Turn Your Tailgate Up A Notch

Tailgating is the pre-ceremonial football celebration practiced at any level of performance from peewee to NCAA to NFL. Tailgating dates as far back as the Civil War, as soldiers traditionally would eat and drink in preparation for battle. This tradition has evolved into one of America’s favorite pastimes as sport fans anxiously await the epic battle between rivaled teams.

This Fall, we’ve been on tour with Cracker Barrel for their HBCU Road Tour and have seen so many amazing tailgates. Feeling inspired by our college tour, we wanted to share some tips on how to plan the perfect tailgate.

Prep & Pack Your Cooler
Learning how to pack a cooler is essential!

1. Use airtight reusable containers
2. Add all bottles and cans to the bottom of the cooler to stay chilled longer
3. Place bagged items sideways on top of the beverage layer
4. Chill everything, especially all perishable foods and adult beverages with ice, or frozen ice packs

Bungee Cords are “Major Key!” (As DJ Khaled would say)
Never head out to a tented tailgate without some bungee cords. Bungee cords make terrific paper towel holders along struts of a tent. They are also helpful in securing box fans to help with proper air circulation for those steamy mornings, especially before you decide to fire up the grill.

“Phone, Wallet, Keys” and Other Important Items Not to Forget at Home:   Spatula, tongs, skewers, can/bottle opener, basting brush, seasoning, spices, condiments, ponchos, paper towels, plates, cups, your favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, garbage bags, plastic zip bags, sunscreen, bug spray, misters, chairs, Tupperware, tarp, canopy tent, portable speakers, foldable tables and most importantly, attire to represent your favorite team!

What’s Cooking?
It’s time to turn your tailgate food up a notch. Neat idea? Turn your game day food into your team’s colors! From team colored jello to dessert icing, jazz it up by color coordinating with your favorite team. Not extreme enough? Try eating the competition! Make a creative dish inspired by the opponent’s mascot that will intimidate your rival team.

A Little Party Never Killed Nobody
Despite what your grandmother may think, beer pong is a sport and is more than likely the number one tailgate past-time. Some other game suggestions include: Kan-Jam, Tarp Toss, Jenga, Battle-Shots, Backyard Tic-Tac-Toe, Basketpong.

Lastly, nothing says game time more than your team's traditional chant or making up chants with family and friends. This set the atmosphere as you all prepare to enter the stadium while you are in the process of killing the grill and making memories with your closest friends.

-Raven Campbell
NOCCI Intern


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