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Gamer Beverage Dispenser Review

Posted by Foster On November - 29 - 2011

Big Fan Tailgating shipped me a Gamer Beverage Dispenser to test out during the last two Texas A&M games.  Timing was right to test and for the product launch.  Two games, six days.  Plus the all-new product hits shelves and the internet just in time for the holidays and can be found at BigFanTailgating.com

Upside: You Look Marvelous.

When you take a look at the image to the right you’ll notice that the product looks great.  The Dispenser, in fact, was the talk of the tailgate prior to the Texas A&M vs. Kansas game.  People wanted to put the product through its paces.

The product simply looks stellar with wonderfully matched school colors and logos.  To borrow from Billy Crystal’s Fernando character of Saturday Night Live fame – “You look marvelous.”  I’ve included a video of Crystal and former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to serve as a friendly reminder of the catch phrase.  Great stuff.

This I know, a true sports fan would be very excited to receive this product—it simply looks wonderful.

The Downside: Judging a Book Completely By It’s Cover

While it looks great, my tailgate team had difficulties with the prototype unit that Big Game Tailgating provided to us for testing.  The seal at the bottom leaked.  The dispenser leaked more than the porous Kansas Jayhawk secondary that we saw on Kyle Field a few hours later during the Aggies 61-7 victory.   The excitement we originally felt for the Dispenser went away in about 15 seconds when we realized the unit couldn’t be used.

The leak problem was big enough that I let their president know about the issue first thing Sunday morning.  The next day he sent me a note advising that they had inadvertently shipped me a pre-production sample for the Aggies Dispenser.  The final Aggies unit, in its finished format, actually would not ship until mid-December.

To make right and for more testing purposes they sent me a Georgia replacement dispenser.  Exceptional customer service and a background that includes licensed big school products for Tailgate Tables, Washer Tosses, the Chill Stick and many more tailgate oriented items helped to set Big Fan Tailgating apart.  Two days later I had the replacement helmet.

When the Georgia helmet arrived I quickly assembled the product—took 5 minutes—and then placed water in the container portion of the product.  I wanted to be certain the water held overnight with no leaks at all.  It did so with no problems.

So while this background is important to mention, it seems that Big Game Tailgating has the seal issue solved.  Moreover, any issues should be handled quickly and smartly via their customer support.

What It Isn’t?

At first glance, the Dispenser looks like a blender.  It’s decidedly not.  It is simply a very good-looking beverage dispenser.  Title says so, but at a glance—both inside and outside the box—it’s what you might mistake the product for being.

Pricing

To be the cool kid on the tailgating block, it’s going to set you back $149.  Arguably small change in today’s team tailgating environment, but not exactly low cost for a single tailgater.

Without asking, I suspect much of the cost goes into licensing the product.  The helmet, the dispenser and the stylized container all look and feel nice.  Think nice plastic football helmet, not official helmet and you get a sense for the product.  The dispenser adds to the tailgate look and feel with a nice football tap as a finishing touch.

The base of the dispenser is solid and as another nice touch the company provides a drip collector with a magnet base that smartly clings to and adjusts underneath the aforementioned tap.

Competitor

In a segment all it’s own—the collegiate licensed dispenser is a product that makes sense; however, a quick look around the web shows that the Margaritaville Bahamas Frozen Concoction Maker is available for $50 more–priced at $199.

Several problems for the above mentioned product.  Do you have the generator? Can you pull the wattage? Just as important . . . Are you willing to go lime green?  For Seattle Seahawk and Oregon Duck fans, the Blender makes perfect sense.

For the rest of us?  We’ll have to wait until collegiate licensed blenders become more widely available or until Dave and team attempt to convert a blender in the same way that they’ve converted Margaritaville grills into Custom Tailgating Grills in the past.

Final Recommendation

Gamer Beverage Dispenser–You Look Marvelous!  Form sometimes trumps function in the tailgating world and such is this case for this all-new product from Big Game Tailgating.  If you are looking for a cool, new tailgating idea this holiday season, then this product comes through in the clutch. For more information or to buy one of your own go to bigfantailgating.com or just click HERE.

For more articles written by Foster “Jim” Flint click here.

Cin Chili – Tailgate Approved

Posted by Foster On October - 28 - 2010

As tailgating moves further into the fall and the temperatures in Texas turn cooler there’s nothing better than chili to help keep your tailgate warm.

After tailgate testing Cin Chili we found it to be such a perfect match that we’ve adjusted our future menus to include Cin Chili for each of our last three tailgates this season.

Cin Chili is a family owned business started by Cindy Reed Wilkins.  With two first place trophies from the Terlingua International Chili Championship Cindy is the only person with back-to-back titles in the history of the competition–the Archie Griffin of Chili cook-offs, if you will.  Griffin, a former running back for Ohio State University, is the first and only back-to-back winner of the Heisman Trophy.

After years of perfecting her recipe—she’s won more than 300 cook-offs in her career–Cindy now shares her chili recipes and spices with those that are interested.  She’s even appeared on the Food Networks Thrown Down with Bobby Flay.  Flay routinely challenges the absolute masters in different areas of cooking expertise like BBQ, pizza and chili.  When it came time to take on the world’s best in chili he came to Cindy’s door.

The Cin Chili mix is value priced at $5.  Ingredients include all the usual suspects: red pepper, jalapeno pepper, salt and special chili powders.  All the details on the product can be found by clicking here.

Cin Chili is spicy enough to keep your mouth watering and the drinks flowing, but it’s not so hot that you need to call the fire department.  A genuine mix of Chili goodness from one of the all-time greats—Cindy Reed Wilkins.

Cin Chili – Tailgate Approved.

Here’s the recipe we tested and will be using during our tailgates.  The recipe below serves 10.

Cin-Chili Chili

2 pounds stew beef
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 1/2 tablespoons chili powder – divided use
5 teaspoons garlic powder – divided use
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon chicken base or bouillon granules
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper – divided use
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green chili peppers
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt

  1. In a heavy kettle, brown stew beef in oil. Stir in 1 tablespoon chili powder and 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
  2. In a large bowl, combine tomato sauce, beef broth, chicken base, chopped jalapeno, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon white pepper, water, 1 tablespoon chili powder, salt, and green chili peppers. Add to the beef mixture and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine paprika, italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, and 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder. Add to the beef mixture, adding more beef broth or water if too thick. Remove the green chili peppers and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in cumin and salt. Simmer for 10 minute

Additional details about Cin Chili can be found by clicking here.

For other blog posts written by Foster Flint click here.

Auto-mo-brella Tailgating Review

Posted by Foster On October - 6 - 2010

Do you remember the Brockabella?

When Lou Brock, the Hall of Fame outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, wasn’t collecting stolen bases and base hits he was out hawking the Brockabrella.  Today, he’s still lovingly remembered in the Midwest and across America for lending his name to this unique sun protecting device.

Not to be outdone Gene Mayfield, the inventor of the Auto-mo-brella, developed his own sun protecting device after attending a NASCAR race and watching people struggle with setting up their tailgating tents and umbrellas.  Brock’s umbrella protects your head.  Mayfield’s protects your car or truck.

Gene’s company, GTM Products, now offers the Auto-mo-brella, an over-sized umbrella set-up that works effectively for single person operations that aren’t looking to struggle with the complexities of setting up a multi-man tent.

Want a little less sun in your Outdoor fun?
The product is, essentially a high-quality, lightweight umbrella that easily locks into the back of your SUV or truck as a telescoping tailgating hitch.  The device creates much needed shade and the umbrella pivots to protect you from the elements—no matter the time of day.  It’s a simple one person set up and tear down–a process that went smoothly when I put the product through its paces.

There are a few requirements though.  First, you’ll need a class two trailer hitch.  Additionally you’ll need to plan to tailgate in a parking lot environment right behind where you park.

Deciding to allocate a precious trailer hitch is a big deal.  Many of you have followed in Dave’s footsteps and have built out your own Tailgating Grill.  Here’s a link to the most recent edition–a New York Giants edition.  You’ll have to make the call on the priority for your tailgate.

For those that have other designs for the tailgating hitch, a nice addition to the product would be a stand.  Whether on a hitch or on the ground the auto-mo-brella can provide much needed protection from the Texas sun.  Our tailgating team talked about building one on our own so that we could protect our annexed grillers from the elements adjacent to our main tent.

The other prerequisite is a clear parking place.  If you’re on an area removed from your vehicle, this product won’t make as much sense for you.  If you’re in a parking lot it can be a great compliment to your tailgating exploits.  The unit smartly avoids conflicts with the rear lift or tailgate of your SUV or truck.

The video of how the product works is shown below.

Pricing

Logo tailgating tents can cost anywhere between $99 and $229.  The product as sampled here runs $119.  While the Auto-mo-brella itself covers up and protects Tailgaters from the sun, the Automobrella’s cost doesn’t necessarily cover up the the comparable benefit found in acquiring a color matched, logo’d 9×9 tent that runs about the same price.

The Verdict?

Veteran football tailgaters won’t be as interested in this product as new tailgaters.  The logo’d tailgating tent is a staple of tailgating pride and while it’s a little more expensive, it’s an important addition to football tailgating activities.

The product works well and as described, but the price point doesn’t make it attractive enough to recommend.  There aren’t any complaints about the product. It’s high quality and it will help you take your tailgating to the next level.  However,  there’s another level just around the corner and it can be reached for close to the same price.

Other Options?

The company is moving aggressively in the tailgating space.  They have two other products including a tailgate umbrella with and a tailgate party mate that functions as a picnic table.  The items are listed on the Auto-mo-brella website for $299 and $124 respectively.  They appear to be sturdy enough to withstand the most aggressive tailgating environment, just like the product I tested.

Other Details

The company is coming up to speed with a brand new website—launched September 1 as well as a new Facebook and Twitter presence.

For more details about the Auto-mo-brella click here.

To like them on Facebook click here.

To read more blogs written by Foster Flint click here.

The Indispensible College Football TV Schedule Link

Posted by Foster On October - 2 - 2010

Getting ready to head out to a college football tailgate, but not quite sure which games are on?  Over the last several years I’ve found this link to be unbelievably useful.

The link can be found at:

http://lsufootball.net/tvschedule.htm

Normally a website wouldn’t be worthy of an article, but in this case the link is so useful and so directly to the point it’s worth the proverbial tip of the tailgating cap.

It stands to reason the link would come from LSU where they take their tailgating very seriously, but what makes this site so good?  The schedule not only updates regularly, but the webmaster provides some very nice touches in the form of printable schedules for Direct TV owners.

While I’m a Dish Network guy (read details here), it’s still a great option to have.  The site isn’t particularly fancy, but the devil is in the details and this site nails down the times, networks and channels without fail.

You can best use the site by taking action before you leave the house.  On game day print out the sheet before you leave.  the house.  Then when you arrive, get the TV up and running  at the tailgate and hand the remote control as well as the list of the games that day to one of your buddies.  With that you’ll definitely get the tailgating day off on the right foot.

As we move into October, where the kickoff times for most of the FBS Division-I games are still up in the air due to TV’s heavy influence, I’ve found this link to be more timely and consistently reliable than many conference sites.

So take a look around, print out the sheet on your way out the door today and enjoy your college football tailgate.

To read more posts from Foster “Jim” Flint click here.

CustomInk.com T-Shirt Winner – Moses Izeta

Posted by Foster On September - 26 - 2010

Congratulations to Moses Izeta from Lubbock, Texas for winning the T-Shirt Design Contest.  His winning design captures the spirit of tailgating as well as the quick wit of his tailgating crew.

Tailgating tshirt contest winner frontTailgating tshirt contest winner back

Moses is a big-time BBQ guy and takes his 500 lb pit to local parks or Texas Tech football games to grill. His specialty is chicken and his core tailgating team consists of Moses, his dad, his friend Michael and his girlfriend of two years.  10 to 15 other friends come and go depending upon whether the event is UFC, football or any other excuse for them to get together.

When asked about his design, Moses said, “I got the idea from a sticker I had when I was a teenager that was intended for car stereos in regard to ‘Bass Subwooffers’…but I always thought it would be a better fit for BBQ.”
Thanks to the fine people at CustomInk.com, Moses and his tailgating crew will now receive 15 custom t-shirts.  Moses plans to unveil his new t-shirts at the next Texas Tech home game in “Raider Alley” http://www.texastech.com/marketing/raider-alley.html — a great place to tailgate.
To learn more about CustomInk.com click here.
To read more posts from Foster “Jim” Flint click 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.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.

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