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Braylon Bunch Group PhotoSo you are at the point where your tailgate has gotten big enough you need your own identity? You are struggling to come up with a name that embodies who you are, what you are about, possibly rhymes or has alliteration, is catchy and is short enough to fit on a t-shirt. After all, “The Dan, Bob, Steve, Joe, Rhonda and Becky Miami Dolphins Supporters and Tailgate Party Group” really doesn’t have a catchy ring to it.

You need to find a name that helps you stand out from the sea of mediocre tailgaters and gives you your own identity. But how do you come up with a good one if you don’t know the rules? Well, good thing you are here because we will provide you a few easy to follow guidelines on selecting a name for your tailgating crew. More importantly we will provide you with the invaluable information in knowing which types of names to avoid. We’ll start with the ones you’ll want to avoid and work our way towards the types you should consider.

The Ill-AdvisedIndoctrinating a Current Player’s Name into your Tailgating Crew’s Name.
How many times have you bought a jersey of that “can’t miss” rookie first round draft pick who ends up being a total bust? Hello? JaMarcus Russell? Ryan Leaf, anyone? More times than you care to remember I am guressing. Once they have achieved ultimate draft bust status, that jersey is going straight into the trash along with that guy’s career. So why would you entrust the name of your tailgating crew to include a player’s name that is currently on the roster?

Players get traded, get injured, suspended for using steroids, get arrested for domestic violence, get picked up on DUIs or the best case scenario, eventually retire. No matter how great you think the player is or will be, no player plays forever.

Take the Braylon Bunch for example. Named after wide receiver Braylon Edwards while he was playing for the Cleveland Browns, this tailgating crew must have thought they hit the jackpot when they chose this name. In 2008, Edwards led the NFL in dropped passes and was promptly traded to the New York Jets prior to the 2009 season. So much for Braylon Edwards still making an impact in Cleveland and so much for the Braylon Bunch having a cool and catchy name anymore. All of those t-shirts you see in the above photo have probably all been placed in a landfill somewhere outside of Cleveland. So unless you are 100%, guaranteed that the player you choose will never get traded and will have a Hall of Fame caliber type career, stay away from names that include a player on the current roster. You would hate to be a San Francisco based tailgating crew and be saddled with the name “Druckenmiller’s Drinking Crew” for the next few eons.

OJ SimpsonThe BadIncorporating Extraordinary Former Players or Popular Former Coaches Into The Crew’s Name
Many tailgaters would think naming their tailgating crew after a popular coach or a Hall of Fame player might be a good choice. Then again, even though those players and coaches may have an unblemished reputation in your particular locale, unless they are deceased, they can still tarnish their good name and reputation. Imagine if you were a Buffalo Bills tailgating group and named your crew after O.J. Simpson. What if you were a part of a New York Giants group that named themselves after Lawrence Taylor? Both of those players had Hall of Fame careers but the life choices after their football careers were completed ruined their respect and good name forever.

Same thought process applies to coaches. I know Jim Tressel at Ohio State was beloved in Columbus but his recent involvement in an improper benefits scandal forced him to resign recently. If there was a tailgating group out there that chose to name themselves “Tressel’s Troopers” or “Sweater Vest Drinkers”, they are probably scrambling right now to come up with a new name.

The only exception that should be made are for those players and coaches who have passed on. There is no shame in a Chicago Bears group naming their crew “Walter Payton’s Posse” or Dallas Cowboys tailgaters calling themselves “Landry’s Lads”. Just make sure to do some research on the player or coach to ensure they were as squeaky clean as you remember them.

Florida State Tailgaters

The GoodIncluding The Team City/University, Mascot or Colors Into The Group Name
Rarely does a a team change cities, mascots or colors. One rare case was when St. John’s University changed their mascot from the Redmen to the Red Storm. Until 1994, the St. John’s mascot was the Redmen, which referenced the red uniforms worn by the university in competition. However, the name was interpreted as a Native American slur in the 1960s, and was changed to the Red Storm after mounting pressure on colleges and universities to adopt names more sensitive to Native American culture. St. John’s tailgaters that adopted a group name that included Redmen might consider changing the name but the occurrence of a school changing its mascot is very rare. In light of the today’s politically correct culture and the mounting pressure by the NCAA for schools to abandon Native American mascots, those tailgaters may want to steer clear of incorporating Seminoles, Sioux or Redskins into their name just as a precaution.

Examples of good tailgating crew names that heed this advice are groups like Club 49 (a San Francisco 49ers tailgating group), Big Blue Tailgate Crew (A New York Giants tailgating group) or the Bengal Bomb Squad (a Cincinnati Bengals tailgating group).

Unsupervised BusThe BestBuild Your Team Name From Your Own Blend of Personalities or Unique Meeting Spot
Enlisting this naming criteria takes some creativity and thought and is not just a cookie cutter way of creating a tailgating crew’s name. Consider naming your group based on where you park and tailgate. A group of girls who park near us in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot for Chargers games are known as the “B3 Girls”. That’s because they always park under, you guessed it, the B3 light pole in the parking lot. Even fans inside known them as the B3 Girls and not by their individual names.

Renowned and notorious Washington Redskins tailgaters the Dead Tree Crew or DTC for short, garnered their name because they would park in a section of the parking lot where a dead tree had yet to be removed. The Unsupervised tailgating group got its name from an epic road trip while many of its members were in the middle of their college days at LSU. Several future members headed out of town for a drinking weekend without their “significant others” – they were truly UNSUPERVISED for the weekend, and a tailgating group with a mission was born.

Another aspect of your tailgating group name might be a specialty dish you are well known for or is always served at every tailgate party. Maybe you always have some sort of obscene amount of meat cooking and might call yourselves the “The Blue Lot Carnivores”. Maybe you serve a specialty drink in the lots that sets you apart? The rule here is to be creative while staying true to yourself and expressing your tailgate crew’s uniqueness.

Conclusion – Of course you can name your tailgating crew whatever you want. After all, this is still America and you can do as you like. But take it from a guy who has seen and heard about a lot of different tailgating groups. If you want to avoid the hassle of having to change your tailgating crew’s name, give this post a second read. If you are planning on spending the money to print up T-shirts or even more drastic, get a tattoo of your tailgating crew’s name, read this post a third time.

Cleveland Browns Grill

Posted by Dave On June - 15 - 2011

It was last week when we told you that we had recently completed customizing a Margaritaville Tailgating Grill to Ohio State Buckeyes colors and logo. The OSU grill was ordered by longtime advertiser Cornhole.com’s owner JP Ragon. We hinted that we would be posting up photos of the second grill we did for JP… this one being a Cleveland Browns tailgating grill. Here they are:

If you would like to see more photos of other Custom Tailgating Grills, click HERE.

$5 To Walk & Tailgate?

Posted by Dave On October - 5 - 2010

Cleveland Pit Pedestrian SignHere’s a question: Would you pay $5 to walk through a parking lot that used to be a city impound lot?

Before you scream “F#&% NO!” at your computer screen, consider this. That is exactly what is going on in Cleveland at a popular tailgating spot known locally as “the Pit”. The management company of this parking lot started charging people to walk into the lot to join friends who have already paid $30 to park. This management company is charging tailgaters arriving on foot a $5 fee. Are you serious? Parking lots now have cover charges?

Cleveland’s a Plum: A $5 pedestrian fee to tailgate for a browns game? Gimmie a break.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland to look into operator’s tailgate party $5 admission fees
Waiting For Next Year: Cleveland Lot Now Charging Pedestrian Tailgaters

If you chose not to read any of the above linked articles, let’s set the scene. We’ve already heard by now about the outrage Cleveland tailgaters had regarding the famed Muni lot charging $5 more this year and opening the lot three hours later than in years past.  A few weeks ago Cleveland tailgaters staged their own passive aggressive protest by showing up at the Muni Lot gates at the regular 4 am time. In fact, so many showed up before the gates opened that the traffic congestion forced Cleveland Police to open the gates at 6 am just to avoid traffic snarls and creating a completely gridlocked downtown area.

Now another parking lot east of the Browns’ stadium has decided that if the Muni Lot can squeeze more money out of tailgaters, why can’t they? Already charging $30 per vehicle was apparently not enough for Network Parking, the management company that runs “the Pit”. Network Parking instituted a policy that those tailgaters that arrived on foot and planned to join other tailgaters already parked, needed to pay $5 per person. Although many thought it was a joke, Network Parking attendants held hard and fast to their new rules. When pressed for answers by Channel 19 in Cleveland, Network Parking issued a statement that justified, in their eyes, the $5 charge for foot traffic. It stated in part,

“increased costs to maintain the lot along with additional expenses to cover liability issues related to tailgating cleanup and crowd control, such as off duty Cleveland Police officers, porta-johns, large dumpsters, clean up equipment and clean up personnel.”

Here is a follow up story that breaks the news that what the parking management company is doing is actually allowable and is not breaking any laws.

It’s absolutely unbelievable the greed, utter disrespect and disregard tailgaters are receiving these days. When did the memo go out telling everyone but me that tailgaters are this bottomless pit of cash? Is it our fierce loyalty to our teams that allows us to be taken advantage of this way? I’d be interested your thoughts.

You know who else would be interested in your thoughts? Joel Cole, President of Network Parking. I think he would love to hear from not only local Cleveland tailgaters but from any and all of you tailgaters from around the country that want to let them know that this type of treatment is unacceptable.

Feel free to call him at: (216) 736-7190 and I would encourage you to ask for him by name. If he is unavailable, make sure to leave a voicemail giving him a piece of your mind. After you have done that, feel free to follow that up with an email that will go directly into his inbox. Please email him at: [email protected]. Also feel free to CC Bonnie Brodnik, Vice President Marketing & Administration ([email protected]) and Phil Soeder, Controller ([email protected]) on your email as well.

It’s about time we as tailgating nation stand up and take a stand on abuse and mistreatment. You may not tailgate in “the Pit” or you may not even tailgate prior to Browns games. But be careful of being apathetic and inactive now. If you are, please don’t complain when some outrageous policy and rule change affects you and your tailgating crew.

Tailgating Current Events Update

Posted by Dave On September - 27 - 2010

Pinto Ron Ketchup MustardRather than create a brand new post for each and every update on recent issues we have covered here on Tailgatingideas.com, why not combine them all into one? Yeah, I thought that might be a good idea too.

First up, update on Pinto Ron’s battle to tailgate in the Buffalo Bills main parking lot. If you were with us last week, we told you how Kenny Johnson, a.k.a. Pinto Ron was Not Welcome Anymore. Apparently the NFL and the Buffalo Bills were trying to discourage his unorthodox tailgating style and were concerned about liability issues. Well apparently the NFL and Pinto Ron have kissed and made up albeit with a few concessions on both sides.

As reported in the Mid-Week Eye Candy Wrapper #96: Justene Jaro Edition, Pinto Ron was contacted by Christopher Clark, the Bills’ director of security who encouraged him not to move his tailgating spot. Not much else was disclosed as to why the Bills were now valuing Johnson as a main fixture in the lots and had a change of heart. Johnson did say he will discontinue the tradition of giving out shots of Polish cherry liqueur out of the thumb hole of a bowling ball.

Johnson made national headlines when the Associated Press reported he would be moving his tailgate party across the street after he felt no longer welcome. This caused an uproar amongst Bills fans and the radio call in shows went berserk. So a lesson to all of your tailgaters that are feeling a little mistreated… get some press out and make some noise. The NFL can be beaten and you don’t have to take whatever they dish out lying down. The New Orleans fans took matters into their own hands in regards to the whole “Who Dat” controversy. Learn from these people and understand just because they are the NFL does not mean they can push you tailgaters around. You hold the power, not them.

Cleveland Muni LotAnd speaking of another victory for tailgaters vs. the big, bad NFL… chalk one up for the Cleveland Browns tailgaters.

Remember how we told you about Cleveland tailgaters getting up in arms about losing three hours of tailgating in the famed Cleveland Muni Lot? If you read some of the comments on the petition asking city officials to reconsider the decision to open the Muni Lot at 7 am instead of 4 am, many were concerned with the traffic congestion and gridlock this would create. Call them prophetic because traffic delays and gridlock is what occurred last Sunday.

Browns tailgaters didn’t follow the City of Cleveland’s suggestion of entering at 7 a.m. Instead, they decided to back the freeway up and also South Marginal Road. The staging lot was packed by 5 a.m. and the line to the first lot was so backed up that Cleveland police opened the lot at 6 am in order to avoid traffic jams and a potential for endangering people’s well being by encouraging a traffic accident. I am pretty confident that Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King were not tailgaters but I am sure both of them are smiling at the Browns tailgaters use of civil disobedience to fight for their right to party.

And in a final side note, here is some good news from an NFL franchise that understands the importance of tailgate nation. The Houston Texans are well known for having some of the most dedicated and die-hard tailgaters in the NFL. And because Texans fans are so into their tailgating rituals, it is easy to lose track of time. That is why the Texans management has installed a 170-decibel air horn on top of Reliant Stadium that will sound 30 minutes and 15 minutes before kickoff.

If I may opine for a moment….. that is freaking genius. I can’t tell you how many times I have been scrambling to pack things up and put them back in the car in order to go through the security pat down and be in my seat before kick-off. Setting your alarm on your cell phone or constantly looking at your watch sometimes does not cut it. If every stadium had a horn like they do in Houston, no one would have any excuse for missing kick-off.

Finally, an NFL franchise that respects and understand tailgaters. What a refreshing change.

Cleveland Muni Lot Outrage & Petition

Posted by Dave On August - 26 - 2010

Cleveland Muni LotI’ve said it before and I will say it again – I hate it when I am right.

Back in January I put together a few Predictions On Tailgating for 2010. My first prediction was tailgating times will get smaller and restrictions will grow. It seems as though I was dead on when it comes to that one. We’ve already seen it happening with New Tailgating Rules for the College World Series in Omaha this year and the trend is bleeding over to football. The worst news is that it is even affecting bastions of tailgating commonly thought as “untouchable”.

Yahoo! News: Changes coming for Cleveland parking lots on Browns game days

Cleveland’s well known “Muni Lot” is not only getting more expensive to park but is also taking away three hours of tailgating time. The price per vehicle is going up by $5 this year beginning with the home opener on September 19, 2010. Welcome back Clevelanders to another season of Browns football! We know LeBron James issued a punch in the gut by turning his back on you but please, accept this price increase as a token of our appreciation for your unwavering loyalty. Would you like a swift kick in the balls as you enter or exit the Muni Lot?

Many might be saying, “Hey, $5 is not that big of a deal.” In all honesty, you are right. Over the course of eight regular season home games that works out to an extra $40. Not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Everyone is strapped for cash these days including the City of Cleveland I would imagine.

Here is the part that has gotten Cleveland tailgaters up on the tires. Along with this price increase comes the announcement that the parking lot gates will now open three hours later than they had in years past. You read that correctly. They will charge more money and offer less tailgating time.

If you read the Yahoo! News story there is a quote in there from Darnell Brown, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Cleveland. He said, “The $5 increase will help offset the cost for services rendered.” Brown re-iterated that the rate increase is not about making money.

Um, What!?! Did Brown say that with a straight face? Services rendered? Seriously? You charge $5 extra yet reduce the tailgating time and the best thing you can come up with is “services rendered”? It’s a freaking parking lot. What services are you rendering?

You just reduced tailgating time by three hours which means you have to pay your parking lot attendants, parking fee collectors, city police officers, etc. three less hours on their hourly wage. If you are reducing your wage costs how can you justify a fee increase for “services rendered”? To me it sounds like you should be lowering your parking fees rather than increasing them. Unless Cleveland plans to install gold plated flush toilets instead of port-a-potties in the Muni Lot, I am failing to see a good reason for increased fees for “services rendered”.

I am a tailgater, not an MBA. Was I sick the day they taught that it is good business to raise prices combined with a reduction of the product? How would you react if you were being charged more for a gallon of milk but instead of it being a gallon, the bottle was 20% empty? You’d probably be pretty pissed off, right? Judging by the emails I have gotten within the past day, the mood in Cleveland Tailgate Nation is pretty irate.

Cleveland tailgaters Larry Oliver and Chuck Dean have started a petition online to demonstrate their outrage. Titled Muni Lot Open Time hosted on Petitiononline.com, the petition has already gathered over 3,100 signatures after only being up for less than 48 hours. (I was No. 2218)

Whether you are a Cleveland Browns fan or not, I would urge you to sign the petition as a sign of solidarity for our tailgating brothers and sisters. Don’t think that because it is happening in Cleveland it does not affect you. Because if it can happen in Cleveland it can happen to you.

Sign the petition HERE

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TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

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