Elijah Bates

Football Fact #805: there’s a right kind of person to take to a tailgate party, and then there’s a wrong kind. Let’s just tranquilize the elephant in the room right now by stating, in a roundabout way, that women are undeniably almost always in the “wrong” category. The right kind? Any one of those reckless chicks you partied with in college (whose Facebook photos still scream “I’m single, crazy and not at all sad!”). And the wrong kind? Your special lady/lady friend, man.

Unless your girl is either an actual football fan (in which case you should propose immediately), incredibly fat, a secret WNBA season subscriber, or grew up with older brothers, getting her to come to the game (much less pre-game) will be a day-long battle, one you should avoid like the plague. HOWEVER, if you find yourself in a jam and can’t go unless she goes, here are a few two-pronged plans of attack to ensure that she both takes a trip into your slovenly life of fandom and that the day doesn’t turn into a sad story about last time you ever saw your friends:

3-for-1 Blue Plate Special
Any guy who’s ever dated a girl for an extended period (i.e. more than three weeks) knows that the quickest way to get her to go along with what you want is to give the blanket promise of three dates of her choosing in return. My friends, the tailgate is no different, regardless of how much fun she ends up having. And while turning over a three-for-one pass like that might seem as though you’re giving up a helluva lot for just a little, this plan will be your best bet; you’re really only losing time that you were definitely destined to lose anyways. Take it in stride, chief.

Invite 1: Bring Her Friends
Getting your girl’s pals to tagalong might seem like a great way to ruin a tailgate, but it’s not. For starters, it’ll be instant smile material when she sees her BFFs there. Likewise, the entire day will be Sunday funday debauchery as usual, since the two groups will soon split like a middle school dance and allow you to party alone with your buds. Best of all, one of her friends will hopefully hit it off with one of yours and get married, leaving you with a friend for life that your special lady can’t publicly hate…that is, until she hates said BFF, which is unfortunate, but inevitable.

Invite 2: Bring Her Dad
So, let’s say her friends won’t fall for the trap; you can rest assured her old man will. This idea can’t fail, unless you’re of the variety who typically falls into an aggressive blackout early Sunday morning and time travels to Monday, waking up for work with a mind full of regrets. Although, even this harmful character trait could come in handy, as long as her dad is of a similar variety (aka a drunk). Not only will you hit it off with him, but you’ll have plenty of argument fodder the next time she explains how her dad would have handled a certain situation differently than you.

Invite 3: Bring Her Cat
Seriously. I realize this probably sounds like a joke, and it should absolutely be delivered as one too. Handle this just right and she’ll be so moved on a cute, cuddly comedic level that the invite can’t be refused…for her, at least. If she’s a crazy enough cat lady, however, refrain from this, as she’ll likely bring the cat on a leash. And given the level of pre-game intoxication outside the stadium, it can only take so long before the cat loses a little fur to the smoldering coals of some dude’s Webber BBQ. Side note: what are you doing with crazy cat people anyways?

Guilt Trip Her into Coming
Warning: while guilt-tripping is a bona fide way to get her to go to any NFL or NCAA game, it’s also guaranteed to come back and haunt you, courtesy of spite…lots and lots of spite. As such, feel free to spin it any way you like: “I just want you to experience the important parts of MY life too.” “Don’t you want to know the REAL me?” “Honestly, we don’t have to go; I should get used to saying goodbye to all the parts of myself you fell in love with.” Once again, keep in mind that this will bite you in the ass and should only be used as a last resort…well, second to last, at least.

Lie About Where You’re Going
If you don’t value your relationship, and you’re looking for a memorable outing, there’s a simple way to end to it AND make it to the tailgate in time: lie. Tell her you’re going to the ballet or an overpriced wine bar or to her mom’s house. Better yet, don’t just tell her; blindfold her too. OH! And plug her ears! Then, when she unknowingly gets to the game, tear the blindfold off right as she’s facing a host of your already sloshed bros. Sure, you’ll get an earful for it later when she’s throwing all your belongings in a box, but at least your buds will really get a kick out of it, right?

Elijah Bates leads the creative department at CitizenGlobal, a social media company in Venice Beach. When he’s not working, or contributing Best Of and Mancave articles to CBS, you’ll find him surfing the California coast & evading stingrays like trips to the dentist.

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