Tailgating Ideas

Don't Just Tailgate, Tailgate Better

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Braylon Bunch Group PhotoSo you are at the point where your tailgate has gotten big enough you need your own identity? You are struggling to come up with a name that embodies who you are, what you are about, possibly rhymes or has alliteration, is catchy and is short enough to fit on a t-shirt. After all, “The Dan, Bob, Steve, Joe, Rhonda and Becky Miami Dolphins Supporters and Tailgate Party Group” really doesn’t have a catchy ring to it.

You need to find a name that helps you stand out from the sea of mediocre tailgaters and gives you your own identity. But how do you come up with a good one if you don’t know the rules? Well, good thing you are here because we will provide you a few easy to follow guidelines on selecting a name for your tailgating crew. More importantly we will provide you with the invaluable information in knowing which types of names to avoid. We’ll start with the ones you’ll want to avoid and work our way towards the types you should consider.

The Ill-AdvisedIndoctrinating a Current Player’s Name into your Tailgating Crew’s Name.
How many times have you bought a jersey of that “can’t miss” rookie first round draft pick who ends up being a total bust? Hello? JaMarcus Russell? Ryan Leaf, anyone? More times than you care to remember I am guressing. Once they have achieved ultimate draft bust status, that jersey is going straight into the trash along with that guy’s career. So why would you entrust the name of your tailgating crew to include a player’s name that is currently on the roster?

Players get traded, get injured, suspended for using steroids, get arrested for domestic violence, get picked up on DUIs or the best case scenario, eventually retire. No matter how great you think the player is or will be, no player plays forever.

Take the Braylon Bunch for example. Named after wide receiver Braylon Edwards while he was playing for the Cleveland Browns, this tailgating crew must have thought they hit the jackpot when they chose this name. In 2008, Edwards led the NFL in dropped passes and was promptly traded to the New York Jets prior to the 2009 season. So much for Braylon Edwards still making an impact in Cleveland and so much for the Braylon Bunch having a cool and catchy name anymore. All of those t-shirts you see in the above photo have probably all been placed in a landfill somewhere outside of Cleveland. So unless you are 100%, guaranteed that the player you choose will never get traded and will have a Hall of Fame caliber type career, stay away from names that include a player on the current roster. You would hate to be a San Francisco based tailgating crew and be saddled with the name “Druckenmiller’s Drinking Crew” for the next few eons.

OJ SimpsonThe BadIncorporating Extraordinary Former Players or Popular Former Coaches Into The Crew’s Name
Many tailgaters would think naming their tailgating crew after a popular coach or a Hall of Fame player might be a good choice. Then again, even though those players and coaches may have an unblemished reputation in your particular locale, unless they are deceased, they can still tarnish their good name and reputation. Imagine if you were a Buffalo Bills tailgating group and named your crew after O.J. Simpson. What if you were a part of a New York Giants group that named themselves after Lawrence Taylor? Both of those players had Hall of Fame careers but the life choices after their football careers were completed ruined their respect and good name forever.

Same thought process applies to coaches. I know Jim Tressel at Ohio State was beloved in Columbus but his recent involvement in an improper benefits scandal forced him to resign recently. If there was a tailgating group out there that chose to name themselves “Tressel’s Troopers” or “Sweater Vest Drinkers”, they are probably scrambling right now to come up with a new name.

The only exception that should be made are for those players and coaches who have passed on. There is no shame in a Chicago Bears group naming their crew “Walter Payton’s Posse” or Dallas Cowboys tailgaters calling themselves “Landry’s Lads”. Just make sure to do some research on the player or coach to ensure they were as squeaky clean as you remember them.

Florida State Tailgaters

The GoodIncluding The Team City/University, Mascot or Colors Into The Group Name
Rarely does a a team change cities, mascots or colors. One rare case was when St. John’s University changed their mascot from the Redmen to the Red Storm. Until 1994, the St. John’s mascot was the Redmen, which referenced the red uniforms worn by the university in competition. However, the name was interpreted as a Native American slur in the 1960s, and was changed to the Red Storm after mounting pressure on colleges and universities to adopt names more sensitive to Native American culture. St. John’s tailgaters that adopted a group name that included Redmen might consider changing the name but the occurrence of a school changing its mascot is very rare. In light of the today’s politically correct culture and the mounting pressure by the NCAA for schools to abandon Native American mascots, those tailgaters may want to steer clear of incorporating Seminoles, Sioux or Redskins into their name just as a precaution.

Examples of good tailgating crew names that heed this advice are groups like Club 49 (a San Francisco 49ers tailgating group), Big Blue Tailgate Crew (A New York Giants tailgating group) or the Bengal Bomb Squad (a Cincinnati Bengals tailgating group).

Unsupervised BusThe BestBuild Your Team Name From Your Own Blend of Personalities or Unique Meeting Spot
Enlisting this naming criteria takes some creativity and thought and is not just a cookie cutter way of creating a tailgating crew’s name. Consider naming your group based on where you park and tailgate. A group of girls who park near us in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot for Chargers games are known as the “B3 Girls”. That’s because they always park under, you guessed it, the B3 light pole in the parking lot. Even fans inside known them as the B3 Girls and not by their individual names.

Renowned and notorious Washington Redskins tailgaters the Dead Tree Crew or DTC for short, garnered their name because they would park in a section of the parking lot where a dead tree had yet to be removed. The Unsupervised tailgating group got its name from an epic road trip while many of its members were in the middle of their college days at LSU. Several future members headed out of town for a drinking weekend without their “significant others” – they were truly UNSUPERVISED for the weekend, and a tailgating group with a mission was born.

Another aspect of your tailgating group name might be a specialty dish you are well known for or is always served at every tailgate party. Maybe you always have some sort of obscene amount of meat cooking and might call yourselves the “The Blue Lot Carnivores”. Maybe you serve a specialty drink in the lots that sets you apart? The rule here is to be creative while staying true to yourself and expressing your tailgate crew’s uniqueness.

Conclusion – Of course you can name your tailgating crew whatever you want. After all, this is still America and you can do as you like. But take it from a guy who has seen and heard about a lot of different tailgating groups. If you want to avoid the hassle of having to change your tailgating crew’s name, give this post a second read. If you are planning on spending the money to print up T-shirts or even more drastic, get a tattoo of your tailgating crew’s name, read this post a third time.

Park It Here

Posted by Chris On July - 2 - 2011

It seems so obvious, but it just dawned on this tailgater last week.  The outcome of your tailgate or how much fun you are going to have is most likely determined before you even break out your food, adult beverages, and gear.  Yep, all of your tailgating preparation could be all for naught if you park your vehicle in the wrong parking spot.

The moment right after you hand over your cash to the parking lot attendant is so pressure filled.  I am talking Billy Joel pressure my friends.  Sure you probably don’t feel the butterflies but they should be there.  In the matter of seconds you are going to make the ultimate decision which will go a long way in determining the success of your tailgate.  The parking spot.

I am sure each tailgater is unique in locating his / her prime spot.  Some will focus on the tailgaters around them.  Other will focus on how many surrounding empty parking spots there are.  If you park in one spot and the spots to your left and right are empty well that means more room to spread out your gear or make the upcoming game of corn hole more challenging.

The goal of this tailgater is to find a spot that gives easy access out of the parking lot following the game.  Yep, this guy will sacrifice space or access to eye candy for an open spot next to the entrance / exit of the lot.

I am a fan that almost always stays until the last pitch or snap so not getting stuck in the post-game traffic is of highest importance.  The value of such a spot takes on even greater importance on Sunday and Monday night NFL games when the job is waiting for you in a few short hours.  In short, I am of the belief that a kick-ass tailgate or nail bitter game (where the home team wins of course) can all be ruined (well almost) by having to sit in post-game traffic out of the parking lot.  Throw in a bunch of drunks who probably shouldn’t be driving and hello STRESS.

[Off topic…I have always heard, and not sure if it is true, that the police tend to write out more tickets at the end of month to meet a pre-defined quota.  If this is true I have always wondered why they just don’t station themselves outside the parking lot of a completed sporting event.  Hello ticket jackpot!  I am glad that they don’t but this is truly something that I have been wondering since I was a tailgating virgin.]

OK, back to the point of this post which is more of an open question to you readers…how do you select your tailgating parking spot?

Do you have a standard (or even lucky) location?  Do you park near bathroom access (despite the stench and lines)?  Or are you super social and look for the ultimate tailgate, where you can mingle and join in on the fun of the tailgates around you?

Oddly enough I found out last Friday that for my entire Philadelphia tailgating life I have been lying to myself.  I always thought that I knew the prime real estate for the easiest exit after the game.  I went to the game with some new friends last week and found an even better spot to beat the traffic!

Let the comments (PLEASE) begin…

Camping World

BIC Flex Multi-Purpose Lighter

Posted by Dave On June - 17 - 2011

BIC Flex Multi-Purpose LighterNo matter if you use charcoal primarily or propane while tailgating, having a solid and dependable lighter on hand is essential. Although my grill that I use while tailgating has an electric ignitor, sometimes the battery will be too weak to produce a decent spark. Other times the battery may be completely dead and not spark at all. If this has also happened to you, it is at this point in the tailgating experience that you now have to send someone to visit your neighboring tailgate to see if they can loan you some sort of a lighter. And if they come back with a traditional cigarette lighter, that is a major pain to get your grill started with it.

We recently had the opportunity to test out and review the BIC Flex Multi-Purpose Lighter. It is made by BIC, a company world famous for their lighters, so you know they have the quality handled. The BIC Flex Multi-Purpose Lighter has a flexible wand that can easily reach inside your grill and get right next to your charcoal or propane burner. The flexible wand allows you to ignite something that may be difficult to reach and around a corner. So by using the BIC Flex Multi-Purpose Lighter you don’t have to get your hand too close to the flame and risk getting burned when lighting your grill. Seeing how the BIC Flex Multi-Purpose Lighter is priced at under $5, you can’t afford not to have one in your tailgating kit as a back up. Even if your electric ignitor is super dependable and you check the battery religiously, it may be a good idea to have one in your kit just in case someone parked next to you needs a lighter.

As a special reward for our readers, we are giving away three of these lighters to three different people. There are three chances to win one of these BIC Flex Multi-Purpose Lighters. You can enter all three ways to increase your chances but you can only win one lighter. We will be giving away one via our Facebook Fan Page, one on Twitter and one to a reader who leaves a comment below. Here is how it will work:

We will select one person randomly from all the sources of entry (Facebook, Twitter and blog comment). Winners selected randomly will be contacted and asked for their contact information and then your winning lighter will be sent directly from the folks at BIC. Here is how you can enter three different ways.

1) Facebook – Become a fan on the TailgatingIdeas Fan Page on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall post that promotes this contest. One (1) winner will be selected randomly and will be contacted via Facebook for their information.

2) Twitter – Follow us on Twitter and Tweet “I want to win a free #bicflexlighter from @TailgatingIdeas in time for Father’s Day http://t.co/iw4zE6F”. By using the hashtag #bicflexlighter we will be able to track if you tweeted it and how often. The more times you tweet it, the better your chances are of winning. (Try not to go too crazy and tweet it 20 times a day because you’ll then just be annoying your followers, so please use your good judgement.)

3) Comment – Leave a comment below mentioning you want to be entered into the drawing. Make sure to use the little captcha feature to make sure you aren’t a spammer and your comment is from an actual human being.

That’s it. You can enter all three ways but if you win a lighter one way and then your name is randomly selected in another way, we will redraw another name so as to be fair and three different people all get a free lighter.

The deadline to have your comments, tweets and Facebook comments logged is 11:59 PM pacific time, June 19, 2011. So start tweeting, Facebooking and commenting and good luck! All winners must live in the United States.

To learn more about the BIC Flex Multi-Purpose Lighter or any of the other BIC products, visit: www.bicworldusa.com.

FAQ Page Now Open

Posted by Dave On June - 9 - 2011

Confused Blonde Girl

It was back in 2007 that we started this tailgating blog and over the years we have received a ton of email. They say there are no dumb questions and that is true but there are a lot of frequently asked questions. Because we are in the age of the Internet and people want things fast, including answer to their questions, we decided to compile a list of questions and answers that are most recently asked of us. We call it the FAQ Page. (Yeah, we know. Not very original.)

There you will find answers to questions like:

  • Do you accept guest blog posts?
  • I’ve got the latest, greatest, super, fantastic, totally awesome tailgating gadget that you guys just have to know about. Can we send you a sample and you write a product review about it?
  • Because we send you a sample of our product does that mean you will give it a thumbs up and say it is as awesome and we think it is?
  • Have you ever considered charging a subscription fee and charging people to read it?
  • I think I am a good writer and I am knowledgeable about tailgating. How can I come on board and be a regular contributor to TailgatingIdeas.com?

There are other questions and answers in there as well. Give it a read and feel free to suggest other questions that you would like to know about TailgatingIdeas.com, the writing staff we have compiled or anything else you would like to know.

Tailgate Beer ‘Can Cancer’ Tailgate Photos

Posted by Dave On May - 10 - 2011

This past Sunday was not only Mother’s Day but was also the inaugural “Can Cancer” Tailgate Party hosted by the folks at Tailgate Beer. We were proud to be a part of this event because not only did it give us a great excuse to get out and tailgate but also to raise money for a great organization, The City of Hope. Here are a few of the photos we snapped while tailgating outside of Petco Park.

In those photos you can see the custom tailgating grill we did in San Diego Padres theme that was part of the raffle. Those buying raffle tickets could choose which prize they wanted to place their tickets in. Ticket purchasers could choose from free hotel stays, a four pack of Padres game tickets, a signed baseball from Chase Headley and, of course, the Padres Tailgating Grill. We are happy to report that the box for the grill received the largest amount of tickets and had almost double the amount of tickets compared to the four pack of Padres game tickets. The eventual winner of the grill was ecstatic and we were able to put it right on their car when the event was over.

I would estimate the attendance for the event to be about 150 although that was just me estimating it without getting a real head count. All in all I would say that it was a pretty good turn out seeing how it was a Sunday morning and it was Mother’s Day. The weather was not all that great either which may have kept a few more last minute people from coming.

Special thanks goes out to Ryan Morita who did a lot of the planning and coordinating for the event. Also, thanks to the brothers of the San Diego State University Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity who helped out with the cooking and the set up of the event. Mark Prior, the founder of Bag Toss, was also there running a Bag Toss/Cornhole tournament. Jay “the tailgate Guy” DiEugenio brought down his tailgating bus called “the Mullett” and provided a lot of the cooking expertise for the brunch. Lastly, Wesley Keegan, the founder of Tailgate Beer was the mastermind of the event and it was his mother’s own battle with breast cancer that was the inspiration for the whole event.

All around it was a successful tailgate and a lot of money was raised to cure cancer. Can’t wait to do it again.

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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.