Unless you have been living under a rock you know by now that the NFL season has come and gone. Sure there are the off-season headlines that most of us will be following, but the reality is that most people tend not to tailgate the scouting combine. If the thought of not going to a tailgate party this weekend depresses you it absolutely should. However, before you go postal or try to drink the pain away, take a minute to read this. What you do after that is out of my hands, but have one for me will ya?
I equate the professional and college off-seasons, to the tailgating off-season. The good news is that there are tons of tailgating opportunities out there for us to keep the festivities going year-round. They may not be as popular and you may not see as many tents in the parking lots, but it’s a well known fact that NASCAR, MLB, and concerts are all great tailgating events. And while it may be tempting to follow the same routine you always do, my suggestion to you is to use these events as a training tool. Just like the pro’s will work on their strength you should work on your recipes. Just like they work on conditioning you should focus on your setup routine. The time for improvement is upon us, and lucky for us we don’t have to spend hours in the gym or watching lame game film. Instead we get to eat burgers, and drink beer. Now is the time to try new things, not next fall.
If you don’t understand my message let me explain. Surely you had a tailgate that didn’t go exactly as planned this year. Maybe it was okay but you thought it could have been better. Maybe you forgot a key element such as the buns or plates. Perhaps you didn’t pack enough ice, God forbid. It could be that you didn’t like that recipe you read on the Internet. For others who did well and want to further their experience by getting some new equipment, trust me you will want to test your new toys out far in advance of your next big event. Practice makes perfect, and fortunately for us, our practice can be very satisfying. If the events I mentioned before are not available to you, or maybe they just aren’t your thing I do have one other suggestion.
One of my favorite summer tailgating hangouts for off-season experimentation is Minor League Baseball. This map shows all of the options that fans have to cheer on the future stars of their favorite MLB teams. From the looks of it they have better coverage than most cellular networks. Honestly the biggest upside to these games is that they are incredibly affordable. For our family oriented friends affordability is crucial. For example to watch my local Single A team I pay $7 for a seat, and $2 for parking. I paid more than that for parking alone at the last NFL game I went to, and I’m sure that wasn’t an isolated incident. Of course for the more advanced leagues you will have more upfront cost but I can assure you it is less expensive than seeing their big league cousins. Better yet most of these teams have giant parking lots. Combine that with the less than maximum attendance, and you have a place where you can really spread out and have a blast.
Off-season development is crucial for the pro’s, and it’s about time we place the same emphasis on tailgating. Don’t worry because we are here to help. Check the site daily because we will posting the latest and greatest tailgating info right here. In addition to that be sure to follow the Tailgating Ideas Twitter Feed for the latest update notices and some good old fashioned humor. Have fun out there, be safe, and best wishes for your next tailgate party.