6 Things You Need to Know About: Tailgating

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1. Plan The Menu

Keep it quick and easy! Choose food that can be cooked in no more than 15 minutes like hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and kebabs. You'll need sides to pair along with your meats. Potato salad, coleslaw, and baked beans are all classic side dishes everyone will enjoy! Chips, dips, and appetizers are a must for snack lovers. Don't forget the cooler for all your beverages like soda, Juice, water, alcohol. Nothing is worse than warm beverages on a hot day so be sure to have plenty of ice. In the cold weather, hot drinks are just as important. Bring a thermos to keep your hot drinks such as coffee and hot chocolate warm on those cold days. Planning the menu in accordance with the weather will improve your tailgating experience!
Tip: Pre-cooking your favorites like buffalo wings, chili, and baked potatoes will save you tons of time on game-day.


Failgating 101


I am not, as it were, a sports "fan" in any legitimate meaning of the word. While I played numerous sports in my youth – softball, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse – I cannot now say I follow any sport closely. Casual fandom is probably a stretch, even though I maintain that watching a bit of rugby or soccer is usually enjoyable. And I do love a live baseball game from time to time. All of these factors make it all the more interesting that my fiancé and I were a season ticket-holders for UConn Football up until very recently.

No one would accuse me of being a football fan in particular, unless you're talking about the type played with a round ball. I’m not even a UConn fan (though I will forever appreciate the denizens of Horse Barn Hill because I am a Connecticuttian). I am not even an alumna of UConn, though as I am from CT, about half my social circle is. And yet, there we were: ticket holders. And I have gotten really good at not necessarily faking my fandom, but nailing down the tailgating like a bloody professional. Because, let's be honest here, I am an enthusiast not of any sporting activity, but of eating and drinking outdoors with purpose. And with minimal effort, you, too, can take your weekend sports outings to tailgating success!


How to prepare for tailgating season

The following is a guest article by Joe Pawlikowski.

Tailgating in October 2007. Photo by Karin Dalziel.
Photo by Karin Dalziel. Licensed CC BY 2.0.

Sure, football season is underway, and for many of us that means five months of having our Sundays spoken for. It's just us, the couch, some brews. But for others, the more diehard among us, football season is secondary. For that rugged crew it's tailgating season. It's an experience that simply cannot be beat. It's not just the party before the main event. It's a downright extension of the main event.

If you're planning to tailgate this football season, you'll want to come prepared. There's nothing worse than showing up with a rinky dink outfit and seeing all the true diehards around you living it up. If you plan to just bring a small portable grill, forget it. You need plenty more to set up for a real tailgate. So let's start from the beginning.