Ah, tailgating. If there is one way I prefer to spend a weekend morning in a blissful, buzzed happiness, this is it for me. I was a bit of a tailgate late bloomer, starting my freshman year of college, when my parents decided to get season football tickets (and host better tailgates than any fraternity, actually). But in Philly, we take our tailgating to a whole ‘nother level.
When planning my first serious Eagles tailgate, I knew there was a lot to cover. In the end, I found it easiest to separate the areas into three groups:
Oh, the joys of a good game day ensemble. From clever tees with catchy slogans, to vintage jerseys of our city’s greats, the respect you can get for a great outfit in this town is pretty impressive. This past year, I was #blessed with a birthday gift in the form of a Jason Kelce jersey (we all know how I feel about him . . . ) and it’s been quite the key piece of my Birds wardrobe this season. When it gets a little cooler, I have a hoodie from Cheesesteaktees that I am a big fan of. If you’re looking for a unique tee or sweatshirt, I recommend Aphillyated or Philly Phaithful. Aphillyated recently sent me their PHI Tank, and when I wore it to watch a game, the compliments were flowing.
Since the Eagles themselves know the best ways to dress on game day, I screenshotted this little gem from their Snapchat, because these two (random) men are looking pretty fresh. (Side note: I am really hoping one of these guys is someone’s boyfriend or brother or friend, because that would just be too perfect).
When you’re tailgating in Philadelphia, you’re getting to the parking lot early. We’re talking, the minute the lot opens, early. And if you don’t have a high-tech set up complete with TVs to watch more football while you’re boozing and grubbing all day long, it’s imperative that you have things to do. On top of games like ladder ball and cornhole, don’t underestimate the value of an extra table or two for “the classics,” if you will.
Even if you have a big group, games are obviously so much more fun if you have a ton of people invested. We chatted with our neighbors, combined tables, and played a huge game (or 7) of flip cup.
Grub (& beverages, obviously)
Debatably the most important part of the tailgate is the food. Marianne of ConshyGirls Catering gave me a few tips about how to impress your buds:
– Work and plan early: Tons of foods and beverages can be made plenty of time before the game, so don’t stress. Chili can be frozen and kept in the crockpot at the tailgate (Marianne suggests a white chili with ground turkey, white beans, chicken stock, and lots of spice and peppers) with some sides, like sour cream, shredded cheese, diced peppers, and tortilla chips.
– Go the extra mile and make your own: When bringing chips and dip to a game, swap the store bought dip for homemade guac (avocados, diced onion, jalapeños, lime juice, and cilantro). If hummus is more your speed, grab some at the store and make your own pita chips (cut pita bread into triangles, brush with olive oil and salt-and-pepper, and bake in the oven until crisp).
– Let your creativity shine: While I personally do not see myself making football shaped brownies piped with white icing, I know some of you are way more Martha Stewart than me and could handle this task. If you’re looking to impress with a beverage, try a sangria. For white (my favorite), use four bottles of inexpensive Sauvignon blanc (save that $$$!), a 1/2 bottle of Saint Germain, cut up apples and pears and, a cinnamon stick, if you’re feeling fancy. Refrigerate that baby and on game day, add a bottle of club soda and bring some ice.
If you’re crunched for time and just can’t make anything masterful (you’ll see we had quite the mix at our event), you can still be a big winner (and get lots of favorites on Twitter), with a box of Federal Donuts. Done deal.
So when planning for your next tailgate adventure, keep these tips in mind – they’ll help! Even if you don’t have tickets to the game, tailgating is such a fun way to spend time in our city and get your Philly pride up. If you have any tailgating tips, let me know in the comments. And most importantly, GO BIRDS!
Disclosure: I was sent some t-shirts from Aphillyated to try. ConshyGirls offered these tips out of the goodness of their heart. All opinions are my own.