SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14: San Francisco 49ers fans tailgate prior to the NFC Divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California.Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Most tailgates kind of look like a mobile shanty town. But don’t be fooled by the ramshackle appearance, plenty of planning organization goes into pulling them off successfully. Here are some best practices to make sure your tailgate doesn’t come apart at the seams like a Norv Turner playoff contender. Some of these rules will help make sure everything goes as planned on the day of the big game. Some will protect you from being “That Guy.” But all of them are necessary for the functioning of a perfect parking lot party.
At your next tailgate, make sure you avoid these 10 all-too-common faux pas:
10. Don’t Use Phrases like “Faux Pas.”
This is America, not France, dammit!
9. Don’t Bring Charcoal.
Like an offensive lineman at an all-you-can-eat buffet, charcoal fires are incredibly hard to control or predict. Remember — you can’t go wrong with good ol’ fashioned clean-burning propane (I’ll tell you what).
8. Don’t Blast Your Music.
We all know your creepy, borderline-obsessive fascination with Gotye. We don’t understand it, but, we know about it. Playing music is cool, but be kind to your neighbors and keep it reasonable. Just don’t go all “Milton” on us if we tell you to pipe down.
7. Don’t Wear Pink Jerseys, Hats or Anything Else that Isn’t Your Team’s Colors.
Because stop it.
6. Don’t Bring Younger Kids.
Tailgates can get kind of rowdy. For the sake of their safety, their vocabulary and (let’s face it) your enjoyment, let the little ones sit this one out. Besides, they can barely handle their liquor.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
5. Don’t Park Near the Port-O-Potties.
I… I mean. I don’t have to explain this one, right? Oh, I do? Ok. So, uh, that area tends to be… “aromatic” — yep. You got it. Yeah. I would make that face too.
4. Don’t Take a Parking Space Without Checking.
Remember, there are some hardcore tailgaters that have been doing this for decades. In some cases, these passionate fans have been using the same parking space for much of that time. You stealing that space is a big tailgating no-no.
3. Don’t Underestimate How Much Food and Drink You’ll Need.
In later years, some will wonder if your party’s decision to resort to cannibalism was a little hasty. These people will be wrong.
2. Don’t Trust the Weather Man.
Your local meteorologist is so frequently inaccurate that the Jets offered him a tryout (ba-ZING!). Bring a tent. In case of rain, it’ll keep you dry. In case of sunlight, it’ll help protect Notre Dame fans.
1. Don’t Put Off Planning Until the Last Minute.
Waiting until the last minute might work just fine for your anniversary. But you know what, some things are bigger than you and your spouse. Get your butt in gear a few days before the game.
So there you have it. By safely navigating in between these lines, you’ll be well on your way to joining the tailgating masters atop Mount Lushmore* (*not a real place… yet). In the meantime: be safe, have fun, and go team sports!