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Top 10 Posts of 2011

Posted by Dave On December - 31 - 2011

top 10With new year’s eve rapidly approaching it seems as if everyone is looking back and reflecting on the past year. If you can’t beat ‘em then join ‘em is how the old saying goes.

2011 was the best year yet for TailgatingIdeas.com. This year we set a record for the most visitors since opening up the website in 2007 and we are on pace to break the 400,000 visitor mark with one more day to go in the year. We also added two new contributors to the TailgatingIdeas.com family, welcoming in Peter Tverdov and Jeff Herbst into the mix. Jeff just joined the website a few days ago and Peter’s contributions have been popular and controversial and generating a lot of buzz on the message boards.

We also gained some recognition and acknowledgement in the mainstream media in 2011. In July, ESPN the Magazine Featured the PolarHeat Quad Chairs and suggested people buy them from our online tailgating gear store. The article drew so much interest that we completely sold out of the chairs and can no longer offer them for sale. Speaking of magazines speaking highly of us, popular men’s magazine Maxim interviewed yours truly seeking advice on how to have a killer tailgate party. Maxim quoted my suggestion that people use tailgatewiki.com when going tailgating to gain an insider’s knowledge of tailgating parking lots. In August, TailgatingIdeas.com turned four years old and once again defied the odds that a blog dedicated to tailgating and the tailgate party lifestyle would eventually fade away. We’re still here and expect 2012 to be even bigger and better.

All in all, 2011 was our best year since starting this tailgating blog in 2007 but it would not have been possible without all of you reading this right now. With that said, we would like to say thank you for reading and visiting. If you are a regular, thank you for your loyalty and we hope we have provided you with some outstanding tailgating ideas over the past year. If you are brand new, welcome and we hope you bookmark us and return frequently. So without further delay, let’s take a look back at which posts were the most viewed and read by you the visitors.

10) Video: Penn State Tailgating Girl – The video was posted to YouTube and was available for all to see but has since been changed to private. So unfortunately if you missed it there is no more seeing it unless the person who shot and uploaded it to YouTube sends you an invite. But before the video was made private it featured a college co-ed drunk off her ass rolling around in the Penn State parking lot, stumbling around quite a bit and basically acting a fool. We’re not sure when exactly this gal started tailgating but apparently it was too early and went just a little too hard out of the gate.

Wisconsin tailgating beer pong

9) Quick & Fun Tailgating Games – Further proof that some of the simplest tailgating blog posts can be the most informative and popular. Written by Peter Tverdov, this post outlined some of the popular tailgating games you may encounter when out tailgating. For those veteran tailgaters this blog post may have been nothing new to learn but we sometimes forget, not everyone is a tailgating expert. Some people seeking information on the basics of tailgating come across our blog and find the information contained within very insightful and helpful. This is one of those posts that we believe fell into this category and we were happy so many people found it.

8) Whiskey Tango Trailer – One of our more loyal and dedicated readers named Johnny loves to tailgate and loves to share his passion for tailgating with others. He frequently emails us updates on his tailgating adventures and this post was mapping out how he converted a pop-up tent trailer into a dedicated tailgating trailer. He breaks down the costs and even provides insight on how he did it for those of you wanting a DIY job to undertake.

Best of Times Bar Buffalo Bills7) Product Review: The Best of Times Bar – Tailgating product reviews have become an integral part of what makes this tailgating blog work so well. We have a standing policy that if someone on our writing staff can see the product, touch and put it through it paces, we will write a review of it. We don’t do cut and paste jobs of press releases so we can truly earn our readers’ trust knowing someone who knows and understands tailgating has made sure this product is as billed. The Best of Times Bar was a great product review performed by Brandon Gunning who put the portable bar through its paces. Brandon gave it a Tailgating Ideas “Tailgate Approved” stamp so apparently the positive review garnered a lot of visits making it our seventh most popular post this year.

6) Blacktop 360 Grill-Fryer – It has been a while since we have seen or even reviewed a new grill that is designed for tailgating exclusively. Back in September we got our hands on a Blacktop 360 grill/fryer before it was available in stores and it was unlike any tailgating grill or outdoor cooking device we had tested before. First of all it is round and the cook can stand anywhere within the 360 degree radius of the grill. Not only is it a grill but it has a griddle and a warming plate all along the perimeter of the unit. In the middle is a deep fryer where you can prepare onion rings, french fries, fry up some chicken wings or even warm up soup or keep nacho dip warm. A truly unique grilling machine and as verified by the number of readers this blog post saw, you all were in agreement.

Strawberry Margarita jello shots5) Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots In Fresh Strawberries – From time to time we offer up recipes to take and make while tailgating. We shared this one which was simple yet very creative to make it our most popular tailgating recipe of the year. Basically it details how to make strawberry margarita jell-o shots and instead of putting them in Dixie Cups you place them in hallowed out fresh strawberries.

4) Ranking the ACC Schools – Another post written by Peter Tverdov, this one got all of ACC nation in an uproar. Coming in at No. 4, this post, as with any list that assigns a ranking to anything is bound to cause some controversy and debate. That is exactly what this post did and by ranking the ACC schools based on their tailgating prowess, some fans took to their team’s message boards and forums to either confirm the ranking or dispute it. It was a colorful two weeks straight where one message board would link to the post stating it was right on target and then a few days later a rival schools message board would link in refuting the rankings as mere garbage. It makes for a great blog post and sure got the entire ACC fan base in a tizzy.

3) What Should I Drink Flowchart – A humor piece we borrowed from Sixpoint Craft Ales which featured a flow chart to answer the age old question, “What should I drink?”. Of course the answer to any question is always beer.

2) Video: Chainsaw Bottle Opener – The video was only 11 seconds long but it surely got a lot of people watching it. It was simply a guy opening up two beer bottles only he was doing it with a running chainsaw. The beauty is that he popped the caps off the tops of the bottles and neither bottle tipped or sloshed any beer out of it. You need to watch it to believe it.

1) Video: Beer Pong Dunk Over Car – Beer pong is quite popular amongst tailgaters and so is the game ending “beer pong slam dunk”. The NBA slam dunk contest this year featured Blake Griffin jumping over a car to win the contest and videos of it popped up all over the internet. A few guys decided to film one guy replicating the Blake Griffin dunk over a car but with beer pong. The results? Our most popular post of the year. Take a look and see why.

So that’s a wrap on the most popular posts from 2011. Hopefully 2011 was a great year for you too and had you tailgating frequently all year long. Here is wishing you and yours a happy and safe 2012 and many, many hours tailgating in the coming new year.

Video: Tailgating Feature on ESPN College Gameday

Posted by Dave On November - 6 - 2011

With all the bad publicity and the negative stereotypes that tailgating has been pinned with over the last few years, it is nice to see some national media exposure projecting tailgating in a positive light. The video appeared on ESPN’s College Gameday program November 5, 2011.

Ranking The SEC Tailgates

Posted by Peter On October - 27 - 2011

Sundresses, tailgate tents, and fried food have an all too common theme at tailgate parties down South. This conference is very top heavy and there are a lot of similarities between each school (which made it tougher to sort schools that were close).  Hopefully one can get a taste of every school from this article. Happy tailgating!1. LSU: Known for their exciting atmosphere and a huge array of craw fish, gumbo, jambalaya, alligator, frog, chicken, beef…all with a Cajun twist. LSU has huge parking lots right outside the stadium with massive RVs and converted trucks. A lot of LSU fans setup the night before and a lot really get decked out in LSU gear, body paint, etc.  A unique twist to Saturdays is the ability to visit their mascot, a live white Bengal tiger! LSU fans love to party all day long and they have plenty of unique vehicles, grills, outfits and food to make your head spin right off.

2. Mississippi: Has the grove and Oxford square (which is beautiful). There is Hotty Toddy and plenty of folks dressed in sundresses and suits sitting down at mixed tailgates. The Rebels M-O is the Grove and it doesn’t disappoint. It can blow one away when they first see it as the amount of people and tents is massive. The Grove is known to be several different tailgate parties rolled into one. The Rebels do a great job of tailgating and can stretch their parties from Friday night to Sunday morning.

3. Tennessee: Has the “Vol Navy”, a bunch of tailgaters who tailgate on the Tennessee River surrounding the stadium. During the warm part of the season people are even swimming in the river as tailgates are going on inside the boats. Don’t think that the impressive school spirit stops with “sailgating”. The river next to the stadium makes parking very limited so people tend to get there early. There is usually a sea of orange and besides party boats, I’ve also seen a converted garbage truck – that is insane.

4. Florida: The mecca for converted buses, heck they even convert golf carts. Florida is known as one of the top party schools in the country but they have a strict policy on open containers.  There is RV parking  all over campus. Orange and blue seem to be on every car, truck, tent, cup, plate and shirt that you see. There is lots of school spirit with how the fans dress up, also a lot of” jorts”. Women are very good looking and everyone of course loves to do the Gator chomp. The Gators bring a mix of beautiful women but also some strange folks.

5. Alabama: Alabama sweet tea, ribs and “roll-tide-roll” are a fixture at Tuscaloosa tailgates. Alabama is another SEC tailgating scene that goes all out with tents, catering, you name it. Lots of rich traditions go on at Alabama, and I emphasize the word rich. Dreamland BBQ is one of those old style hole in the wall BBQ places down south that is definitely worth a visit. One can also visit the Bear Bryant museum to checkout some Bama’ history to kill some time before the game.

6. South Carolina: Parking for the regulars can be a mixed bag. The one impressive thing they have is “cockaboose’s surrounding the stadium. Cockaboose’s are old train caboose’s that are reconstructed and fully loaded with folks tailgating in before the game. That might be the most unique thing in college football tailgating.

7. Auburn:  Known for War Eagle flying before the game and the celebration at Toomers Corner afterwards. It’s a little creepy but I saw a picture of an Auburn grill made out of a casket! Apparently there was a new rule put in place a few years ago that got rid of a lot of free tailgate spots for the Tigers. Lots of fans like to setup tents and TVs and will party all day and watch the game outside if they don’t have a ticket.

8. Arkansas: The Razorbacks like to specialize in BBQ and pig roasts. Platforms built on pickup trucks, decks on bus roofs also make appearances on Saturdays. I didn’t know that the Razorbacks sometimes play in two different places in Arkansas and that leaves the fans split on which location is better. Fayetteville has really improved their tailgating though. “The pit” is the place to go as a lot of tailgaters congregate there.

9. Georgia: A legendary music scene with a beautiful campus backdrop. The Bulldogs have some weird tailgating restrictions though that really hinders how successful tailgating could be. Sure they have the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail party, but that’s in an off-campus location and doesn’t count for their on campus atmosphere. Georgia has a nice combo of relaxed and upbeat tailgating but nothing really unique.

10. Mississippi State: The Cowbells are a staple with Mississippi State (even though they’ve been ruled illegal for at least 25 years) The downtown bars have a cozy feel to them but the place to tailgate at is “the Junction” a historic landmark at MSU that is the epicenter of every home game.

11. Kentucky: Some of the locals call it LexVegas. One of the neat things to do is to take in a football and game and then go to the race track and bet on some horse racing if that’s your thing.  There is plenty of parking and very prideful tailgating. They have a chant that is a pure carbon copy of Fireman Ed’s J-E-T-S chant, but that’s okay.

12. Vanderbilt: Traditional tailgating is tough because of the urban atmosphere so if you’re lucky enough to draw a noon game make a stop at Pancake Pantry. Most of the tailgating is done in parking decks. However, there is “Vandyville” which is a growing tailgating spot.  The school recently started enforcing a rule to Greek life that they had to fold up their tailgates 30 minutes early and head to the stadium, so it’ll take a few years to see how that changes things.

Burger Pocket Press

Tailgating Infographic

Posted by Dave On October - 17 - 2011

Not sure how all the statistics were compiled and how accurate they are but I found this to be interesting.

Tailgating Infographic

Ranking The Big 12 Tailgates

Posted by Peter On October - 11 - 2011

Wherever you go in the Big12 conference, the school truly reinforces the culture of that city or state. You know you’re in Texas when you’re at a Longhorn game and you know you’re in Ames when you’re watching the Cyclones of Iowa State. The Big12 does a great job representing the culture of the American Midwest, and definitely brings the beef. Without further ado, here is my list of the top tailgate schools of the Big12.

1. Texas: Having a popular college town such as Austin makes it a bit unfair for the rest of the conference – but too bad. Austin, which has been on Playboy’s list of top party school’s, is a big time football program with a big time tailgating atmosphere. Texas tailgater’s have shown many ways of how proud they are of being a Texan. Whether it’s sticking some horns on the front of their vehicle, or bringing gigantic smokers to cook up a Texas treat, these guys do it right.

2. Oklahoma: One common theme you’ll find in the Big 12 is the smoker. Oklahoma is no different as they have big time smokers along with intricate keg systems and enough RV’s covered with school spirit to make your head explode. The women are easy on the eyes and the tailgates look organized and well run. The Sooner Schooner is a tradition that has a special place in college football and is impressive to see for the first time. Norman has major tailgate setups everywhere that can make one feel as if they are at a carnival instead of a football stadium.

3. Texas A&M: These Texas folks love their brisket and they can definitely throw a party. Converted buses, fire trucks, even pieces of junk converted into giant smokers – you name it they have it all. The women are good looking and the BBQ style of Texas shines in A&M country.

4. Iowa State: Ames looks to have great parking around the stadium, plenty of room for RVs and they even rent out canopy tents to fans. The close proximity of the parking to the stadium as well as the organization makes this a great destination to tailgate at in the Big 12. On a side note, I was very impressed with the diverse display of vehicle creations that they had.

5. Kansas State: Fans pack in around the stadium very tightly which I personally like. There seems to be so many RVs in some spots that it looks like a RV dealership. K-State has very friendly fans that just create a suffocating amount of purple on game day.

6. Texas Tech: A bit of a country feel with a BBQ twist to it. A lot of people using tricked out cooking vehicles and smokers. The fans generally seem to be a big supporter of barbequing and smoking their food. A little more mellow scene than other schools but their strength is a passion for cooking.

7. Missouri: Has accessible parking garages next to the stadium but besides that it’s pretty tough to park. One unique thing is that everyone just literally parks on the side of the boulevard and tailgates. The Tigers have their fair share of party buses and tricked out trailers, they also used to have an area for student tailgates called “the Jungle”.

9. Oklahoma State: Fans really embrace their school name as a lot of people take on the look of cowboys and cowgirls! The Cowboys have their share of converted buses and have RV parking available a day before the game which always welcomes a better atmosphere. OSU has really done a nice job of growing their tailgating as it apparently was a non-event a decade ago (winning cures all!). 

9. Kansas: Very tame looking. There is a stretch of street where a lot of student’s party, but that didn’t overwhelm me with excitement. You’ll find your typical tents, cornhole, and burgers on the grill but nothing creative. One thing they do have is a very scenic backdrop while walking to the stadium in the fall.

10. Baylor: The administration has been trying to grow it, but the tailgating at Baylor was virtually non-existent a decade ago. The fanatics tailgate, but Baylor needs to round up the troops and continue to grow their pre-game setup.

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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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