fall air and sipping your favorite drink in anticipation for your favorite team to kick off. For hotter games, consider a light beer or a citrusy bourbon cocktail. For crisp, cool October games, try a darker lager or ale, or opt for a drink on the rocks to help warm you up before heading into the stadium.
Responsibly enjoying your favorite beverage can enhance your tailgating experience. And if alcohol isn’t your thing – bring along some fresh squeezed lemonade or your favorite soft drink.
4) Radio or portable satellite dish with TV
If you’re a serious football fan – and many tailgaters are – you’re going to want to keep up with all the day’s games while you’re waiting for your team to kickoff. First off, you need a radio. Use a radio to listen to your team’s pregame show. Or follow your cross-state rival’s game so you can be sure to let out a celebratory yell when they lose the lead with seconds remaining in the 4th quarter.
If you’re really serious, get a portable satellite dish and TV so you can follow all the best football action from around the league. A lot of TV service providers offer portable technology. Compare cable providers with Cable.TV to learn more about technology that helps you stay attuned to the action all day while you tailgate.
Want to enhance the tailgating experience and make it even more social? Bring along your favorite game to occupy your time while you wait for that anticipated matchup between your favorite team and its archrival. Toss around a football, or bring along cornhole boards and a ladder ball set to invoke some friendly competition among family and friends.
How you conduct your tailgate is will depend greatly upon the people you’re with and the resources you have. But don’t leave home with a grill, food and drink, something to stay tuned to other games and the pregame show and games to make the experience fulfilling and more enjoyable.