The Mandatory Tailgaters Guide to an NFL Season at Home Alone
Photo: Todd Kirkland (Getty Images)
If you’re an NFL fan, you probably eagerly await the start of a new season so you can stand out in a parking lot, drink beer, grill food, and yell at rival fans for hours before kickoff. Normally, you do these various activities in the parking lot surrounding your favorite team’s stadium. But, due to limited capacity (and some teams not allowing fans), you’re going to have to do all of that in your backyard or driveway.
But, fear not. Even though you might not be venturing to Orchard Park, Foxboro, Arlington, or Santa Clara this season, you can still get the full tailgate experience at home. To help you out, we came up with a guide so you can remember all of the important things you need to eat, drink, and do to feel like you’re standing in the middle of a snowstorm, munching on lighter fluid-drenched chicken wings, and chugging cheap beer instead of sitting in a lawn chair a few feet away from the comfort of your living room. Check them all out below.
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Paint your face and immediately regret your decision.
Even though you’re going to spend the day in your backyard or driveway, that doesn’t mean you can’t show support for the home team. Paint your face and chest and immediately regret the decision just like when you do it on a normal game day.
Drink your weight in beer before the game.
Just like at a normal tailgate, you should definitely drink at least a dozen beers before noon. It wouldn’t be a tailgate if you weren’t close to staggeringly drunk before noon.
Scream at anyone not wearing clothes with your team’s logo.
Even if it just happens to be someone walking their dog past your house, yell at them if they aren’t adorned in the logo of your favorite team. It’s pretty much the only way it will feel like a real tailgate.
Eat nothing but ribs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Don’t even think about eating any oatmeal or toast before you venture out into your backyard. Crank up that grill and eat nothing but ribs for breakfast, lunch, and as a victory snack after the game is over.
Put a flat screen TV in your yard and yell at it like you’re in the stadium.
Since you aren’t attending a game, you’ll have to get your rowdy aggression out by screaming at the TV during the game. Pretend they can hear you and yell at the top of your lungs when the opponent is on offense.
Start a small fire in your driveway.
It won’t come into play early in the season. But eventually it’s going to get cold. Stay warm by starting a small, contained fire in your driveway. We suggest lighting an old phone book on fire. What else would you use it for?
Blast Jock James from 7 AM until kickoff.
Nothing says “I’m a completely sane person having a tailgate in my yard” like blasting Jock Jams from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. How else are you going to get hyped to play the Browns?
Relieve yourself behind your car.
Since you’ve been drinking beer after beer all morning, you’re going to need to relieve yourself. Don’t give in to temptation and use the bathroom in your house. Take a knee behind your car just like you do in a stadium parking lot. Just don’t let the neighbors see or you’re in for a strange conversation.
Start a drunken fight with your guests.
Normally, after a morning of chugging beers, there’s a pretty good chance you’d get into a scuffle with a rival fan. Instead, tackle your brother or anyone else attending the tailgate. It gives the whole event more realism. They’ll understand…eventually.
Fall asleep in a lawn chair before the game even starts.
Obviously, the most important component to any tailgate is beer. Since you’ve imbibed way more beers than usual, the only real course of action is to fall asleep sitting in a lawn chair long before kickoff. Bonus points if you pass out with a beer in your hand and slowly pour it all over yourself.
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