Tailgating Ideas

Don't Just Tailgate, Tailgate Better

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Tailgating Ideas on Pintrest

Posted by Dave On August - 2 - 2013

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Facebook. Twitter. Now Pintrest. The world of social media is ever expanding and we want to be a part of it. That is why we are announcing that Tailgating Ideas is now officially on Pintrest.

Unfamiliar with Pintrest? In a nutshell, it is an online “pin board” where you can pin and save things you like. You can share your pins with others and follow other boards to see what they are pinning.

We have opened up a Pintrest boards for Tailgating Recipes, Tailgating Gear, Tailgating Cartoons, Boozing Gear, Tailgating Games and Bacon, Freaking Bacon!. More boards will be created as we see fit.

You can follow one particular board or all boards by clicking HERE. Check us out and follow our boards. We’d love to see what you are pinning and share those with your followers as well.

Post-Tailgate Tips

Posted by Dave On January - 23 - 2012

Shea Stadium Parking Lot FullSo much of the focus of tailgating is always on the actual party in the parking lot. But when it comes right down to it, the reason why you are tailgating is because you are going to be attending a game or concert later. Unless you are grilling and chilling in an abandoned parking lot somewhere, you will eventually be packing up and heading inside to your event, thus the tailgate party will come to an end. It is this time of the tailgate that we would like to focus on today. Because all too many times we make a mistake or are careless once we leave our parking spot.

Fold in side mirrors – This might seem like a small suggestion but it will save you big money and big headaches in the long run. By simply folding in your side mirrors you reduce the amount of space between your vehicle and the one parked on either side of you. Typically people will walk between cars in order to get to and from the stadium. Typically people have had a few beers when they are doing this. People who have had a few beers don’t typically walk in the straightest of lines. So that means your side mirrors will get bumped quite a bit and could get broken. By tucking them in before turning off the engine right as you get to the parking lot and park will help reduce this hazard and could save you money down the road from having to get them replaced if broken.

Make sure grill is cool – How many times a year do we post videos or news articles about some knucklehead who left his charcoal grill out and too close to his car? More than we would like. Even worse, the amateur tailgater who thinks placing his $20 hibachi underneath his engine while still hot is a great way to hide it from potential thieves. No matter if you grill on propane or charcoal, make sure the grill is completely cool before packing it away. If using charcoal, if still hot, douse the coals with a lot of water to put the fire out. Sure it is messy but it is better to do that than come out after the game to find your car has been incinerated along with the other four cars parked on either side of yours.

Fingers in EarsLock your vehicle but don’t arm your alarm – Never would we suggest leaving your car unlocked but in a stadium parking lot we suggest locking your car but not setting your car alarm. Here is our rationale. No matter where you are, at home, at work, at the grocery store, etc., and you hear a car alarm going off somewhere, what is your first thought? Is it, “Oh my God, someone’s car is getting stolen or broken into!”? Or is it, “Someone must have accidentally hit the panic button while trying to unlock their car or the car was bumped by someone walking by.”. Hardly ever do we think a car is being stolen when a car alarm is audible. Also, most car alarms sound the same, In a parking lot full of cars, how will you know that it is your car that the alarm is going off. Lastly, you will be inside the stadium a pretty good distance away from your car. Stadiums are noisy places. Do you really think you will be able to determine if your car alarm is going off while inside?

The reason why we suggest locking your car but not setting the alarm is that car alarms draw their power from your battery. If your car alarm is going off while you are in the game, 1) you won’t hear it, 2) nobody pays attention to them anyway and 3) all it will do is drain your battery. Instead of coming back to your car and wondering why you now need a jump, just double and triple check that your car is locked but forget the alarm.

Have tickets in hand – How many times have you gotten to the gates of the stadium and had this conversation/argument? “I thought you grabbed the tickets!” All too often this is the case and in my many years of tailgating and going to games it never fails that I will pass a group of people frantically checking their pockets and bags for tickets as they are standing outside the stadium gates. We would suggest having a fail-safe routine that includes the tickets. Maybe place the tickets someplace where you will have to pick them up in order to lock the car. Or place them with your hat and jersey you always wear before going inside. Or even better would be designating one person who regularly tailgates with your group to be the designated ticket holder. That way they know it is their responsibility to have the tickets and it just becomes part of the packing up routine of the day.

Leave plenty of time to get through security – Tailgating is great and sometimes can go long. Eventually you are going to go inside the game or concert and those events are going to start on time (concerts not as much). I have never heard an announcement over the public address telling the fans the game is delayed because “we are waiting for the last of the tailgaters to make their way inside.”

Ever since the September 11th terrorist attacks, security at large public places in the United States has increased steadily. With more pat downs and bag checks comes more delays and wait times to get inside the venue. Make sure to budget plenty of time to get to the gates, wait in line to be patted down and get through the ticket turnstiles. It sucks that you may have to pack up your tailgate a little earlier than you had liked but you need to determine you priorities. Is it more important to make it inside on time for the start of your event or is it more important to you to hang out longer and tailgate? Both choices have their merits but also be aware that many stadium parking lots have strict rules on tailgating after kick-off. If you choose to miss some of the game in favor of tailgating longer, you not only will be missing the start of the game but also may be inviting the cops to stop by and pay you a visit.

Those are just a few tailgating ideas for you to follow when the party is over. Feel free to share your tips in the comments section below.

Burger Pocket Press

Top 6 Tailgating Bowl Games

Posted by Jeff On December - 30 - 2011

LSU Tailgating

Bowl season is already underway but the real season is just about to start; college football bowl tailgating season. Here is the Top 6 Bowl Games that as a tailgater makes you want to pack up the RV and head out to the lot.

6. Chick-fil-A Bowl – Virginia (5-3 ACC) vs. #25 Auburn (4-4 SEC)

  • December 31, 2011 – Georgia Dome: Atlanta, GA (71,228 capacity)

Welcome to Atlanta where the players play and tailgaters party like every day. The Chick-fil-A Bowl embodies what the “southern comfort” tailgating experience is all about: drinks, food, and hospitality. The Chick-fil-A Bowl operates like an open house party where everyone is invited to come socialize and simply have a good time. Perhaps the best part of the Chick-fil-A experience is the smell of fresh-cooked meats and poultry consuming the air. Nothing beats the combination of cold beer and fresh BBQ.


5. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – #4 Stanford (11-1 Pac 12) vs. #3 Oklahoma St. (11-1 Big 12)

  • January 2, 2012 – University of Phoenix Stadium: Glendale, AZ (72,200 capacity)

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl offers an ideal tailgating locale. Imagine a huge outdoor party in beautiful weather and mountainous ranges surrounding the landscape. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is truly a one-of-a-kind tailgating experience. Attendance last year reached 67,232 and ticket sales so far have surpassed this figure. College football fans have been rumored to get a little rowdy at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl with the influx of Arizona State University students that frequently attend this bowl game.


4. Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl – Ohio St (6-6 Big Ten) vs. Florida (6-6 SEC)

  • January 2, 2012 – Everbank Field: Jacksonville, FL (84,000 capacity)

This is a bowl game tailgaters will definitely not want to miss. Last year Mississippi State played Michigan State at Everbank Field and attendance soared to 77,497. This year, the Gator Bowl will host its own Florida Gators in a much-anticipated match-up against the Ohio State Buckeyes. On an interesting note, former Florida football coach Urban Meyers, who recently signed as head coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes, says he will not be in attendance. Nevertheless, this bowl has all of the ingredients for a perfect tailgating experience: warm weather, enormous parking lots, and two teams with some of the craziest and dedicated fans in college sports.


3. AT&T Cotton Bowl – #8 Kansas St. (10-2 Big 12) vs. #6 Arkansas (10-2 Sec)

  • January 6, 2012 – Cowboys Stadium: Arlington, TX (80,000 capacity)

There is no question the 2012 Cotton Bowl will attract a crowd for the record books. This game is one of only four bowls pitting two Top-10 teams. Records show the last time Arkansas played Kansas State was in 1967. This history-making match-up is highly anticipated by many college football fans and this excitement should similarly be reflected in its pre-game celebration. Dozens of lots surround Cowboy Stadium and they will be consumed with tents, music, smoke, and erratic wildcat and razorback fans drinking and screaming their way to victory.


2. All State BCS National Championship – #1 LSU (13-0 SEC) vs. #2 Alabama (11-1 SEC)

  • January 9, 2012 – Louisiana Dome: New Orleans, LA (69,703 capacity)

With great games come great expectations. The LSU vs. Alabama match-up should encompass what the ideal college football experience is all about: fantastic teams, passionate fans, and pre-game excellence. When tickets for the game are selling as high as $6,500, it is always reasonable to assume a substantial amount of funds will be allocated to pre-game parties. College football is the heart and soul of these two sports programs and fans are ready to go “all-in” on this whole experience – expect a lot of drinking and freshly-grilled Cajun cuisine.


1. Rose Bowl Game – #10 Wisconsin (11-2; Big Ten) vs. #5 Oregon (11-2; Pac 12)

  • January 2, 2012 – Rose Bowl: Pasadena, CA (92,542 capacity)

In 2007, Sports Illustrated named the Rose Bowl the number one venue in college sports. The Rose Bowl continues to offer the perfect opportunity for tailgaters to have a blast while soaking in its legendary history and tradition. Tailgaters park on the adjacent golf course that surrounds the historic stadium coupled with views of the San Gabriel Mountains as the backdrop. The Rose Bowl is the most famous postseason college football game and has attracted the highest number of attendees since 1945. Last year’s attendance totaled 94,118 in a TCU versus Wisconsin match-up – demonstrating the Rose Bowl attracts thousands of enthusiastic tailgaters and football fans irrespective of what teams are playing.

Jeff HerbstAs we close out another year and say goodbye to 2011 we wanted to offer up a warm welcome to our newest contributor to the TailgatingIdeas.com family, Jeff Herbst.

Jeff Herbst has had a passion for sports ever since he could first walk and has been tailgating since he was in middle school. Jeff grew up in Columbus, Ohio and attended Ohio State football games practically every fall from age 13 into his twenties. Outside of tailgating at OSU games, he has recently brought his tailgating talents to New York City where he has spent many afternoons in the parking lots of Shea Stadium and outside of Madison Square Garden. When Jeff isn’t tailgating, he is probably working with Phoenix Bats, a company that manufacturers’ high-quality wood bats or he is competing in some sort of physical activity such as boxing, rock climbing or weight training.

We believe that Jeff will bring another outstanding set of opinions and knowledge about tailgating and the tailgate party lifestyle. Because Jeff works within the baseball industry, look for some of his contributions and posts to focus on the growing and expanding aspect of tailgating prior to both MLB and college baseball games.

Welcome to the Tailgating Ideas family Jeff. Look for posts coming from Jeff in the next few days.

SUV Head Pad

Posted by Dave On March - 1 - 2011

Liftgate pad close-upFor those of you that go tailgating with a pick-up truck, feel free to skip to the next post. This tailgating idea is for those of your tailgaters who tailgate with your SUV.

Many of us, myself included, take our SUVs tailgating because it affords us a larger capacity for both passengers and cargo. Tailgating SUVs also offer the safety of having all your tailgating gear locked up inside the vehicle when you go inside for the game. Pick-ups are great too but many times tailgaters will have to place the expensive tailgating gear in the cab and the less valuable stuff in the bed of the truck and hope nobody swipes it while they are inside. Enough of the virtues of SUVs. There is a downside to tailgating with an SUV. Bumping your head on the lift gate is one of them.

I actually came up with this tailgating idea at one of the last football games of the season. Because the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium fills up quickly and spaces are limited, the rules are you need to tailgate within the space directly behind your vehicle. Spreading out into adjacent spaces is not allowed and SDPD officers will come around and tell tailgaters to remove any stray tailgating gear encroaching on another parking space. Because of this, I tend to leave items like my beverage cooler inside the cargo area of my Lincoln Navigator. I just turn off the dome light on the dashboard so I can leave the lift gate open for five hours and it will not kill my battery. This way I can still get to stuff in the cargo area without having to open up the gate 20 times during the course of a tailgate.

Although this sounds all well and good it would be great  if I was short and my head cleared the lift gate without any problems. My problem is that I am 6’5″ and I have bumped my head on the lift gate more times than I willing to count when trying to get something out of the back of the SUV.

Last football season after bumping my head yet again, my friend Jeff suggested, “You should install some sort of a pad or a bumper on the edge so that if you forget to duck, it won’t hurt your head.” At that point a light bulb lit up above my head and it wasn’t because I had just slammed it into my lift gate for the millionth time.

When I got home I started thinking of how to put some sort of a pad on the lift gate that would be removable when I was not tailgating and yet would not obstruct the lift gate from closing. While racking my brain for what I could use, it hit me when I looked outside in my backyard. There floating in the swimming pool was one of those water noodles floating in the shallow end. For once, my four year old daughter failing to put her toys away turned out to be a brilliant tailgating idea.

Since water noodles tend to have a hollow center, I thought if I cut one lengthwise it would allow me to slip it on the edge of the lift gate and it would hold on by itself. So I went down to Target and plunked down a whopping $1.99 and bought a blue water noodle. (Blue was the choice because it matches the colors of not only the San Diego Chargers but the Cal State Fullerton Titans. Those are the two teams I tend to tailgate the most.) As you can see from the photos below, I cut it using a regular pair of scissors and it held onto the SUV lift gate without any additional help.

Of course I field tested my newly fashioned head pad by intentionally bumping my head into the lift gate a few times. As you would imagine the water noodle stayed on the lift gate and it didn’t hurt when I bumped into it. The best part it cost me less than $2 and it doesn’t take up all that much room when transporting it to and from the tailgate lot.

For those of you tailgaters with an SUV that might be 6 foot or taller, a $2 investment might just save you from a major headache while out there in the tailgating lots.

If you have a great tailgating idea that you would like to share, make sure to email us and tell us about it. We’d love to share your idea with everyone else and help them to not only tailgate, but to tailgate better.





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.