Tailgating – Why Even Go to the Game?

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Tailgating tips and tricks to ensure your enjoyment of a great tailgate party with your family and friends. Info on the best food, clothing, and equipment to bring you from amateur to professional status in no time.

It’s fall, and that means football. And for football, that means tailgating. According to Rick Bruhn of Grill on the Go (http://www.grillonthego.com), “The real game day action is often out in the parking lot before the game. With that in mind, here are some tips that will make you look like a tailgating pro. If you do it right, you may not even want to go to the game”


Get there early. The best spots are taken fast. Most parking lots are open at least 4 hours before game time. Fans need to get there at least that early to get a good spot and get their stuff set up. Plan on eating 2 hours before game time, so you can clean up and get inside. You can always sleep after the game!


Get a good spot in a parking lot where you can at least see the stadium. Otherwise you could have stayed at home, or tailgated at your local Wal*Mart.

Next, find a spot at the end of a row or near a grassy area. That way you can spread out your stuff and throw a football around. Also, it won't hurt as much if you fall down. You know... from playing football.

A spot on the end of a row will usually give fans a chance to watch everyone walking by on their way to the game. If you’re drinking, you’ll note the people will usually look better as the game gets closer.

A wise tailgater will want to check out where the bathrooms or porta-johns are. Better yet, he’ll make friends with those guys in the big motor homes.

A true fan marks his territory. Height is the key, maybe a flag or Mylar balloons in team colors to let people know where and who you are. The more the merrier, especially if your group is tailgating in enemy territory.


It's not enough to feel good at a tailgate party, you have to look good. For fans, that means team colors and clothing. You are going to be there a while so comfort is essential. Dress for the weather, not just a couple hours but maybe 8 or 10. It may mean dressing in numerous layers, or bringing the sunscreen and sunglasses.

Your Tailgate Zone:

For your site, tailgating in style means the comforts of home. Portable furniture such as tables, umbrellas, and comfy chairs will add to your comfort and style. How about some carpeting or a portable fireplace on those cold days? Make a statement by cranking up your blender and making some drinks. And don't skimp on your portable grill. Get a serious name brand grill and tools that can do the job, not some puny hibachi. Have plenty of coolers, at least one for food and a couple for drinks.

Food and Drinks:

Speaking of which, this is the important part. What to eat? Anything goes, but it’s best to keep it simple to prepare and easy to eat without utensils. You're there to enjoy yourself, not work like a kitchen slave. Have plenty of napkins, paper towels, or moist towelettes on hand.

Do as much of the prep work as possible at home the night before. Marinate the steaks, chicken, or shrimp. Pack all the tableware in containers that you can re-use every weekend. Pre-cook some of the food, and warm it at the game. Just keep food safety in mind – keep cold thing cold and hot things hot. Check into stainless steel carafes and 12-volt food and beverage warmers. Use separate cutting boards for meat or poultry and fruit and vegetables. (As though you'd be cutting up vegetables).

Every region has its favorite foods, but how about a theme tailgate party with food from the opponent's area? Have BBQ when you play Kansas City, jambalaya when you play New Orleans, seafood for any coastal team from Boston to Florida, brats for the Packers, and of course wings for Buffalo. Don't get into a rut, be creative.

The Grillmaster from Grill on the Go says, “Tailgating is an art form, and a great way to spend time with our friends and family in a fun setting. Start small, look around and pick up tips, and you will enjoy it more every week. Pretty soon the game will become secondary!”

Grill on the Go is a website devoted to portable grills, coolers, furniture and other gear you need when you and your friends want to cook out while tailgating or camping.


Rick Bruhn - Grillmaster

Grill on the Go



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