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TOP 10 Tailgating Tips

1. Dress in team colors!!! Wear a team jersey or sweatshirt! You are the 12th man on the
team…the 1st player on the Tailgating Team. Show your team spirit. Tailgaters are the best

2. Plan your menu and do prep work a day or two before the game. Keep the menu simple (here
are some sample recipes) and pack prepared food in disposable containers.  

3. Make a list of the items you want to take along. Check off items as you pack. Pack paper
products (plates, napkins, towels, forks, spoons, etc.) the night before. Remember such items
as a small first aid kid, trashbags, water, and damp towels in ziplocks to clean hands and face.

4. Plan to arrive 3 to 4 hours early and stay 1 to 2 hours after the game.

5. Find a good spot to park.
Not all parking spaces are created equal! Park next to a grassy area
or at the end of the parking row--this gives you more room for serious tailgating!  

6. Fly a flag on a very high pole so friends can find you.

7. Decorate your tailgate site with team pennants and other team stuff.

8. Meet your tailgate neighbors, throw the football with friends, read the Sunday paper and have
a good time!
Note: If attending a Thursday or Saturday game, substitute appropriate newspaper.

9. Food should be ready 1 and 1/2 hours before the game starts. This is plenty of time for those
going to the game to eat, clean up and extinguish fires. (Those not going to the game can pull out
the generator and TV.) Share food with neighbors. Swap recipes.  

10. Leave area clean. Begin thinking about food and friends for the next game.

11. Place a bet. Call your bookie; 1-888-91-BETUS or 1-888-912-3887.


Jumper cables After a great tailgate party, some would love to stay in the parking lot
forever…but everyone might not share that thought.

Toilet paper The MVP (most valuable product) of the parking lot. Don’t get caught with your pants
down in a Port-A-Potty with no TP.

Plastic trash bags for clean up. A dedicated tailgater always respects their surroundings and
leaves it clean.

Extra ice There is no excuse to ever run out of ice. Just bring a full extra ice chest and enjoy.

Bookie's phone number; 1-888-91-BETUS or 1-888-912-3887.

Rain gear When everybody else is in their car or truck, you’ll be cookin’!

First aid kit Just in case that football hits you in the head.

Sun block Even if you burn the food, there is no reason for you to burn.

A friend Change the life of a loved one. Bring them to their first tailgate party.

Comfortable shoes Sometimes we forget how much we visit and with the right shoes you can
walk to your stomach’s content.

Antacid With all the foods consumed at the tailgate, we need some help. Remember defense
wins championships.


To make your tailgate party more fun, cook food that matches the two teams that are playing.  
Example is New Orleans jambalaya vs. Philadelphia cheesesteaks.
Tyler Eldredge, Queen Creek, Arizona

MEMORABILIA - Once we found just the right spot to have our tailgate at Michigan
football games, we hung a Spartan block S banner from the awning.  
When famous Spartan greats walk to and from the game, they have to go
right by our tailgate.  We keep a sharpie handy so they are able to sign
our banner.  It is a wonderful piece of memorabilia and a great
conversation piece for our tailgating neighbors.
Go Green!!
Mike in East Lansing

Laminated Check List.
We have been tailgating for years. We developed our check list over the
years and laminated it. On Fri/Sat as we are packing, simply check off the items with a dry erase
marker. When all done, wipe it off and you are ready for the next game!  Go Boliers!!!!!!

Give your tailgate a regional flavor. Quick and easy cooking is a must at a tailgater. Here on the
Pacific Coast (University of Oregon--GO DUCK'S!!!) salmon and oysters are quick and easy to
cook on the 'que--and tasty too!  Cioppino (seafood stew, if you will) is another hot and hearty
meal to get the fires burning for that big November game.  Down South? We are in September!
How 'bout fajitas with fresh garden grilled veggies and homemade salsa?  We go Midwest in
October with Brat day--boiled in beer and grilled...mmmmmm. Add some quality 'kraut and your
ready for anything!  Creative, quick, and tasty are the best meals for a tailgater!!  From Charlie P.  
in Rickreal, Oregon...a  Duck Fan and professional tailgater from birth to 43!!!


I am in love with tailgating and have been at it since 1970. You can find me attending Milwaukee
Brewers games as well as Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badger games. We are a hardy
group that will be out there if it is 100 degrees or 20 below. My tip is that I always bring my own
personal "jumbo" beverage glass with me. When I set my beverage down for any reason, having
my distinguishable cup makes it is easy to spot and retrieve. That prevents you from grabbing
someone else's cup or gulping a beer with a cigarette butt in it.  In addition, I will not insult beer,
brandy or any other tasty drink with a cheap plastic cup...Karl K.

I am in my rookie season as a "Tailgater" at Pro Player Stadium in South Florida. That might not
seem like much to some of you, but I live in Dallas, Texas! There are several "stranded" Dol-Fans
out here and some even have season tickets! One thing I didn't see mentioned here was the
team flag, you gotta have one, and if at all possible - get that thing way up there! Team jerseys,
hats and jewelry are also essentials.  Butch & Deb---- Go Fins!

Things not to do:  .Bring raw chicken.  So tell the new guy coming with you not to bring raw
chicken,  Pre cook it with some spices the night before...Kissle GO PATRIOTS!

Chicago has some of the best tailgate experts. This is the home of the famous Weber Kettle Grill.
It is seen at almost every tailgate site. Make sure your charcoal is dry. Put the charcoal, lighter
cubes and matches all in a plastic bucket with a lid and a handle. It will make it easier to store,
handle and keep the charcoal dry (for some of the rough Chicago Sundays). You can also use the
bucket for a seat, while you suck down some beers, eat your gourmet meal off your Weber
Kettle Grill and talk about the '85 Bears. (Make sure to close the dampers on your Weber Kettle
to put the coal out at least 30 min before game time)....Gary

We use a three drawer Rubbermaid unit that fits nice on the table.  Stores your paper products in
one compartment,  spices in another and on the bottom what ever fits.  If you need a plate or a
cup pull out the drawer and grap one.  It also keeps the cups put away and works good... NOTRE

Make hamburgers in advance (make sure they are no thicker than 3/4 inch) and freeze between
sheets of wax paper. Put on grill still frozen and cook 3 to 4 minutes each side...from Heather a
UGA Tailgater.

Large tailgates require a lot of additional help. Have a meeting with tailgating constituents (at a
local bar) to plan and distribute responsibilities; write down on paper! One person can not do it
all!  ...from John A - WVU "Blue Lot" tailgater 20+ years and still going strong!  WVU Mountaineer
Fan - Home of the #1 party school in America!

I bought a large, clear, plastic Rubbermaid box with a lid for all our tailgating supplies like paper
products, cutlery, trash bags, etc.  This way, I can see inside the box for a quick inventory each
week.  Also, when football season is over, the box is easily stored in the basement until next
year...from Dawn, Clemson Tiger Tailgater...Go Tigers!!

I am a "list" person. My boyfriend, Rob and I prepare at least a week or two ahead of time. We
found that we didn't duplicate unnecessary items, or forget anything. We go to New Hampshire
Int'l Speedway, and anyone who has been to a Winston Cup Event there can tell you, there is
plenty of "wait" time, when making the exodus. Bring a deck of cards to pass the time away.

Also, a great cooler tip! Get bottled water and freeze it. Place it in your cooler. If it gets hot, you
can take it out and as it melts, you will have cold water to drink. Unlike, ice, it won't "water down"
your cooler! The bottles make good ice packs!!...Nancy and Rob--Rusty Wallace fans and NHIS
tailgaters since '98.

One strategy that I used that may be of use to your readers was this: I tied a helium- filled balloon
to the tailgate of my car.  The big red, shiny Mylar balloon floating in the sky was an easy find for
my brother and his family who did not know where I had parked in the sea of cars.  I realize this
may not be so useful at a huge venue with tens of thousands of cars, but it worked perfectly for
us at a smaller site...from Ron, a Colgate University Tailgater

Tip #1)  Line portable your grill with aluminum foil for easy clean-up and disposal of spent
Tip #2)  Flank steaks need a longer period of marinating, so on Monday, I put them in a ziplock
bag with the dressing or whatever marinate we are using.  Let them sit for two days and then
freeze them until the night before the game.  They thaw but are still very cold for the trip.  Less
danger of turning meat in a cooler...from Cathy a Temple Owls Tailgater

Here's a tip!  Need a place to store and carry your knives, forks, spoons. and other small stuff?  
How about a old tool box?  You can find one cheap at a hardware store or garage sale....from
Rick,  Go Blue!!!

Most generaters do not run on electricity, (Big surprise),  don't forget to gas it up before you
leave...Tim from Tampa Bay

Tailgating Checklist...This makes my Saturday morning organizing much easier. Its a list that I
have compiled from years of tailgating at Kinnick Stadium, home of the University of Iowa
Hawkeyes. Feel free to share it. Go Hawks!!!...Hawkeye Tom

I have been a Miami Hurricane tailgater for the past 12 years.  During that time, we have
established a faithful gathering at every home game. Because we have the same dedicated 30 or
so people that show for every home game, we decided to make a plaque with all of our names on
it to hang at our tent site. It's great for moral!...Diona in Miami

There are many supplies needed at a tailgate parties, but the most important ones are a grill,
football, cooler filled with favorite beverages, and LOTS and LOTS of food to share with other
tailgaters... Jason (Tailgate Pro), in Cincinnati Bengal Country.

For those of us who frequently partake of Jalapenos and such, here is a very helpful hint. A
grapefruit spoon, the one that is narrow, with little teeth along the edge, is great for de-seeding
and de-veining peppers. It is faster and and does not damage the meat of the pepper... Lee and
Mimi, Husker Country Tailgaters in Lincoln, Nebraska

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