b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

Friday, September 03, 2004

Sports: Dos and Don'ts of Tailgating 

Nine hours from now I'll be standing in a parking lot, setting up for tomorrow's Texas Longhorns season opener against North Texas. As I've said before, our crew does it up right, and I've learned a few things along the way:

DO: have plenty of beer. Nothing drives people away like a floated keg forty-five minutes before kickoff. I recommend keeping at least a 12-pack in reserve, just in case.

DO: bring plenty of things like trash bags, paper plates, paper towels, etc. If you think you might need it, bring it.

DON'T: be a beer snob. Tailgating isn't an upscale bar. If someone has a keg of Lone Star or Natty Light, and you absolutely can't drink the stuff, then politely decline. Don't "hmph" and call it crap.

DO: invest in a canopy. Invariably it will rain on game day. Hardcore football fans/tailgaters embrace the rain, but you want to keep the food dry. And on days -- read: September games in Texas (or anywhere in the South) -- when the temperatures climb toward triple digits, you don't want the hot sun beating down on things like cheese or dips.

DON'T: be stingy. I've seen great friendships form from tailgate generosity. Offer passers-by a beer or a taco. Talk about the game or, if you're like my crew, debate the worst QB in your school's history for hours on end (Mark Murdoch).

DO: get to know your neighbors. We tailgate in the same lot as about fifty other groups, most of whom are the same from week to week. It's always fun to make the rounds and see what everyone else is up to.

DO: Invest in a TV and a dish. You're going to want to stay up-to-date on the big games of the day.

DON'T: forget to lock your stuff up when you head to the stadium.


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