5 Tips For Tailgating Success

If there is one sport that sets up perfectly for the classic American activity of pregame tailgating, it is clearly the wonderful sport of football. Tens of millions of football fans will attend NFL and college football games this season, and a good portion of them will do some tailgating before the game, allowing them to get stretched out and warmed up for an afternoon of fun, friends and the joys of gridiron battles. Tailgating can be a rewarding and memorable experience if done correctly. Here are four simple steps to follow that have been established and time-tested by longtime tailgaters.

1) Show Up Early

Showing up early enough to claim a worthwhile spot is the first part of the successful tailgating equation. Do not make the mistake of assuming that closer to the stadium means better tailgating. Many folks prefer to set up shop a good distance away from the gates in sections of parking spaces that will fill up last, which allows them a bit of privacy and as long of a tailgating experience as possible. A few days in the upcoming weeks are especially conducive to excellent tailgating, including all three of the Thanksgiving Day games and a bevy of high-stakes conference matchups in the upcoming weeks of college football.

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2) Eat and Drink Wisely

The number one mistake that tailgaters make is to simply go berserk on food and alcohol once the engines have been turned off and the music and televisions have been turned on. While it is quite true that the point of tailgating is to enjoy yourself to the utmost degree, use caution in the first few hours, especially in terms of alcohol consumption. Every calendar year, tens of thousands of tailgaters will be overcome by the joy and excitement of the moment and consume enough alcohol to put them into a daze before the opening kickoff sails through the back of the end zone. It is essentially pointless to spend money on a tickets for professional and college football games and three hours watching one if you are ultimately not going to remember any of it.

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4) Keep Important Items with You

This step may seem frivolous, but making sure that your keys, wallet, cell phone and tickets are all safe, secure and in a dry place on your person can eliminate a lot of panic and heartache in the moments leading up to the game. It is not a wise move to fill yourself with delicious carbs and silky alcohols before you have gotten your most important affairs in order.

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5) Clean Up Everything Except the Grill

In order to make space for the last minute ticket holders who will be pulling into the spaces surrounding every tailgating site and to keep from attracting the attention of unscrupulous parking lot wanderers, everything involved in the tailgate should be neatly tucked back into the vehicle and secured under lock and key during the game. That is, except any charcoal grills that may have been used, which will be far too hot and should be left alone to cool off. Follow these four simple steps, respect the space and opinions of others and you are sure to have a very enjoyable tailgating experience.

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