The Bucket List For Tailgaters

bucket_list_poster.jpgAre your familiar with the concept of “The Bucket List”? The movie with the same name that follows Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as they try to complete a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket”? This inspired me to come up with a “Bucket List” of tailgate parties that every tailgater should experience before they die. In no particular order…

The Infield at Talladega Super Speedway – Most tailgate parties last three to four hours prior to the start of the event. The tailgate party at Talladega lasts for three to four days before the green flag drops. Just the sheer acreage that is the Talladega Infield makes it a living, breathing Mardi Gras for race fans or just anyone that enjoys a good partys. Take it from the folks at, “There is no party anywhere as big as the Talladega Infield! Actually, there is no party anywhere as big as Talladega, period!

lambeau_tailgating.jpgLambeau Field in December – We all watched in the comfort of our fully heated homes, the Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants playoff game in frigid temperatures this past January. Just because the mercury was nearly frozen solid didn’t prevent the Packer faithful from coming out and doing what they do best; giving a few beer soaked brats a viking funeral. Tailgating at Lambeau is legendary for the food and beverage intake alone. Add in the history of the team and the rabid loyalty of the fan base and you have yourself a great tailgating experience. And yes, you have to do it in December when it is freezing cold outside. Tailgating prior to a pre-season game in August does not count, you wuss.

“The Zoo” inside Brainerd International Raceway – Drag racing usually involves a lot of smoke, burning tires and sensory overload to anyone that has ever been to an NHRA event. The same words could describe the tailgating experience inside the infield of Brainerd International Raceway, a.k.a. “The Zoo”. A lot of the tailgaters in The Zoo never make it into their seats to watch the race because the race is secondary to the tailgating. The friendly hospitality in The Zoo is incredible and you will be offered more beers from strangers than at a fraternity party during rush week.

gator_girl.JPGWorld’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party: Florida vs. Georgia in Jacksonville – With a name like “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”, how can this not be on any self-respecting tailgater’s bucket list? The amount of booze poured at this tailgate party would make Mickey Mantle blush. Since the game is held on a neutral site, fans from both schools mingle and socialize up until game time. A popular tailgating game is trying to figure out which school’s co-eds are hotter. We’re all winners when playing this game.

Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha, Nebraska during The College World Series – If you build it, they will tailgate. You’ll come for the pure love of college baseball but you’ll come back again for the tailgate. An added bonus is if the LSU and Texas teams both make it to Omaha. The tailgating outside “the Blatt” when those teams’ fans are in town makes the tailgating fare something to behold. Men, make sure to invest in the industrial size bottle of Gold Bond. Omaha. June. Grilling outside. Using any other brand of baby powder and you’ll be making pancakes in your socks.

jimmy_buffett_tailgate.jpg Jimmy Buffett in concert: Key West, Florida – In all honesty, any Jimmy Buffett tailgate party could qualify to make this list. The reason why Key West is highlighted here is because those concerts just seem to ooze with the overwhelming “permanent vacation” mindset of the avid Parrothead. Key West is also Jimmy’s home when he isn’t touring so consider this party like a “home game” for serious tailgaters. Roam the blacktop prior to any Jimmy Buffett concert and you’ll see men in grass skirts complete with coconut shell bras, a margarita glass so big you’ll need a boat oar to stir it’s contents and of course, more cheese burgers in paradise than Rosie O’Donnell could eat.

The Rose Bowl on January 1st – The BCS has really killed a lot of the spirit of the college football bowls but the Rose Bowl has somehow managed to maintain its rich traditions. Those traditions are apparent in the tailgating parking area prior to the “Granddaddy of Them All.” Because the Rose Bowl was built in 1921 there was not a lot of thought put into accommodating tailgaters. No problem. Tailgaters just park on the adjacent golf course and put out their chairs and fire up their grills. And because of the tradition of the game and the venue in which it is played, it does not matter which teams are competing.

preakness_tailgaters.jpgThe Infield at the Preakness Stakes – Although the infield at the Preakness Stakes does not allow you to pull in your car and tailgate in the traditional manner, it is full of grills, coolers of beer and a lot of rowdy behavior. The Preakness Infield has evolved into something that resembles Spring Break at Lake Havasu during a Girls Gone Wild video shoot. You’ll see college kids foot racing on top of the rows of port-o-johns all while dodging beer cans being flung at their heads. Keg stands and 12-foot long beer bongs are commonplace here. Oh yeah, most party goers know there is a pretty big horse race going on that day but by post time, mostly everyone in the infield does not care by that point.

the_grove.jpgThe Grove at Ole Miss – Still exuding the southern charm of an antebellum Hollywood movie, The Grove at Ole Miss is tailgating that time forgot. The Grove is smack dab in the middle of campus surrounded by 10-acres of oak trees and foliage. If that scenery wasn’t enough to take your breath away, the women will. You’ll consider making 14 different marriage proposal speeches just by walking from one end of The Grove to the other. Make sure to dress a little more spiffy than you normally dress. Those white tablecloths and candelabras don’t mesh well with your 1983 “Diary of a Madman” Ozzy Osborne concert T-shirt. The Grove opens at 4 a.m. and you better have your spot claimed early because by 6 a.m. they will all be gone. All this for a non-conference night game scheduled for a 6 pm kickoff.

Did we miss something? What classic tailgate party was left off this Bucket List? Leave a comment and state your case.

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24 thoughts to “The Bucket List For Tailgaters”

  1. If you take that one particular tailgate, I think the cocktail party is the best, but if you want to look at which college team brings it every week, that place is not on your list. That place is Baton Rouge for a night game.

  2. The garbage shows up in droves towing Airboats and Purple and Gold R/V’s.

    Ever been to Mardi Gras? Tailgating right means making refuse…. tool.

  3. The Grove sucks. We (15 guys) went this year. You cannot walk around with a can beer, it has to be in a cup. Your ice chest has to be padlocked. The cops were everywhere, it felt like I was in prison. Nothing beats Baton Rouge !!!!!

  4. The grove? Are u joking, a bunch of uptight “arse clowns” drinking mint julips. Too worried about their starched shirts getting wrinkled b/f they get their arse handed to them by pississippi st.

  5. The Bayou owns the grove. Baton Rouge for a night game is best atmosphere in college football.

  6. Ive been to nearly all campuses around the SEC over the years, and BR is by far the best for tailgating. Good God those guys know how to do it right. I go to BR every time we play them. The Grove is a snorefest. This guy doesnt know bull poop from a tailgate party.

  7. the grove…lol… agreed there are a descent amount of attractive girls at a couple of tailgates… i can name three schools better than that…in the SEC!

  8. Dude, you have to go to Georgetown Road for the Indy 500. People get there on monday, tailgate all week and leave before the race on sunday.

  9. Been to Baton Rouge as well, I have to agee, the Tigers are in a class of their own. What up “Big Ron”!?

  10. the Kentucky Derby should have been listed. That is the Preakness time 10. The biggest race in the world. as well as the biggest party.

  11. went to ole miss last year—boring, bunch of pretentious gits eating vienna sausage off of fine china….nothing is better than baton rouge for a night game…

  12. Tailgating in the grove is great if you’re an ole miss fan. Oxford police love to arrest LSU fans. And tilgating at Tiger Stadium is 1000 times better than ole piss.

  13. LSU tailgating >>>> Ole Miss tailgating
    LSU cooking >>>> Ole Miss cooking
    UGA, LSU women >>>> Ole Miss women

  14. An LSU fan all my life, I stopped bothering with away games years ago. If the party is not in Death Valley, it might as well be in HD. Period.

  15. The Grove is a great tradition, and I love Ole Miss. But as far as bringing it on any given Saturday, those inbreds in baton rouge can’t be beat

  16. Arrow Head Stadium, home of the Chiefs, you can smell the BBQ from the highway, they not only fill up the Chiefs parking lot with tailgaters but the Royals side too. Noone goes hungry!

  17. Inbreds at LSU can’t talk about tailgating loud rap music and nasty ugly women dancing around isn’t tailgating.

  18. Quote: went to ole miss last yearboring, bunch of pretentious gits eating vienna sausage off of fine china….nothing is better than baton rouge for a night game…

    You are probably just pissed that the vienna sausages weren’t dipped in batter then deep fried on a stick.

  19. you LSU homers can get over yourselves, next time we’ll make sure and roll out the red carpet for all you jackasses.

  20. How about the Oakland Coliseum for a Raider game? All you need is some bad weed, Taco Bell food and warm Natural Light and you’ll fit right in.

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