Thursday November 6, 2014
It's been around for years, seen in college parking lots and NFL stadiums around the country; the pre-game fall tailgating party has become an American tradition that is here to stay. There's a reason why people tailgate before a football game, it's a chance to get together with friends, eat, drink and get pumped up for the big game.
No tickets? Is your team playing away this week? Fall is the perfect time of year to host a game-day party out on the patio. So why not host a tailgating party right in your own backyard?
Prep the Patio: While it's true that a tailgate party revolves around football game, you'll want to decorate your patio as if you're at the stadium to get the excitement started. We all know that with sports fans, it's all about the team colors. Begin by picking up napkins, cups and a table cloth in your team's colors. Or, why not cover the table in artificial grass (sold by the foot) and create your own mini gridiron?
Be sure to bring a TV out, or position one in a window off of your patio, unless you're lucky enough to have an outdoor television! Make sure you arrange the food station far enough away so that it doesn't interfere with the view. (Or spirited fans)
Let the Games Begin: While waiting for the game to start, you can have some games of your own. Similar to horseshoes, but totally transportable, Bean Bag toss (or Corn Hole) game uses a wooden platform and corn filled bean bags to score.
Players aim and toss a filled bag onto the wooden platform. Getting the bag in the "cornhole" in the middle of the board earns three points. Hitting and landing on the platform is earns you one.
The winner is the first person or team to score 21 points. Detailed rules and official regulations are available from the American Cornhole Association.
(yes, there is one) American Cornhole Association.
Kan Jam: This is a great backyard party game that requires both accuracy and athleticism.
The goal of Kan Jam is to score exactly 21 points before your opponents do. Consisting of two teams of two, points can be scored when:
- Your partner deflects the disc and hits the goal (1 point)
- You hit the goal directly with your disc, without the help of your partner (2 points)
- Your partner deflects the disc into the goal (3 points)
- You throw the disc directly into the goal with no help from your partner (Instant win)
Feeding the Fans: While the purpose of a tailgating party is to get psyched before the game, the food that you serve plays an important role in the party's success. The good news is that the food effort can be shared if each person brings a dish.
Tailgating parties are not a sit down affair, so the food that is served should be ones that can be eaten standing up. While there are certain favorites that can be found at almost every tailgate party, include a few surprises to make sure your party is special.
Here is some common tailgate fare:
- Pulled Pork
- Hot Dogs and Hamburgers
- Chicken Wings
- Potato Salad and/or Cole Slaw
- Chips, chips, chips!
- Brownies or cookies
Don't want the stickiness of chicken wings? Here's a great dip alternative that offers all the zip without the mess, buffalo chicken dip.
If you are fortunate enough to live in or around Philadelphia, soft pretzels are always a hit.
Check out this bacon and cheese stuffed recipe.This is one that will be remembered and repeated.
Jello comes in almost every color imaginable, (or it can be made into it) and Jello shots are always a hit.
Check out these Water Boy Jello shots!
Once you begin planning your party, you'll be surprised how many ideas you'll come up with. And don't forget to decorate yourself by dressing in your team's jersey or colors; and if you are feeling really brave, break out the face paint!