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:
This is America, not France, dammit!
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).
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.
Because stop it.
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.
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.
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.
In later years, some will wonder if your party’s decision to resort to cannibalism was a little hasty. These people will be wrong.
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.
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!
This list was compiled with the assistance of tailgating guru Jamin Hemenway, whose adventures are available for everyone to see at Pigskin Pursuit.