We made memories this summer as we took our vacation to South Florida, where the water was so blue you could see the fish, and the sand was soft as a pillow. We didn’t want to come home, but we did. There may be one more trip to the lake or a quick weekend getaway left this summer, but the reality is, it’s all coming to an end.
But I don’t despair, because fall is right around the corner. And you know what that means—college football! Many of you have already memorized the schedule and know which away games you’re going to attend. Your number-one goal is to be the twelfth man, catapulting your team to not only a top 25 ranking, but a bowl game.
However, you know your season to-do list isn’t complete without your tailgating plans. Because tailgating is serious business.
For the tailgating novice, they show up, drop down the tailgate on their truck (where did you think the name came from?), throw some burgers on the grill and, voilà, they’ve got a tailgating party.
For the seasoned tailgating professional, such as yourself, you walk by with a grin fondly remembering this was you a few years ago, but not anymore. Now you’re the one these novices aspire to emulate. When they showed up, they raved about the grill, the food, the cooler, and the fun they were going to have. Then you arrived to show them how it’s all done.
Your site isn’t just a 10×10 tent and a couple of chairs, you’ve created a small village along with your pals. Your goal is more than just a pregame meal, but rather a complete getaway experience, replete with blender, firepit, and enough games to match the Olympics.
But what tailgating is all about, as you look past the amazing set up you have or the simple one the novice puts up, is the experience it provides.
Food is a big part of that. There’s a positive effect on people when they gather around food, whether its burgers on a grill or ribs from a smoker. It’s why parents reserve banquet rooms for birthdays and why churches have potluck dinners. People simply enjoy the experience of celebrating over food.
Now add in the experience of friends getting together. Remember the fun you had as kids when you played in those sandlot games or the laughs you have at those after-work parties? This is what real tailgating is all about.
As you start to head into the fall, look forward to these experiences. They’re really what makes this time of year, the best time of year. Oh, and the run for a bowl game, of course.