Football has finally landed. At this moment, every team is Super Bowl bound. For us fans that can only mean two things: It’s time for tailgating and face painting. While we can’t help you much with the second one, we can get you ready to face your team’s tailgate parties like a drunken professional. We’ve got all the gear and gadgets you need for a serious tailgating blowout.
A Quick Guide to Tailgating
Tailgate parties are even more American than apple pie, because there’s no grilled meat in apple pie and no shirtless fat guys in fright wigs ever scream about apple pie. Let’s face it, that’s what made America great the first time around, so we’re sticking with what works. Before we get you geared up for shenanigans, there’s a few rules about tailgate partying that all must follow or be banned from the parking lot for life. These are:
Don’t Freeload – You got to bring some to get some. Some say this rule doesn’t apply to hot women. It does, bikini top over cutoffs or not.
Don’t Whine – There’s going to be meat, there’s going to be gluten, and there’s going to be booze. This isn’t an ice cream social or a tea party at the Grim Meadows Retirement Community. You don’t need to partake, you just need to let others do what they do as they do for you.
Be A Good Guest – If someone invited you to their tailgate, bring something better than skunky beer and don’t embarrass them. Oh, and if it isn’t your awesome tailgating chair, your sweet meat better not be sitting in it.
No Bombs – Zero people care about your arm. There’s cars around and huge guys who don’t want you tossing a Hail Mary into their beer.
Cook or Clean – Pick one and do it up right.
Stay Close – Don’t disappear with someone’s ticket and don’t make anyone look for you when game time starts. They’ll leave your ass outside, and rightfully so.
Be Kind to the Competition – Ribbing and good-natured jabs are part of sport, but cruelty and screaming filth aren’t. Also, if you see anyone else doing it: Regulate.
Act Your Age – Ok, act your age minus about 5-10 years. If you aren’t in college anymore. Make sure you know it.
Don’t Be That Person – Whatever it is, just don’t.
The Tailgating Gear
On to the brass tacks. Here’s the 18 essential pieces of tailgating equipment.
ORCA Extra Heavy Duty Cooler
If you want the cooler that’s going to keep your ice cold the longest, fight off weather the best, and keep temperatures where they belong, then you need the ORCA. It’s big, meant to handle Deadliest Catch-grade storms, and is damn near impossible to bust. Also the perfect height for sitting. Purchase: $230+
Coleman Road Trip LX Grill
In case you don’t have a hibachi that you adore, might we humbly recommend that you go to the people who know grilling in the outdoors and let Coleman handle the cooking. The upright frame prevents hunching while the flaps give you a staging area that’s better organized than you’ll get laying stuff out on the bed of your F-150. Purchase: $300
BBQ Bros Rubs
Take on the mantle of sauce boss by bringing in a rub that will make any meat sing. It’s a little different than standard barbecue glop and a more elegant way to add flavor to any festivities. The wide selection of the BBQ Bros combined with their expertise will give you a leg, thigh, rib, breast, and steak up on the competition. Purchase: $25
Verizon Jetpack® 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot
Staying connected is important, just in case you need to prove who had the highest season rushing yards in 1981 (Saints RB George Washington Rogers Jr. – by the by) or want to see how your fantasy team is holding up. This gives you a solid connection on Verizon’s huge wireless networks, which means less fumbled signals. Purchase: $50
E-Z UP Sierra II Canopy
The rule about canopies is: If it takes more than 3-steps, don’t bother. This one is simple for a single person to snap up without asking everyone for help. It doesn’t require advanced mechanical engineering degrees, and will let you get shaded and back to the real reason for the season: beer. Purchase: $115
Roccbox Stonebake Oven
You really want to amaze the natives, then go for this bad boy. You can whip out real stonebaked pizza in about fifteen minutes, or have a whole lasagna ready to go before game time. Melty nachos, real homemade pretzels, and even some victory pie can all be yours with this magic box of goodness. Purchase: ~$530
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater
Using a basic gas canister, you never again need to fight off the chill of a snowy game by sharing body heat with Randal who reeks of PBR and flop sweat. Now you can get cozy and toasty in your cab or hanging out of your cargo area. Purchase: $105
Picnic Time Fusion Folding Chair
You’ve got your soda and a place to write down all your stats, as well as storage for tablets, phone, or a Nerf pistol intended on ending any debate with finality. Can hold up to 350 lbs. worth of true armchair QB. Purchase: $79
Winegard Portable Antennas
Relatively new on the scene, those who want to bring the game along with them can drag out these satellite antennas from both DISH and DirecTV. They link up with satellites and put your sports package on display so you never need to miss a minute.
What good would an antenna be without a television? Our favorite brands here are SunBrite TV and SkyVue, both of which provide all-weather TVs in various sizes that give you HD resolution in a package that will work in rain or direct sun.
You should already have a favorite beer growler for toting along your favorite craft brews, but if not, we suggest the Klean Kanteen’s insulated option. It might not have a handle, but keeps suds fresh, cold, and carbonated longer than anything else out there. Purchase: $52
Tailgaterz Tailgating Tavern
Serve up your snacks or signature cocktails in style. Snap this up in seconds, dish out the goodness, and drop it back down for easy stowing. A buffet table for food and a receptacle for ice and drinks makes this the one stop shop for putting it all out there. Purchase: $67
Toss a ball around the lot and your life will be spent digging under cars to retrieve it. Instead, take along this frisbee game for fun without the headache. Purchase: $40
Lightspeed Outdoors Stadium Blanket
Waterproof on the outside, cozy fleece on the inside, it’ll give you all the coverage you need in an easily portable square. Purchase: $25
HQY Magnetic Bottle Opener
Don’t just use your dinky keychain bottle opener. Get this out and twist off the cap of any microbrew with a bit of flash. It’s how refined fans do their drinking. Purchase: $13
Ditch the foam and get a crocheted paracord Koozie that will hold in the cold, fits your bottle or can of choice, and provides grip wherever you may roam, beer sweat be damned. Purchase: $12
UE Roll 2
Adding in a little Bob Seger or catching up on commentary while you roam the grounds is a necessity. The UE Roll 2 is the portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker of the moment. Dangles easily from anywhere and provides premium personal sound in the damp, the heat, and the sticky land of tailgating. Purchase: $80
Mitchell & Ness Jerseys
Never go out of style and get a true Mitchell & Ness jersey. It’s the only way to fly your colors proudly in real fan fashion.