HomeCultureThe 5 Unwritten Rules On The Proper Way To Tailgate

The 5 Unwritten Rules On The Proper Way To Tailgate

Photo by jrb_12 (Flickr)

Everybody loves to tailgate before the game. In fact, many people just like the tailgate part of game day and couldn’t care less that there is an actual sporting event being played after.

What’s not to like? You have a ready-made social circle in the people tailgating next to you. There’s food. There’s drink. And a good time is had by all.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has forced us to make some sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a socially distanced tailgate at home with a few friends.

And thanks to these new guidelines, tailgaters are going to need to step up their game up if they want to keep their guests entertained. Just showing up with some lukewarm beer and a few bags of chips isn’t going to cut it anymore. Oh, you brought a football to toss around with your buddies while you wait for game time? That’s s start, but you’re going to need more than that.

To really have a good time tailgating during COVID-19, you need to think outside the stereotypical tailgating box and do it the right way. Read on to find out how to take tailgating to the next level.

Photo by Juanita Demchak (Flickr)

Level Up Your Food

Burgers and dogs are just not cutting it anymore. Unless your burgers are made from natural American wagyu beef, your football buddies will be bored stiff. Hot dogs should be replaced with some genuine smoked bratwurst from an actual German deli.

You need to shop outside the discount grocery store and cook like a gourmet chef to get people excited. Bring a grill, smoke up some ribs and serve them with a handmade slaw. How about some actual fajitas with homemade flour tortillas and grilled lobster?

Even if you just want sandwiches, bring along a panini press and bust out the prosciutto and mozzarella and make up some grilled sandwiches that will knock everybody’s socks off.

Photo by ZenEuro (Flickr)

Make It Crafty

Cheap and generic beer is not going to suffice, especially when the energy at your tailgate is already crippled by COVID-19. There are a ton of craft beers being brewed all over the South, so give your buddies a local brew to write home about. Not only are you going to drink a beer that is tasty and unique, but you’ll be helping a small business in the process.

This goes for any beverage of choice. Chances are there’s a local distillery that is making some niche and incredible whiskey, rum or gin that will make for some great mixed drinks.

Socialize From a Distance

While you can’t just cook up some burgers and invite the whole neighborhood anymore, you can still wow a few friends with your amazing cooking skills. Make up more than you think you will need and then invite a few friends over for a plate and some trash talking about this week’s opponent.

Be hospitable and really make sure that you take good care of them. Offer them food and be a good host in general.

Photo by Ryan Snyder (Flickr)

Play Well With Others

Games are an integral part of any tailgate. A boring or overly complicated game won’t go over well. Ideally, the game in question should be able to be played while holding a beer or a turkey leg in one hand.

Cornhole is a great example of this type of game. It can be played on any kind of surface and is interesting and challenging enough to be competitive and exciting without being too hard to play a few beers in.

For a sportier and fast-paced game, there is Kan Jam that is sort of like disc golf but on a much smaller scale. You’ll need some space for this though so only bring it along if you have an open space nearby.

If it’s raining, playing Jenga under the tent can be a fun way to keep the vibe going.

And be sure to put some distance between you and your friends when you play your tailgate games. No amount of short-term fun is worth spreading COVID-19.

Keep It Clean

With great fun comes great responsibility, and you don’t want to turn your home into a pigsty.

Be sure your guests have easy access to trash cans, so they aren’t tempted to leave paper plates, beer bottles and scraps of food all over your house.

You should also make sure you don’t overindulge your friends’ food and drinks. Only drink enough to be polite when invited to do so and don’t overdo it. The same goes for food.

The best thing about hosting a tailgate party on your property is you don’t need to drive anywhere, so drink to your heart’s content. However, make sure your guests don’t plan to drive home under the influence.

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