Tomorrow is a big day in the world of college football. 13 straight hours of nothing but games, excitement and heckling – it’s every sports fan’s dream come true!
And with great heckling comes great tailgating. What better excuse is there to cook tasty food, hang out with friends, watch your favorite team (hopefully) kick some booty and get a little rowdy? Oftentimes the pre-game is even more fun than the actual game, so don’t be afraid to go all out! Light up the grill, don your favorite player’s jersey, consider painting your face and whip up a batch of those little cocktail weenies (even though they’re cooked in grape jelly). And don’t forget these essentials…
1. A good sound system. How else are you going to properly blast The Final Countdown and Eye of the Tiger, all the while bouncing around like Rocky on the art museum steps? Nothing pumps you up like good, strong, make-your-eardrums-bleed music. When your car tires start shaking the ground, you know the music is almost loud enough to send you off into battle.
2. A properly packed cooler. Line the bottom of the cooler with your pre-chilled canned and bottled drinks and then cover with a layer of ice. Put enough ice in so that it sneaks into every crevice and completely surrounds your drinks with chilled goodness. Then layer your food on top of the ice in water-tight containers and zip-lock bags. Make sure that the cooler is packed full so that no warm air gets in. And throw in some frozen Nalgenes of water into the cooler so you have cold water to drink later!
3. Backyard games. From KanJam and cornhole to ladder ball and spikeball, the possibilities are endless for backyard and parking lot entertainment. It’s the perfect opportunity to get everyone’s competitive blood pumping and warm up your heckling skills!
4. Football-themed food. Don’t be afraid to get as cheeseball as you can when it comes to tailgating food. Football-shaped burgers? A watermelon carved out to look like a helmet? A mini football field, complete with yard-lines and end-zones, made entirely of guacamole and sour cream?
5. Noisemaker. Go big or go home. Take the heat or get out of the kitchen. This is your house, so be the most spirited fan that’s ever screamed through a megaphone. Blow that airhorn, ring the cowbell and bang your thundersticks, because this is really one of the only opportunities you have to make that much noise without being utterly inappropriate.
6. A party beacon. Help your party people find you by flying some balloons above your spot. It’s like a tailgate lighthouse guiding you safely home to football-shaped sandwiches and a cooler of beer!
by Anna Fletcher