Just like any football season, every good tailgate needs a bye week. Not only to help you recharge your batteries, but also to get a sampling of what goes on at the tailgates around your stadium.
When do you schedule a tailgating bye week? Sometimes the schedule makes it all too obvious.
Three back-to-back-back’s is too much. Texas A&M opens with three consecutive home games. During the middle week we are going to check out the other tailgates in and around Kyle Field.
#5 – Bring your charisma and energy. Wedding Crashers–as a movie–was okay, but Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson carried the show. You and your team of tailgate crashers must bring your A-Game.
#4 – Determine the size of the tailgate crashing crew. Just two people? Easy. Bring four or more, then you better bring some great stories OR alternatively some cash. More and more, I’ve noticed big groups that understand the importance of donations. One of the best tailgates comes from the Aggie Spirit where you can donate to “Help Keep the Spirit Alive”. Check out their website here — http://www.ag-spirit.com/.
# 3 – Determine the goal. This keeps it interesting and gives you a reason to strike up the conversation. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me about our TV and tailgate set-up. Reverse the idea and you have the perfect segway into a conversation with anyone at another tailgate. People take pride in what they do well and in a tailgating environment it’s easy to find out about their area of expertise:
- What their favorite tailgating game is?
- What type of BBQ they have?
- Where they found that cool inflatable mascot or flag, etc, etc, etc.
#2 – Pick a side. In Wedding Crashers you pick a side of the family to sit on. In tailgate crashing you pick the color of your team. If it’s your home school tailgate then don’t go AWOL on your guys—no matter how bad they may be. Primarily, the pick a side rule of thumb, applies to out of town tailgate crashing when you don’t have a vested interest in who wins the game. See this post for a list of the best out of town tailgates in the nation in 2010.
There’s a Warning with this rule in Baton Rouge though: Wearing anything but purple or gold at an LSU game can be hazardous to your health. Neutral colors mean you’ve insulted them. Wearing the OTHER school’s colors means you’ve insulted their entire family. Watch out and be sure to travel in packs. Best bet is to Geaux Gold when in Baton Rouge.
Check out this video from an LSU tailgater in Knoxville. He gives you an idea of how fine the line is. One second he’s thinking about killing someone and the next he’s inviting you to his tailgate. Seriously, it’s crazy.
#1 – Don’t stay in one place too long. There are so many tailgates and so little time. You will inevitably meet some very cool people and with the mix of good food, good drink and great times it’s easy to get caught up in one place. Don’t do it though.
All season long you’re in one place. On your bye week make sure you keep moving so you can bring the best tailgating ideas back to your tailgate in the future. To make a smooth transition to your next destination, just invite the people from the spot you’re currently at over to your tailgate at the next home game and keep charging ahead.
Look ahead, plan your tailgating bye week now and you’ll be sure to make it a great one.
To read other posts by Foster “Jim” Flint click here.