BOURBONNAIS, IL - AUGUST 06: A blocking sled is seen during a Chicago Bears summer training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University on August 6, 2011 in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Football has been away for awhile… a long while. While the players most certainly need the rest, the fans have to endure an offseason that feels like an eternity. But the waiting is almost over.
Training camps around the NFL get underway this week. Preseason isn’t far behind. All of you purists out there now have a football-related excuse to tailgate.
But tailgating doesn’t just happen. You can’t just fire up the grill, pop a cold one and expect to be in mid-season form. You could pull something. Experienced and novice tailgaters alike need to train for that first real tailgate, get in tailgating shape. Here’s some of the gear you’ll need.
Photo Credit: Big Mouth Toys
Big Mouth Toys Beer Belt ($9.99)
Carrying six beer cans is hard work. But you can’t put them down; one of your friends might take one. Wearing them on a belt leaves your hands free swat away potential thieves. The extra weight also helps to build your core strength. Okay, not really, But wouldn’t that be awesome?
A cooler that can hold two-liter soda bottles or wine bottles upright means less hassle for everyone. Or forget about all that and just fill it up with 20 cans of beer. The handle makes for easy carrying and the base and lid interlock for stacking multiple coolers together. And that’s where the training comes in. Carrying two of these, filled with the beverage of choice, requires some muscle. So you better get to practicing now, so you’ll be able come September.
A Man, A Can, A Tailgate Plan: 50 Easy Game-Time Recipes that Are Sure to Please ($15.95)
We all have our go-to recipes, which means our guests know what to expect come tailgate time. But a little extra preparation in the kitchen will put you that much further ahead in the parking lot. So it’s time to hit the books — one book specifically — and it’s a cookbook. A Man, A Can, A Tailgate Plan gives you 50 simple tailgating recipes to supplement the Tailgate Fan’s recipes you’re no doubt already using. An expanded arsenal will surely pay dividends come opening day.
This is why we train: to play the game. Okay, so it’s not an actual football field. But it sure looks like one. And it’s not easy to toss a beanbag while holding a plate of food. So set this up in the backyard, grill some burgers and let the tailgate training begin. You’ll be ready for the starting lineup come opening day.