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Tailgating: Making America Great Again

Posted by Dave On October - 7 - 2016
(Photo By Douglas Graham/Wild Light Photos)

(Photo By Douglas Graham/Wild Light Photos)

Deeply entrenched in the Presidential election season, there has been much debate on how to improve America. Questions on if America can be considered great or if it ever was great in our history about in this politically charged season. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, one thing that is irrefutable is that tailgating, is making America great again.

Most people think back to a simpler time when we felt safe in our neighborhoods, we felt comfortable being around our family and friends and we lived carefree (not carelessly). No matter if that time was post WWII 1950’s, the Summer of Love in the 60’s, the “Living in Oblivion” 1980’s or another time in your life that holds a special place for you, we all want those times to return. And it dawned on me that through tailgating, those times we all cherish are embodied in tailgating.

This past Sunday prior to the San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints game, I took my eight year old son with me. We tailgated of course but despite not meeting up with the regular folks we normally tailgate with, we experienced a piece of Americana that has been missing for too long. A number of individual experiences all occurred within a three hours time span that reminded me of better times from the past.

The following is a primer on how things used to be back in the day, the time when people thought America was great, a comparison to nowadays and also how tailgating returns us to a simpler time.

Old America: Kids playing in the neighborhood until the street lights came on.
Nowadays: Kids locked up inside the house for fear of some random white van pulling up kidnapping the children off the front lawn.
Tailgating: This past weekend, there were kids all over the parking lot. They were out and getting some sunshine and tossing the football with each other. Parents were keeping an eye on the kids but they didn’t hover over them like helicopters and actually didn’t freak out if their kids talked to a stranger in the next parking space.

Old America: Kids going next door and asking “Can Jimmy come out and play”.
Nowadays: Organized play dates that resemble the spontaneity of cosmetic surgery.
Tailgating: Parked across from us was a family with four kids. One of the dads suggested the kids come over to our tailgating space and ask my son if he wanted to join them in tossing the football. My son accepted their invitation and gladly tossed the football around. The other dad came over and organized a game of street football right there between the parking stalls. I even heard the familiar call, “CAR!”, signaling the game needed to be suspended for 10 seconds while a car made it’s way to find a parking space. The kids all retreated to a safe spot along the sides of the roadway and then quickly resumed the game as if nothing had happened.

Old America: When baking a cake and short on an ingredient, going next door to a neighbor’s house to borrow a cup of sugar.
Nowadays: Getting in your car and driving to the store to buy that bag of sugar.
Tailgating: While tailgating, once you are parked, you are parked for the long haul. There is no pulling up stakes and running to the convenience store for more ice. I witnessed numerous times tailgating neighbors go to each other asking to borrow some mustard they apparently left at home or even some lighter fluid for their charcoal grill. Every single time, the tailgating neighbors gladly offered up the use of the missing items and even told them they could keep it as long as they liked. These were complete strangers until they parked next to each other and quickly became fast friends.

Old America: Friends with neighbors and invite them over for meals.
Nowadays: Only acknowledge your neighbors if you happen to check your mailboxes at the same time.
Tailgating: While tailgating and as more tailgaters trickled into the parking lot, the empty parking stalls started to fill up. Each time a new tailgater parked, they would exit their vehicle and introduce themselves to the folks that were parked next to them. Hearty handshakes between complete strangers occurred just because they chose to park in an empty space next to them.

Old America: Helping a neighbor fix their car in the garage.
Nowadays: “Sorry man, don’t you have Triple A?”
Tailgating: After the game was over and we made our way back to our car, we noticed a car parked near us with the hood up. (An apparent dead battery probably from playing their car radio for three hours prior to the game.) Instead of rushing to sit in traffic, the car with it’s nose facing the distressed vehicle popped it’s hood for a jump start. Neither vehicle had jumper cables and they both asked others around them if they could borrow jumper cables. Thankfully they didn’t have to ask for very long because another tailgater offered up the use of the jumper cables and even helped out to ensure the stranded vehicle got the proper jump. After the car was successfully started, they all shook hands and got in their cars and proceeded to the exits.

All of these instances were observed in the relatively short period of time while tailgating prior to the game and immediately afterwards. Whether your political leanings are left, right or middle of the road, you can’t deny that tailgating is one experience that shows how American culture can be good and decent to your fellow man, even if that tailgater is wearing the opposing team’s jersey.

Tailgating is truly making America great again.


Video: BarGating in Orange County

Posted by Dave On September - 28 - 2016

On a weekend when the Chargers were on the road and there is no local college football team, we decided to head out and hit up a few local bars and do a little football “BarGating”. Here is our video we shot.

Hey, this is Dave from TailgatingIdeas.com. Normally we would be out tailgating but today we are BarGating, thanks to a website we found called http://www.teambarfinder.com/

We are here in Orange County, California and even though Orange County doesn’t have a college football team, it doesn’t mean that there is not pockets of enthusiasm for college football everywhere.

We took a Saturday in September and traveled around Orange County checking out team bars that are favorable to fans that are still loyal to their team, even if they no longer live near their favorite team’s city.

In search of transplanted college football fans we first stopped in at Hooters in Costa Mesa where the SoCal Gator Club gathers to watch University of Florida games.

We then scooted down to Newport Beach where there is a heavy concentration of team bars including Malarkey’s – home of Notre Dame fans,

Newport Beach Brewing Company which is primarily a Wisconsin Badgers team bar but also plays host to Penn State and Michigan State fans.

And we also had a chance to stop in at Avila’s El Ranchito home to displaced Colorado Buffaloes fans.

We then rounded out our college football team bar tour at JT Schmidt’s in Tustin where Oregon Ducks fans gather to watch the games together.

So there we have it. We have five locations that we hit. We hit Florida, Penn State, Notre Dame, Oregon and also Colorado. And that’s just NCAA here in Orange County. All from out of the area. Tomorrow, we are going to check out where the fans gather and we’re going to check out the Browns and the Buffalo Bills. So stay tuned for that.

On Sunday, our first stop was back to Costa Mesa at Patrick’s Pub, home of the Cleveland Browns Backers of Orange County. Although the Cleveland Browns didn’t have a stellar first half in their game against the Dolphins, the Browns Backers were still out in force to support their Browns from over twenty three hundered miles away.

We’re here at Patrick’s Pub here in Costa Mesa, California home of the Cleveland Browns Backers. We are going to head over to Huntington Beach to Wings ‘N Things, home of the Buffalo Bills Backers and check out that place.

Apparently Wings ‘N Things is going though an ownership change but they understood that the Buffalo Bills Backers here in Orange County needed to find a place to have a new team bar. They switched it over to Silky Sullivan’s here in the Fountain Valley area. And we arrived just in time for a Bills touchdown.

Being able to hit seven different team bars in a weekend was all possible after discovering the website TeamBarFinder.com. Team Bar Finder lists bars and restaurants friendly to out of town fans no matter how far away they may be from their favorite team’s home base. If you can’t make it to the game and tailgate, going to TeamBarFinder.com is the next best thing to being at the stadium.


Premium cornhole bags filled with synthetic corn kernels

Posted by Dave On September - 26 - 2016

Premium cornhole bag at Qualcomm Stadium
Cornhole is the runaway leader in the tailgate lot when it comes to tailgating games. It’s popularity is unmatched. Because of this, the cornhole connoisseurs of the parking lots want to have their game be as authentic as possible. In order to make cornhole more portable, affordable and “tailgate friendly”, some quality has been compromised in order to accomplish those goals.

We recently discovered P&P Imports premium corhole bags that, look feel, weigh and toss like authentic and official Cornhole Association regulation bags but are a greater improvement. The P&P Imports Premium Cornhole Bags are filled with synthetic corn kernels which sets them apart.

Cornhole Bag showing insidesAccording to the official rules of the American Cornhole Association, “corn bags should be made from 12 oz / sq yd duck canvas and may be any color that is easy to see during Cornhole play. Each bag shall be filled with approximately 2 cups of corn feed and finished bags should be a minimum of 6″ X 6″ square and weigh between 14 and 16 ounces.”

You may ask, “Why would synthetic corn kernels be better than natural corn kernels? Isn’t the real thing always better than something synthetic”. The answer is usually the real thing is better but not in this case. Let us explain.

Real corn kernels are a natural substance and thus susceptible to the outdoor elements. If a cornhole bag filled with natural corn kernels gets wet, the kernels inside will probably deteriorate or grow mold or mildew. Whether the bags get wet or stay dry, natural corn kernels can attract pests like maize weevils. The rotting natural corn kernels will break down and your bags will weigh less and honestly, do you really want to play with bags that have mold growing or destructive pests inside? Yuck.

In addition to avoiding the potential rot and deterioration of the fill inside the bags, these cornhole bags are top of the line in quality. The heavy duty duck cloth is the exact material official, regulation cornhole bags are made out of and are double stitched to ensure they hold together. The synthetic “corn kernels” are even shaped like a real corn kernel so the feel of the bag in your hand is replicated to feel like a cornhole bag with natural fill.

15 color optionsKeeping it along the same track as being a regulation sized cornhole bag, the weight is between 15 and 16 ounces. That is the regulation weight of cornhole bags per the American Cornhole Association. The size of each bag is 6″ X 6″ square. That is the regulation size of cornhole bags per the American Cornhole Association.

Seeing how the official rules regarding bags allows for any color as long as they are easily seen during game play, these cornhole bags are available in 15 different colors.

Available colors include: Black. Gold, Grey, Light Blue, Navy Blue, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Royal Blue, White, Yellow, Crimson/Burgundy, Light Green and Dark Green.

Now you can get the two colors of your favorite team to go along with your Cornhole Boards and be a true fan in the parking lot. Oklahoma State Cowboys tailgater? Get some orange and black bags and you are all set. Minnesota Vikings fan? Purple and gold for you. The 15 color options ensures you can always mix and match your cornhole bags to match your favorite team’s colors.

We had a chance to test out the P&P Imports Premium Cornhole Bag Sets recently while tailgating. We grabbed a set of Blue and Yellow bags to match the colors of the San Diego Chargers and brought them tailgating at Qualcomm Stadium.

In playing with them, we really enjoyed the authentic feel to these bags. From the high quality duck cloth to the authentic feel of the synthetic fill feeling like corn kernels, these cornhole bags are definitely “Tailgate Approved”. The regulation weight was perfect and the peace of mind to know that even if the bags got wet, we would not have to worry about rot or even pests destroying the insides.

These Premium Cornhole Bags come in sets of four. We suggest buying two sets, one of each color of your favorite team, for a complete game set. Each set of four (4) bags is priced at $20 and comes with a one year warranty. Purchase two sets and they both will ship in the same box for a flat rate shipping cost of $15.

Buy the Premium Cornhole Bags HERE.


JUCY Rentals

Posted by Dave On January - 18 - 2016

For those of us that like to tailgate, many of us yearn for the day when we can tailgate in an RV. The sheer size of RVs can be a bit intimidating even for the most skilled drivers. The price tag for a traditional RV is daunting as well. We were recently introduced to a new company called JUCY that very well may renovate tailgating as we know it.

As you can see in the above photo and the video, JUCY is an RV but more compact. Because it resembles more of a minivan than a big, bulky RV, you can now drive it without the fear of trying to park or needing a home loan to fill up the gas tank.

As you saw in the video, there is a kitchen in the rear of the JUCY Van and even has a sink to wash your hands after whipping up your guests some tailgating grub. The pop-up “Penthouse” on the top would be great for those tailgates that go too long and you need to sleep it off before heading home.

We have not yet tested out JUCY but we will be in a few weeks. We’ll be taking a JUCY Rental up the California coast with a final destination of the Bay Area during Super Bowl weekend. Expect a full review complete with photos and a video to accompany that road trip.

If you are thinking of road tripping up to the Super Bowl that weekend, JUCY is offering what they are calling “JUCY’s Big Game Package“. With numerous options based on lodging needs and how many days you would like to gone, JUCY has you covered.

We are also happy to announce that readers of Tailgating Ideas can get an additional 10% off their booking when they mention they learned about JUCY from TailgatingIdeas.com. For faster booking and to make sure there are still rentals available from your preferred pick up location, call 424-456-4830. Mention Tailgating Ideas when booking via the phone and your 10% discount will apply.

So if road tripping up to the Super Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif. sounds like a good time, consider JUCY. Be sure to check back with us in a few weeks after we have taken our road trip to Northern Cal and see how our experience with a JUCY Van was for us. To learn more about JUCY Rentals, visit their website: jucyrentals.com

The Oostburger

Posted by Brandon On September - 21 - 2014

You might have seen that they other day was National Cheeseburger day.  Being the carnivorous creature that I am, I made sure to grab one to celebrate.   Which I was chomping away I couldn’t help but think back to another cheeseburger I had a while back.  You see every year the good people of Sheboygan, WI throw a festival to celebrate their state’s official food, the Bratwurst.   Well our friends at Johnsonville invited my wife and I to check out the festival last year and engage in the brat love.  Needless to say we had an absolute blast seeing just how much they embrace the brat and all the cool ways they’re using them in different types of cuisine.  For example we saw brat pizza, chimichangas, tacos, gyros, etc.  For the purists you could also enjoy a single or double brat on a local Sheboygan Hard Roll.  We also took in some of the local lingo such as a brat fry, or fry out, which seems to be the preferred local lingo for a cookout or bbq.  Heck, we even saw a guy eat 20 brats in 10 minutes.  If you have the chance to go next August I highly recommend it.   Side note: I don’t advocate eating 20 brats that quickly, you probably should stop at 10.


Getting back to the cheeseburger theme, among the foods that we had a chance to try was the Oostburger.  I can only imagine the name for this particular creation is based on the neighboring town of Oostburg.   As I observed at Brat Days the Oostburger is basically not much more than a cheeseburger with a brat on top of it.  Sounds kind of strange, but it really adds a neat dimension to the burger, and it’s such a simple concept. The variation in texture, and the richness of the sausage work together to impart a new burger experience.  I liked it so much that I thought I would try and recreate it, as hard as putting a cylindrical brat on a flat burger is, to share with those outside of us outside Cheese Head territory.Oostburgerwhole

To make your own it’s important to start by finding yourself a nice bun to put this on.  Since I’m unable to find the hard roll that they use in the Sheboygan area, I’m going to use a Kaiser because it’s about the closest thing I can find here in NC.  A typical hamburger bun is probably going to be a little wimpy for what we’re trying to accomplish.   What you want is a bun with a nice crusty outside, but is still plenty soft on the inside.

When you’re at the grill you’ve got to consider that the brat and the burger are in all likelihood not going to be done at the same time.  So what can you do about it? Well you can time things out so they’ll finish about the same time, or even cook one part and then keep it warm while the other finishes. Personally, I like the idea of using a “brat hot tub” which I initially wrote about in my “Brat Test” article.  Basically the brat hot tub is not much more than a warm mixture of beer some butter, onion, and garlic, in a pan.  Cook up your brats and then toss em in to keep em warm and juicy. If you’ve got the real estate on the grill for this technique I would highly recommend it.  I suppose you could use a bratwurst patty for these sort of copying the whole double burger thing, but I think using the link in the casing is more fun.

Since the star of this burger is most definitely the brat you don’t need to go super gourmet and get some Wagyu patties for this, but you don’t want to bring it down by getting the super cheap mystery meat frozen patties either.  I like a fresh 80/20 ground chuck for my “everyday” burgers.  This fat content should ideally keep the meat juicy enough, and lend just the right amount of beef flavor.  However with beef prices being what they are today feel free to use whatever you like, just try to stay away from the super lean stuff unless you need to.IMG_20130920_190235

What I did was to grill my brats to almost done and then move them away from the direct heat, since I was doing these on a smaller grill I had to skip the hot tub.  I threw on my burger patties and then cooked them to my desired doneness.  Once the burgers were just about there I added 2 slices of Wisconsin sharp cheddar to each pattie. When the cheese was melted I pulled all the meat to let it rest for a few.  While the protein was resting I toasted the buns a little.  I think it works well to split the brat, if for no other reason than ease of eating, before placing on the burger but you don’t have to.  Top with a little brown mustard and sliced onion and you’ve got yourself an Oostburger.   Of course you could add whatever you like to yours, but simpler is better.

Here is a more specific recipe:

1 pound of ground chuck
1 pack good quality Bratwurst (We like Johnsonville obviously)
5 Kaiser Rolls (Or you could use Sheboygan Hard Rolls if you have a source)
10 slices Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar
Salt and Pepper to taste.

1.) Set up a grill for direct heat, and preheat a grill to Medium.IMG_20130920_191215
2.) Form 5 patties from the ground chuck, trying to get the diameter as close to the buns as possible.  They’ll be thin, but that’s what we want. Season with salt and pepper.  I only ended up with 4 because I’m a bone head, but aim for 5 if you can.  It’ll make for a better 1:1 with your brats.
3.) Slice rolls completely in half so you have a top and bottom.
4.) Grill meats until done.  ~15-20 minutes for brats, ~10 for burgers.  When the burger patties are nearly done top with 2 slices cheese.
5.) When meat is cooked pull off heat, and toast buns on grill.  This will go quick, no more than  30 seconds should do.  Remember you can always toast more, but once you’ve gotten to burnt you’re screwed.
6.) Slice brats lengthwise.
7.) Place burger pattie on bun, top with sliced brat.
8.) Add desired condiments
9.) Enjoy







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.

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