Sunday, June 08, 2008

My Ode to Tailgating

There are a lot of stories and theories about how the practice of tailgating began.  And they all say that it originated in the North (so suck it Texas).  But regardless of where it was started, it was perfected by my people in my Homeland and then it was taken to new level all across the Deep South.  As such, the practice of tailgating differs depending on where you live.  In Wisconsin it tends to involve a some burgers and brats over a small grill in a parking lot, in Alabama it might involve $250,000 RV with a smoker and sous chef.  But that's the beauty of it.  No matter where you are tailgating or what the fare it is still amazing.
The premise of tailgating is so simple.  If you are going to be attending a sporting event or a concert, you arrive early in the parking lot and have a little cookout behind your car or truck.  Fuck that was simple.  You bring a cooler and a grill, have some burgers, hot dogs, maybe a little potato salad, drink some beer and hang out with your friends or family.  You relax, take in the sun, mingle with other fans and get ready for the event ahead.  If it's a sporting event you can listen to the pre-game show on the radio, hear what the talking heads have to say about the upcoming game.  If you are tailgating at a concert you can listen to the latest and greatest album from your band, just to brush up and get you in the mood.  Tailgating is a money saver too, because inside the venue hot dogs are going to cost $5 and you are going to pay like $8.50 for a beer.  So you can get nice and full and maybe a little sauced out in the parking lot before the event.  Plus, then you know that you aren't late.  It's a win-win situation.
The other great thing about tailgating is that you get to do it after the game or concert too.  It's fantastic!  Everyone always leaves early to beat the traffic.  No no no no no!  You never do that!  You probably paid somewhere around eleventy billion dollars for your tickets, you stay until the clock reaches zero, the 27th man is out, or until they turn off the stage lights and turn on the lights in the stands.  You paid for the rights to be there so you might as well milk every dollar you can out of it.  The great thing about tailgating is, you can save half of your food and beer, stay for the whole event, then go outside and tailgate AGAIN while you wait for everyone to leave.  Why sit there and run your car out of gas, overheat the engine, and get all pissed off when you can sit back and relax in your lawn chair, have a polish sausage, and sip on a High Life?  It seems like a no-brainer to me.  
If you've never participated in a tailgate party, I would highly recommend it.  I can't adequately describe the experience of it here.  I really can't.  You just have to go out and try it.  But you have to do it right.  Make sure that you have someone experienced with tailgating go with you to make sure that you are going things correctly and you will be fine.  In fact, you will be great.  Because it is an amazing experience.  Whether you have a truck with an actual tailgate, or a SUV with a lift gate, or a car with a trunk, it doesn't matter.  If you have a '97 Saturn Wagon that works great too.  If you are a fan of a team whose stadium has no parking around it - Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Waukesha Nationals - or you are at a venue that has no on-site parking like Harpo's in Detroit or something and you are being deprived of the experience then I weep for you.  You really should hop on and get some seats somewhere that you can try this.  Because it is an experience not to be missed.  Wow, I can't wait until my next chance to do that.


KingBobb said...

Not only does Harpo's not have any parking, but the parkinglots nearby can best be described thusly by an observer: "I paid a guy 5 dollars to watch my car. He kinda looked like a vagrant. Anyway, I was pretty sure he didn't work there. And I was even more sure that he wouldn't stop anyone from smashing my windows and rummaging around in the car. But, I WAS reasonably sure that HE wouldn't smash my windows and rummage around." -- Jeffy's little bro.

That may or may not be a direct quote. I think that it was my brother. But that may or may not be true as well. However, I can believe it as I've parked down there. Don't tailgate in a lot like that. Otherwise your car might be broken into and your hot dog stash swiped.

SandRiverGuy said...

It just makes me wonder what else could happen in this world when not even your hot dogs are safe in a parking lot next to harpo.