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Although he was never President of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is renowned as one of the greatest Americans in our history. We all know him as an author, printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman and diplomat. But did you know he was a tailgater? Actually he probably never attended a tailgate party but it does not mean we as a tailgating nation can not learn from his knowledge and famous quotes. So here are eight things tailgaters could learn from Ben Franklin…
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it” – This could also be deemed, “one bad apple will ruin the whole barrel”. You could be tailgating in the same spot for the past 10 seasons but a lapse in judgment could cost you your reputation. Getting too drunk, being abusive to the opposing teams’ fans, being rude to your neighbors will tarnish your good name for a long time. It will take a lot of apologizing and generous sharing of your grill to get in the good graces of those around you.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – This goes without saying but when you save everything for the last minute, your tailgate party is going to be a flop. Invariably you will forget something if you are not prepared. Get a list together about two or three days prior to your game or concert. Pack as much gear as you can into your vehicle the night before. Check items off your list as they go in the car so you are not second guessing yourself the next day. Get all the major stuff out of the way the day before your tailgate party and it will be a lot less stressful.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Have you ever told someone how much fun tailgating is? They probably will discount your opinion if they have never gone tailgating with you before. I have never met a person that I have taken tailgating with me and at the end of the day they said they had a bad time. Had I not involved them in the tailgating culture, they would not have known what they were missing. Take it from Benjamin Franklin, take a new person tailgating to each game and you will soon have more and more people wanting to join you each week.
“Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.” – There is nothing wrong with a little good natured ribbing of the other teams’ fans. Those fans expect that. It is when the ribbing turns into taunts and taunts turn into threats that tarnish the good reputation of all tailgaters. Keep in mind, other tailgaters who support the other team, they are just as passionate about their team as you are of your own. It doesn’t make them bad people. It just makes them fans. No matter what the rivalry is on the field, there should be no hard feelings in the parking lot between fans before the game.
“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” – Again, we can not stress this enough. Plan ahead for a stress free day of tailgating. If Ben thought to mention it twice, it is probably pretty important.
“Well done is better than well said.” – Ben Franklin was not talking about the temperature of your meat. (I figure Ben would be a medium rare kind of guy.) He was talking about letting your actions speak louder than your words. Don’t tell us what a bad ass tailgater you are, show us. Don’t tell me about all the cool tailgating toys you have. Roll them out and let’s see them. Talk is cheap. If you are indeed all about bad ass tailgating, people will notice without you saying a word.
“Games lubricate the body and the mind.” – Make sure to have plenty of diversions available for your fellow tailgaters to keep them occupied. Cornhole, washers, beer pong, hillbilly golf, etc. Find the tailgating games you like to play and bring them along. Sitting around and chatting while the meat is cooking is just fine for most but there are others that need to move around a bit more.
“Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – I had to end this list with this one. Self-explanatory for certain. This quote alone convinces me that if Ben Franklin were alive today, he would be a tailgater.
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