ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 31: LSU Tigrs fans pose for a photo while tailgating before a game against the TCU Horned Frogs at AT&T Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Tailgates are great, but science has proven that OTHER peoples’ tailgates are better. Y’see, you can still take advantage of all that sexy parking lot drankin’, all without the hassle of driving, cleanup or telling Uncle Karl that, once again, he’s overindulged on the sauce — both barbeque and otherwise.
But what if you show up to the field, and you don’t have an invite to a tailgate? No es uno problemo, borracho pantalones. Today, Tailgate Fan — and our nebulous grasp on the Spanish language — will walk YOU through 10 great ways to crash a tailgate. Here we go:
10. Hold up a sign that says: “Need One Beer”
Legend has it that a certain family member of mine tried this once upon a time, and was justly rewarded. Last time I ran this story, I was informed that the details printed were apocryphal. But, I have a hard time believing that someone marching down the parking lot looking for freebies in the saddest, funniest way possible wouldn’t get at least ONE Natty Daddy for their efforts. Just so we’re totally clear, that’s not my nickname for a Natty Light. That is a new, high-octane malt liquor introduced by the Natural Light company. I’m terrified of it.
You’re telling me that Pat the Patriot couldn’t wrest a Harpoon IPA from Sully, Paddy and uhhh… Irish nickname #3. Jo-Jo? Anyway, I think that if your team’s mascot rolled up looking for a beer, you’re contractually obligated as a fan to provide said mascot with a beer. Don’t have the means for putting together a costume for your team’s mascot? No worries. Plenty of bootlegs will do. For instance, I have a hard time believing ANYone would refuse offering a beer to this fella.
8. Be friends with at least one cute lady and one cute fella
Look, tailgates are fun social events. I’m told by many youngsters that many social events involve interested parties looking to engage in conversation and light flirtation with their romantic interests. So, what’s your play here, you ghastly looking bag of bones? Simple: just crash the tailgate with your most attractive friends: Chris, Pat, Morgan, Shawn, Ashley, Alex, and the rest. Let him, her or them do the talking. And you? You just drink your beer and try not to screw anything up. You’re just a hop-on here, after all.
This one may sound tricky, but bear with me here. Lurk around a tailgate long enough to hear the host’s name. For our purposes, let’s say it’s, oh, I don’t know, what’s a common name these days… Lionel Messi. So you approach him and you say: “Lionel? Lionel MESSI? It’s me! Astaroth!” Now, clearly, at this point, Lionel Messi will look at you like you’re crazy. Here’s where you’ve gotta go for the con. Now, you need to tell him that you know him from some place that he’s guaranteed to recognize. You might say Argentina, but for our purposes, let’s say you’re at a Bengals tailgate. Which means that the only guaranteed spot you would have met is a Bengals tailgate.
Now, here’s what you do: you weave a tale of deceit and BS that not even Alex Jones would be suspicious of. You start talking about where you know him from. And be as specific as possible. A sample script:
“Man, it’s great to see you. We haven’t caught up since, god, when was the last time you were here? A year or two ago? I remember. It was unusually chilly, even by Cincinnati standards. Anyway, if memory serves, we shotgunned a few beers and talked about how that bastard Kimo von Oelhoffen ruined the chance for our Super Bowl run. Of course, then I stubbed my toe and it was game time, so you and your wife headed in. Anyway, it’s great to see you, man. You don’t, uh, have a spare beer, do you?”
No for real. If you spot a tailgating fanbulance, chances are they’re pro tailgaters. Just approach them and offer to buy a cup. Last time I did this at the Meadowlands, they charged me $5 for a cup with $1 refills of craft beer. That’s the best friggin’ deal ANYWHERE. Besides, then you don’t need to feel so icky about “crashing” a tailgate.
4. Tailgating Scavenger Hunt
Yep. I know I’m stealing directly from my last article, but guess what? It ain’t plagiarizing if it’s from me! What, am I gonna sue myself? Ha! Take that, American justice system!
Ok, so to recap, here’s how it works: you create a list of scavenger hunt items – let’s say, a shotgunned Coors Light, a bottle of Avery IPA – and you go around to tailgates trying to fulfill your list. You’re telling me a friendly tailgater wouldn’t try to help out someone on a scavenger hunt? Please. I’m sure they’d pull out the stops for 1-2 free beers. The best part is, since this is a scavenger hunt, you can keep re-using the same items and hunt and peck food and drinks from dozens of different tailgates.
Photo Credit: Brian Cullen
3. Help out!
Here’s another honest tactic from crashing a tailgate. During one of my recent visits to the Meadowlands, I saw a guy struggling to carry a cooler alone. I offered to help him carry it. We double teamed it and got him to where he was going. He was so thankful that, next thing you know, I got 3-4 beers and 1-2 shotguns, all while chatting it up with the grateful folks. Listen: if you can stop being a bastard for all of 5 minutes, you might make a few friends. Friends with beer. The best kind of friends.
2. Just talk to them
You’d be surprised how friendly tailgating folks are. Sometimes all you have to do is chat and ask.
1. Write for a tailgating website
I have it on good authority that writing for a tailgating website will get you silly amounts of beer. Just be prepared that you may have to back up your talk with an actual, mailed link at some point in the future.
So there you have it: 10 mostly tried and sorta-true ways of crashing a tailgate. Now, who wants to field test the results and let us know how they work?