Thursday night, the Patriots kick off their first preseason game at home against the New York Giants.
For the Pats, it’ll be the first opportunity to alleviate the many concerns coming out of training camp about their new offense.
For those of you headed to Gillette Stadium, it’ll be your first chance to tailgate and show your fellow Patriots fans that you’re no amateur when it comes to your pre-gaming festivities.
That’s where I come in.
And while my days of going to every home game have long passed, I do still have some tried and true tailgating methods that I would like to share with you; especially if you’re a novice tailgater.
Whether it’s the first preseason game, or it’s deep into January for the playoffs, these five “Tailgating Do’s and Don’ts” are like money plays on 3rd & 8 that will always work to great success, and now they’re yours to steal for your pregaming playbook.
1. DO: Get More Ice!
Do you believe you bought enough ice?
Well guess what, you didn’t.
Ideally, you’re going to be tailgating for hours, so with that, your tailgating beers should, no, MUST be the kind of cold where they singe your throat with their coldness and occasional ice chips.
I’m talking beer number 1, through beer number 14.
Each one must have optimal frost, and this is not up for debate.
So to achieve that glacial goal, you need way more ice than you think you do.
Here’s a handy equation for you to figure out how much you need.
One 30 Pack = 4 bags of $2.00 ice.
Oh, and I know what you’re thinking.
“Ten bucks in ice just for one stupid 30 rack?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
See, that ice needs to be layered in your cooler.
You put in ten beers, you layer one bag of ice over it.
Put in ten more, then you layer again with another bag.
Then put in the final ten, and you layer with the final two bags of that nice ice, creating a near arctic shell that will keep those beers at their proper temperature from the time you pull up to Gillette Stadium, until it’s time to head to your seats.
2. DON’T: Just Get Subs
Nothing screams half assed like showing up to the parking lot with just subs.
Especially chain restaurant subs.
What the hell is wrong with you?
I don’t care if you “didn’t have time to get anything else” or “just came right from work” you don’t show up to tailgate with a couple of dumb subs.
Tailgating is supposed to be a celebration and sensory overload of assorted fine and processed meats to be properly grilled.
Your steak tips, your burgers, your wings and dogs.
I shouldn’t have to tell any of you this, but every time I’ve ever gone to any football game, like clockwork, there’s always some dummy nearby who’s showed up with a few sad meatball or Italian subs to be shared between 4 to 6 people.
Get a grill, get your meats, and do it right.
3. DO: Bring Baby Wipes
As someone who’s extremely hairy in all the wrong places, I have been a strong proponent of using baby wipes for nearly 25 years, and still to this day, I’ve got friends who bust my balls over it.
And do you know what those ballbusting friends all have in common?
Not only are they jerks who are wrong, but their asses are all filthy.
This isn’t a controversial take, people.
Something wet is going to clean an area much better than something dry.
This is true whether you’re talking about a car, or an ass that just let loose in a filthy public port-a-john, which is obviously something that you or someone in your party could be facing during your tailgate.
Do yourself, and them a favor.
Make sure you’ve got a fresh pack of baby wipes at the ready in your vehicle.
4. DO: Park Where There’s Woods Nearby
Look, I don’t wanna get in the way of someone making a buck, but if there’s one thing I made absolute sure of more than anything else when I headed to Foxboro for a game, it’s that I chose to tailgate in one of the parking lots that had woods within walking distance.
It’s one thing when you have to wait for a port-a-john to poop.
That’s something well beyond your control.
It’s another to wait to have to pee.
Can’t do it.
Won’t do it.
That’s why you gotta stumble into the woods and let it fly, and no one’s the wiser.
It’s been an unwritten rule in some of these parking lots (like the one directly behind the liquor store on Rt.1) for decades that nobody really cares, so take advantage of it, and make your tailgating experience that much easier.
5. DON’T: Be An Introverted Weirdo
In other words, don’t be afraid to introduce yourselves to the group in the next spot over.
Not only will it help the overall vibe, but you (or they) could end up being a lifesaver if someone forgot a lighter, condiments, the aforementioned baby wipes or jumper cables at the end of the day.
Get to know those around you, and look out for each other, all the while being conscious about moochers and a-holes, which nobody wants to deal with.