Tailgating Ideas

Don't Just Tailgate, Tailgate Better

Find your team bar showing your game with other fans like you

Tailgating Fantasy

Posted by Dave On November - 12 - 2013

Man dreaming about tailgatingYou may recall that last year I worked in conjunction with Visa to help promote their #MakeItEpic campaign in advance of the Super Bowl. I am glad to announce that Visa has again tabbed TailgatingIdeas.com as an influential blog to help promote their #MyFootballFantasy Contest which will fulfill the fantasies of select football fans. I am blogging on behalf of the Visa #MyFootballFantasy Campaign and receive compensation for my time, but the thoughts, opinions, words and promotions are all mine and not that of Visa.

Because Visa will be selecting those fantasies of football fans and making them a reality, I thought it would be fun to submit my own. Now of course some aspects of my fantasy are impossible (unless someone knows how to make clouds rain bacon…) it is my football fantasy and I will be as unrealistic I want. After all, this is a fantasy, right?

5:30 AM – Alarm. The sweet sound of John Facenda, legendary announcer from NFL Films awakens me.

5:35 AM – Shower

5:50 AM – Get dressed in shorts, throw back jersey and Flip Flops

6:00 AM – Huge “Madden Cruiser” style party bus pulls up with 30 of my closest friends and family.

6:01 AM – Step onto the bus, immediately handed a Bacon Bloody Mary.

6:02 AM – Bus departs for Stadium for tailgating prior to the game.

6:05 AM – Bus merges onto the freeway. Entertainment in the cabin is a running loop of old school NFL Films Crunch Course videos.

7:00 AM – Enter San Diego County and immediately joined by a 12 car police escort complete with lights a sirens. Presidential motorcades don’t get this much respect.

moses parting red sea7:55 AM – Arrive at Gate 1 for some Qualcomm Stadium tailgating five minutes before the gates are supposed to open. We arrive. Gates open. Mental image – Moses parting the Red Sea.

8:00 AM – Bus parks within 12 parking spaces that have been coned off and reserved just for us.

8:01 AM – A racing pit crew comes out of nowhere and immediately unpacks the bus. The grill, beer pong tables, cornhole boards, tables, chairs and even the hi-def satellite signal is locked in in less than a minute.

8:02 AM – Step off the bus to a throng of cheers that would rival the original Beatles in 1964.

8:05 AM – Surveying the grilling area of the tailgate, notice that Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse are nearly in a fist fight over who will be cooking. Flay wins by pulling rank with experience with grilling. Lagasse gets in a few good body shots but has to settle for cooking for someone else.

8:10 AM – Stop by one of the fully loaded bars. Get served by Ted Lang who played Isaac the Bartender from the Love Boat TV show. Hands me another Bacon Bloody Mary and of course the double finger point. Informs me that when he is on break, Sam Malone, Coach and Woody from Cheers will be taking care of us.

8:15 AM – A Las Vegas mobile sports book betting kiosk magically appears taking all kinds of action. Drop $10,000 on the Over.

8:30 AM – The Swedish Bikini Team pulls up in their own van and will be our waitresses for the day.

8:35 AM – Eggs Benedict, bacon, hash browns and orange juice for breakfast.

9:00 AM – Good friend points out the homeless bag lady rummaging through the dumpster scavenging for aluminum cans. Upon closer look I recognize it is the snobby, Homecoming Queen that turned down my feeble attempts to ask her out back in high school. Laugh uncontrollably.

9:15 AM – Play all the traditional tailgating games; cornhole, ladder ball, washers, polish horseshoes and dominate them all.

10:00 AM – First set of all the early NFL games are projected onto an 18-Wheeler sized flatbed screen. Picture if the Sports Book at Ceasar’s Palace was moved outdoors… but bigger.

10:45 AM – Play four games of beer pong simultaneously. Go undefeated.

11:15 AM – Gatorade shower dumped over my head in celebration of my dominating performance. Immediately picked up and crowd surf the tailgate party.

11:45 AM – Fans of the opposing team stop by the tailgating area. Immediately take off their jerseys and hats, place them in a pile at my feet. They douse the clothing with lighter fluid but I get to drop the match.

12:00 PM – Lunch consists of Surf and Turf, and Baked Alaska for desert.

Raining bacon12:15 PM – Tailgate is slightly interrupted by a short thunderstorm. Instead of water, it’s raining bacon strips.

12:30 PM – Tailgating gear gets packed up by someone who is not me.

12:35 PM – Helicopter lands in the parking stall adjacent to ours. Picks me up to take me to MCAS Miramar. Hop into an F/A-18 Hornet to pilot the lead jet for the pre-game fly over.

1:00 PM – Low level fly over the stadium breaking the sound barrier while passing over the 50 yard line.

1:05 PM – Land jet and chopper back to stadium. Upon arrival back, a rickshaw pulled by a bikini clad Jaime Edmondson is waiting to take me to my seat.

1:15 PM – Kick off is immediately returned for a touchdown. My team leads 7-0 with 14:43 to go in the 1st quarter.

4:35 PM – My team caps off a great seesaw battle with a 60 yard Hail Mary that is caught for a touchdown as time expires in overtime. My team not only wins but earns home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Teams combined for 63 points. Hello Vegas Over!

4:45 PM – Back in the parking lot and the post-game tailgate is already underway. Despite having a police escort at our disposal, we opt for the post-game tailgate just because we can.

6:00 PM – Police escort out of the stadium while watching the Sunday Night Football game. Neck and shoulder massage by a bikini clad Kate Upton.

Now that you have read #MyFootballFantasy, how about yours? You can submit yours to Visa HERE and if they find yours to be the most fun and creative, you could have your football fantasy fulfilled.

Key entry details:
Enter at vi.sa/ENTER_INF05, follow Visa on Twitter or Instagram, submit your fantasy (up to value of $100K) and #MyFootballFantasy @Visa. Use Visa to enter OR mail-in with No Purchase Required – 18+ US resident. Judged on creativity, Visa’s & NFL’s brand image, match-to-theme & ability to fulfill. Thru 2/2/14 at 12am. 1 entry per person. http://vi.sa/RULES_0908t1

Chargers vs Texans Monday Night Football photo

Posted by Dave On September - 10 - 2013

If you are not following @TailgatingIdeas on Instagram or on Twitter, here is what you may have missed.

Jeremy With Chargers tailgating girls

This photo was taken yesterday while out tailgating prior to the Chargers/Texans Monday Night Football game. The guy in the hat is Jeremy McGhee. We met Jeremy in 2010 and he has been tailgating next to our normal spot ever since. Jeremy has lost the use of his legs after being hit by a car while riding his motorcycle years ago. Despite being in a wheelchair Jeremy is quite the inspiration to anyone he comes in contact. Jeremy is an extreme sports athlete, speaker and author and has accomplished more things without the use of his legs than most able bodied people have accomplished in their lifetime.

To learn more about Jeremy and what he does and to understand his story, visit: jeremymcghee.com

NFL conduct course for unruly fans

Posted by Dave On November - 14 - 2012

NFL Football fans fighting

As a season ticket holder to the San Diego Chargers, I tend to get my fair share of emails from the team. Most of them are emails promoting the latest merchandise or sale going on in their online store but one in particular caught my eye. It said “Chargers Fan Code of Conduct Update” in the subject line so it automatically piqued my interest. I opened the email and this is what I read.

Dear David,

As a Chargers Season Ticket Holder, our most loyal fans, the Chargers and the National Football League want you to be the first to know of additional steps being taken to create the most enjoyable and safe environment possible.

The NFL has initiated a policy that fans who violate the team’s Fan Code of Conduct may be required to complete the NFL’s four-hour online Fan Conduct Class and may be prohibited from attending future Chargers games at Qualcomm Stadium until they have completed the class and produced the Certificate of Completion.

The four-hour class focuses on, but is not limited to, fans with alcohol-related violations. The course is completely educational and meant to be a positive learning experience. It costs $75, including $20 that is donated to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). The remaining fee is paid to the course administrator.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation in helping make Chargers games a positive experience for everyone.


Todd Poulsen
Senior Director of Ticket Sales and Services

To anyone who has gotten a speeding ticket or rolled a stop sign, this “Fan Conduct Class” sounds a lot like traffic school. I wonder if they have the stand-up comedy version of the NFL Conduct Class like many traffic schools offer?

In all seriousness, this addition to the fan code of conduct seems like a bit overkill in my opinion. The major motivating factor to complete this conduct course is that you will not be allowed back to another game unless you show your certificate of completion. Basically, the season ticket holders are the only ones affected by this new policy because the bar codes on their tickets could get flagged at the gate. But what about the drunken idiots that buy their tickets from third party vendors or just a scalper wandering around the tailgate party lots? Those fans can act like idiots and there is no way of tracking down where they got their tickets. I have never seen anyone get checked for an ID either in the security pat down or at the ticket scanning sections of the stadium gates. So how does the NFL plan to rid itself of these unsavory characters that are not season ticket holders?

Let’s face it, the NFL is not terribly concerned with the fan that drinks too much, nudes up and runs out on the field. Although that is a security and a safety concern we can all pretty much agree that the NFL is concerned with the foul language and more importantly the violent altercations that occur in the stands. Dropping numerous F-bombs and cursing out the opposing team’s best player because the home team’s quarterback just was sacked for the fifth time is annoying and a product of bad manners. Typically this behavior does not get one ejected from the stadium. Two fans engaging in fisticuffs, that’s immediate cause for an arrest and ejection. And this my fellow tailgaters is what the NFL is trying to nip in the bud.

Being a Chargers season ticket holder since 2004, I have attended my fair share of NFL games. In that time, I have seen a few fights break out in the stands. Luckily, no fights have happened in my particular section where my seats are located but I have been privy to a seeing a few fights occur one or two sections over. Of course this is my personal observation but rarely have I seen a fight break out between fans of the same team. Normally fights happen when an opposing fan gets a little too mouthy and a home team fan has had enough and it escalates into violence.

Assuming that the home team fan is a season ticket holder, what about the other combatant? Surely we are not to believe he too is a season ticket holder and attended this one game and sold off the remaining bulk of his tickets. Of course not. The opposing fan must have bought his seat online or from a scalper. By making the season ticket holder take a conduct course as his punishment is not solving the problem. The other fan gets ejected and possibly arrested but the punitive aspect of making the fans complete a code of conduct course before they can attend another game only punishes the season ticket holder. The visiting team fan can attend another game in the future by merely purchasing a ticket elsewhere.

This may backfire on the NFL and this code of conduct course requirement may embolden visiting fans to antagonize home fans even more. The threat of being ejected and possibly arrested for engaging in a fight at an NFL game was apparently not discouraging fans from fighting. Why else would have thought up and implemented this conduct course?

Look at it this way. You are a visiting fan who is complete jackass and wants to antagonize the home fans. Knowing full well that season ticket holders will get their tickets flagged and will not be able to enter the stadium for a future game unless this course is completed, do you think the home fans will be more or less inclined to engage in a possible altercation? I would compare it to a dog fight where one dog can harass the other one while the original dog is on a leash. Now NFL stadiums may be full of visiting fans who feel they can mouth off knowing the season ticket holders may not solve the problems on their own before calling the ushers.

Let me be clear, I am not in favor of fights in the stands and violence at football games. It just seems a bit unfair that the fans who are typically not the ones that start these altercations are the ones who are getting the additional punishment. I am not suggesting mob rule and that the home team fans should “protect their turf” but there is something to be said about not giving the visiting team’s fans more of an incentive to mouth off.

There has to be a better way but unfortunately the NFL has already implemented this policy and it looks as though it is here to stay.

Patriots Tailgating Grill

Posted by Dave On September - 13 - 2011

New England Patriots Tailgating GrillFrom time to time readers will email us and submit photos of their own tailgating grill that originally started off as a Margaritaville Tailgating Grill and they have converted it to their own team colors and logo. We received an email today from Gregg in Groveland, Massachusetts who submitted a few photos of his New England Patriots Tailgating Grill. His email follows:

Love the website, you do an awesome job, I visit it daily. Keep up the good work.

I saw your both the Chargers grills you customized and was blown away. I realized I had to do the same. Still can’t stop singing that Chargers theme song. I think I watched that video you did a few too many times :) Just cant beat that song.

I tried to do something a little different with mine, as far as painting the head shield 2 colors. I thought the red, white and blue with front handle looked like a good combination.

I tried getting all the colors of the Patriots logo represented in the grill. It was a lot of work, but I am happy with the results. Just finished it over the weekend, and the kids and I had a ball doing a “test run” in the driveway grilling some hot dogs before the Monday night game. I am looking forward to its debut at Gillette Stadium this Sunday for the home opener against your Chargers! Should be a great game, can’t wait!

As you can see I painted my [propane] tanks as well. I have a special 5 lb tank that I use for tailgating. It’s very convenient. I bust out it’s “big brother” just for my space heater for the cold weather games, to keep the tent nice and warm.

One little trick I did, was I wanted to put that decal you see on the bottom pipe of the hitch mount, but the design of the plate brackets caused the license plate to hang halfway in front of the bottom pipe. I wanted that decal to be visible so, I made a $2 modification using two metal T shaped brackets I got at the hardware store. I just broke off a piece of them, and used them to extend the height of the license plate brackets.

I hope you like the grill and it is a worthy of addition to your gallery :)

Thanks, and best of luck to your Chargers this year (except this Sunday) :)

Now take a look at his New England Patriots Tailgating Grill. (Click the images for a larger view)

Pointing out a few things in the photos, you’ll notice that Gregg is also using a Tanksetter to widen the base on his “big brother” tank. Looks like he customized that and painted it red to match the Patriots color scheme. You can also see that he used some silver heat resistant paint for the grill lid. And on a side note, the idea to extend the license plate brackets so as to display his Patriots decal on the bottom tube of the swing arm was brilliant.

If you want to customize your own tailgating grill, you should check out the DIY post we did back in 2009. There you will see the step-by-step instructional video along with written instructions on how to customize your tailgating grill. Some questions that may not be answered in the video are answered at our DIY Grill FAQ section. In there we answer questions about where to find the the replacement caps, what type of paint to use and even includes a coupon code to use when buying the center logo for the grill lid handle.

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


Stop Getting Screwed Inside The Stadium

Posted by Dave On February - 15 - 2011

Yankee Stadium BeerJoe Cahn, the self-proclaimed Commissioner of Tailgating likes to call tailgating “the last great American neighborhood”. What he means is that, while tailgating people are very friendly and will let complete strangers borrow a bottle of ketchup. This “neighborhood” in the parking lot harkens back to a time in America where no one locked their doors and instead of running to the store for a cup of sugar, you just went next door to borrow it from a neighbor.

I, on the other hand, like to refer to tailgating as “the great equalizer”. This means that since so many exterior forces are beyond our control, the one thing we can control is how and to what extent we can take our tailgating. As fans and tailgaters we can’t control ticket prices. We can’t control gasoline prices. We can control food and beverage concession stand prices. We can’t control parking fees. The one thing we can control is what we want to consume in the parking lot and how much.

By going tailgating, one could potentially avoid paying all the high costs of food and beverage inside the stadium. In my experience while a San Diego Chargers season ticket holder since 2004, I can recall three times buying something inside Qualcomm Stadium. All three times it was a bottle of water because it was an early season game in August or September and I had already downed the two bottles of water I was allowed to bring in. In my seven years as a season ticket holder not once have a purchased a hot dog, pretzel or beer inside the stadium. Now surfacing is evidence that not only was I saving money but probably was avoiding being cheated as well.

Back in January, a couple of astute Seattle Seahawks fans exposed the Qwest Field concessions of selling beer in 16-ounce and 20-ounce cups that hold the same amount of liquid. The perceived “large” cups of beer cost $1.25 more. Take a look for yourself.

I saw the above video a month ago and thought of posting about it here. I chose not to at that time thinking it was an isolated incident. I also held off because the Seahawks organization came forward soon afterward and revealed that both cups were 20-ounce cups. The “smaller” of the two cups was being sold for less than the large. Therefore those fans buying the “smaller’ beer were getting 4-ounces extra while paying the lower price.

Now comes along a video that was originally posted in May 2010 that shows a baseball fan doing a similar demonstration as the Seahawk fans. The real crime here is that the smaller beer costs $5 while the “larger” beer costs $8. Take a look.

The moral of the story? Stop buying beers inside the stadium.

Sure these two videos may be isolated incidents but then again, would you be surprised if this was pervasive in other places?

Bottom line, you know when you are buying your tailgating food at the grocery store, you are getting the sizes and quantities you expect. Eat and drink to your heart’s content out in the parking lot and save your money. It wouldn’t surprise me if that quarter pound hamburger inside the stadium is a tad on the light side even before cooking.





About Me

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.