We take tailgating very seriously down here in SEC country. Simply drinking a few beers while sitting in a parking lot does not make for a memorable event. While each tailgate party should be as unique as the people holding the event, there are without question several items that must be included to have a successful tailgate party before the Honduras match. Below are Puck’s top ten must-haves at any tailgate party. 10. Pick-up Truck or Large SUV This is square one for any tailgate party for any sporting event. Trying to throw a party out of the back of a Ford Focus (Sorry Neil), Honda Civic, Toyota Corrolla, or any other economy vehicle is just wrong and uncomfortable. It’s like trying to have sex in the back of a Volkswagen, simply not the optimal situation. Having a truck or SUV on hand allows the party planners more room to store the precious goods of the tailgate. The bed of any truck provides an excellent recreational area for any patron you choose to dance, yell, or pound down several beer bongs in the view of other tailgate parties. If you don’t have a truck, make friends with some who does and use theirs. 9. Charcoal Grill At this point some people would argue the merits of a gas grill over a charcoal grill. The argument usually goes something like this, “Puck, gas grills take so much less time to heat up before I can start cooking.” While this may be true you’re still an idiot. If the charcoal grill takes too much time to get fired up you obviously have no clue what you’re doing. Either you
started setting up your event too late (unforgiveable) or you have no grilling experience (also unforgiveable). Don’t admit either one of these tragic flaws in front of me, or I will revoke your tailgating pass…forever. Basically, food on a charcoal grill simply tastes better.
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8. Food Of The Highly Caloric Variety Now that we have the grilling situation finalized, the question becomes what to cook up for the hungry drunken masses. When holding the job of grill master for any tailgating occasion, you want to be able to pump out as many units as possible with the least amount of effort. Basically you want to be cranking out burgers and hot dogs the way Shawn Kemp cranks out baby mamas.
I would suggest the following staple items: burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst sausage, and occasionally thinly sliced chicken breast. Make sure you toss some marinade on those chicken breasts the night before or don’t even bother. My favorite food to eat and cook at a tailgate is spicy Italian sausage. Toss some peppers and onions in aluminum foil onto the grill to really impress the crowd. 7. Flair No, I am not talking about cheesy buttons or t-shirts that you find at Friday or other good awful
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chain restaurants. I am talking about something that sets your Tailgate party apart from the others around it. When a group of bandits, (people who park their compact car in the parking lot, and walk around all day stealing beer and food from hardworking tailgaters) stop by your event, they should remember it at the end of the day. The easiest flair available is a flag. Having a large USMNT flag gently waving over your tailgate says a lot. 6. Faux-Athletic Events Real simple rule here, if this event cannot be played
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while holding a beer or cocktail in one hand, it does not belong at your tailgate. Some classic games are “Cornhole” or “Bag” depending on what part of the country you are from. Others include washers, tailgate golf, etc. While I highly recommend building your own games, you can get some excellent ideas here, and here. Puck’s column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org