SOUTH BEND, IN - SETPEMBER 19: A sign in a tailgater's car before a game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan State Spartans on September 19, 2009 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
See if you can follow this: tailgating is a pregame before a football game, and what better way to pregame the game than with a game? Boom. Incepted.
What I mean to say, of course, is let’s talk about drinking games. Sure, you all know the standards, and to be fair, some of them appear on this list. Leaving off some of these gems would be like writing a “fattest presidents” list and giving William Howard Taft the shaft. (Oh my, that was such a fun sentence to write!)
But, at the end of the day, as red-blooded, grease-sweating Americans, many of us are competitive. But most of us can’t run a 4.4 40. Hell, most of us couldn’t run a 4.4 5. That’s why we need to satiate our competitive desires elsewhere.
Enter: drinking games. They’re fun a way to conquer your foe all while doing your favorite thing — pounding tallboys — while avoiding all those messy therapy bills that you’d normally get. And while these teetotaling competitions are usually reserved for bar rooms, we think that these games are perfect complements to your tailgate.
10. Drunk Scavenger Hunt
The rules of the drunk scavenger hunt are inspired. Not only does it allow you to have fun without actually holding your own tailgate, but it’s a way to score free food and drinks all in the name of sport. Here’s how it works: imagine a normal scavenger hunt. Okay, now add alcohol and grilling. Yeah, sounds oversimplified, but let’s do a sample list here, you and me:
You’re looking for:
1. A bottle of Dogfish Head Beer
2. A half a rack of ribs
3. A meat you don’t usually see at a tailgate
4. Walking Tacos!
5. The best beard. To prove it, get him to give you a beer.
Etc. Obviously that list can be improved upon. That’s just a sample of what free wonderfulness you can rend from your fellow tailgater.
This is a similar principle, but requires a bit more planning. Tailgating golf is the perfect marriage between playing a round on the back nine and drinking your angst at your stepfather away. Here’s how it works: line up nine (yep, NINE) tailgates you’re going to visit. At each one, build a competition. (So, for instance: how many “sips” it takes you to drink a Guinness? If you drink it without your lips leaving the glass, that’s a hole in one). Standard golf rules apply: lowest score wins. Also, one time I single-handedly won a game of bar golf in Philadelphia after chugging a 40 in one go. Hi ma!
Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
8. Dodge Beer
Okay. This one was just told to me so I might be a little off on the rules. Here’s how it goes: you have two cups full of beer on each side of the table (BTW, you need a table) as well as two people on each side of the table. The first player will throw a ping-pong ball across the table and try to hit another player’s cup. As soon as contact is made — it’s on. The throwing player starts chugging beer. The player whose cup got the business end of a ping-pong ball needs to chase down their ball and return it to the table. As soon as that’s done, the chugging player stops chugging. First team to finish all their beers wins. Now, this is a rough and tumble game, even in a bar. Imagine the wall-less confines (or lack thereof) of a parking lot.
7. The Jeppson’s Malört One-Upsmanship Challenge
This isn’t a real game. I made it up. But it’s guaranteed to make your tailgating more interesting.
I can’t make any jokes about Jeppson’s Malört because Jason Sudeikis already took the cake when he said, in Drinking Buddies, that it was like a “burnt condom full of gas.” And yet, there’s a strange fascination around this mythical horse poison. So, here’s how you play the Jeppson’s Malört One-Upsmanship Challenge:
1. Player one takes sip of Malört
2. Player one scowls.
3. Player two takes a sip of Malört
4. Player two acts like he just bit a stick of deodorant.
And so on. The bottle gets passed, and the beverage downed sip after sip. Players drop out as soon as they’re sane, and the last person in wins the game, but unfortunately loses the ability to not be schizophrenic the rest of his life.
For the life of me, I don’t know how I’m going to explain Swat to you, but here goes nothing. So, imagine a table (BTW, you need a table) with, like, 20-60 cups with a little beer inside. On the outer rim of the cups, you and other players try to race around the table a la Quarters (e.g., you bounce a ping pong ball into a cup. If it lands in, you pass your cup to the next person.) If you jump the next person, you get to swat their cup, then they need to grab a cup from the center, drink it, and then use that cup for play.
Ain’t no way that made sense.
Anyhoot, the beauty of this game is that the longer it goes on, the more aggressive the swats get. I myself was involved in a three-person bump-set-swat, and once I reach up and smashed the cup against the ceiling! Wheee! Destruction!
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
5. Keg Stand
An oldie but a goodie. Keg stand for as long as you can. Time yourself. Then, see if anyone can beat you. If they do, say something nasty about their mother! Then… try to beat them again. This time, with your wits.
4. Shotgun Race!
It’s just what it sounds like. There are very few tailgating traditions that I love quite like a good shotgun race. If you’ve never done one, here’s what you do: grab a can of beer, turn it sideways, then puncture a hole in the side (I prefer using this bad boy). Then, once everyone’s ready, open the top, and starting drinking as fast as you can! First one to finish, wins. Last one to finish is probably your wimpy brother, Allen. He was always a runt, anyway.
This is a nifty idea: make up a few bingo cards, and fill them up with random stuff you might see at a tailgate (for instance, for a Giants game you might have “Pink Victor Cruz Jersey,” “Phil Simms Jersey,” “Boring Fans Cheering a Boring Team,” etc.). For each entry, you’ll need your target to sign the bingo card for proof. You may even need a picture, if you’re going for expert mode. Winner gets 10,000 points and control of the board.
2. Cornhole Pong
Bear with me here, because this is a thing that I just made up (and I’m refusing to Google it because I don’t want to know if someone else thought of it first). Okay, first, imagine cornhole, AKA the best non-drinking tailgate game (of course, you CAN drink while playing cornhole, it’s just not part of the mandatory rules). Now imagine, if you will, a larger cornhole board, with nine pitcher-sized holes cut into it. Then, put in nine pitchers, half-full of beer and voila: cornhole pong. If the idea of the beanbags soaking up beer are gross, that’s fine — just find another thing to throw. Point is, this is the best of both worlds, baby.
1. Beer Pong
Original, no. But you can’t mess with a classic. Just bring your table (BTW you’ll need a table) and play to your heart’s content. It’s tried, it’s true, it’s led to countless marriages, divorces, kids and fistfights, and it’s part of tailgating — nay — the American fabric. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Any other faves, sports fans? Let us know in the comments section below.