T ghae g Thae me
Pyne and Joe
these top tailg
• Nothing’s w
running out of
for running out
• Buy good rol
or ruin a good
• Choose a vi
lot: A tailgate
dium sight just
Putting together the
perfect parking lot picnic
• Have a the
Bring a tree.
• Dress in tea
By Stephanie Stephens
IN TAMPA, ONE GROUP hauled in 3,000 pounds faces painted with team colors. Anybody can tailgate
of sand to their party. In Cleveland, there’s the full- at virtually any event. All you need are some basic
size bus painted “MOBILE DAWG POUND.” In other supplies and foods. An understanding of tailgating
cities you’ll see hot tubs and even a setup with seven etiquette helps, too. Here’s a primer.
big screens to watch earlier-time-zone games.
Welcome to tailgating, the international tradi- Location, location, location …
tion turned social phenomenon. It’s the ultimate In tailgating, the spot is definitely the thing, says
portable party, featuring food, drink and props. Pyne. Smart tailgaters get to the stadium early.
If you can dream it, you can tailgate it. “Party! Whether you get there at dawn or two
The law defines tailgating as “Following too hours pre-game, it means convenience, not compet-closely behind another motorist: an aggressive ing with 70,000 people for a parking spot,” he says.
behavior.” Rabid football fans and attendees of But Commissioner Cahn reminds newbies
concerts, NASCAR, horse racing and dozens of about parking-lot etiquette: “Never know-other events, have a different definition. ingly park in someone’s space. If you do,
“Tailgating is the last great American neighbor- cars can be moved. People usually park in
hood,” says Costco member Joe Cahn of New the same place for several years. When in
Orleans. The congenial Cahn has traveled some doubt, ask.”
ls or bread—
out of sta-doesn’t
? Bring a
You’re the 12th man!
• Arrive three to four
hours early; parking spaces
are not created equal!
• Fly a flag and decorate
• Leave the area clean.
“Become a participant; it’s so much better
than just being an
observer in life,” recommends Cahn. “Even if you
only bring a sandwich
and a Coke.”
Hey, maybe you’ll
adopt the philosophy of
one no-nonsense Baltimore
tailgater whose van bears
this painted-on slogan:
“STOP WORKING AND
Tailgating ( www.tailgating.com). He declares, Tailgaters need food, conjured from som e-
“[Tailgating is] one of the safe places to picnic, to thing as basic as a large picnic basket to extrava-celebrate community, like a reception before a ban- gant kitchens on wheels. Cahn lauds “those monster
quet. Think Mister Rogers: ‘Won’t you be my neigh- stainless backyard grills—towed behind your vehi-bor?’ [Tailgating] brings people together from all cle—plus pop-up tents.” The grill requires group
levels, every walk of life and gender.” unloading; tents are easy to assemble. “Put a small
“Tailgating is growing because someone started generator in your trunk,” Cahn advises.
to do it and other people wanted to outdo them,” fig- Portable chairs are a must; a portable picnic table
ures Greg Pyne, a project manager from Baltimore helps out tremendously. Many tailgaters use canopies
whose other life revolves around his Johnny Road Trip to keep food and sports fans out of direct sun. Cahn’s
Web site ( www.johnnyroadtrip.com/tailgating), must-have list includes jumper cables, plastic trash
a superb one-stop tailgating source. bags, rain gear, first-aid kit, sunblock, comfortable
Meet “One Crazy Fan,” Mike Young of Phila- shoes, antacid and a friend. “Change their life,” he says.
delphia. His Web site, www.onecrazyfan.com, is “an “Bring them to a tailgate party.” C
informative Web site for all Philadelphia fans,” says
280,000 miles promoting tailgating and is the generally undisputed, self-proclaimed Commissioner of The necessary equipment
Young, an admitted sane fan, philanthropist and Freelance writer Stephanie Stephens tailgates in Laguna
true tailgating devotee. He operates the “Tailgate Niguel, California, and Cambridge, New Zealand.
Rescue Squad,” an ambulance stocked with free sup- TAILGATING RECIPES, PAGE 7
plies for anything fans forgot.
“Walk down big-city streets, people avoid you,
never making eye contact. Tailgating is where people
really talk to each other,” Young observes. “In The Costco Connection
parking lots, you’ll see different groups for differ- Costco carries everything from A to Z for tailgating, including ingredients for lunches
ent personalities.” and dinners, premade foods such as vegetable and seafood plates, beverages,