Tailgating 101 with The Commissioner of Tailgating

August 31, 2013

Like at any institute of higher learning, you must start with the basics. At the Tailgating U. of America, we’re no different. Our first course is Tailgating 101, courtesy of Joe Cahn, the Commissioner of Tailgating.

Joe Cahn with football

The Commissioner of Tailgating, Joe Kahn


There are extreme tailgaters. And then there is Joe Cahn!

As the self-proclaimed Commissioner of Tailgating and the Editor of Tailgating.com, Joe may have the best job in America. He invented it. In 1996, he sold his business, the New Orleans School of Cooking, sold his house, bought a motor home and hit the road to explore what he calls “the new American community” Tailgate Parties.

Here’s Joe with what you need to know to get the tailgating party started right!

1. Dress in team colors!!! Wear a team jersey or sweatshirt! You are the 12th man on the team and the 1st player on the Tailgating Team. Show your team spirit. Tailgaters are the best fans!!!!!

2. Plan your menu and do prep work a day or two before the game. Keep the menu simple (stay tuned for some great tailgating recipes later this week at Grilling.com!) and pack prepared food in disposable containers.

3. Make a list of the items you want to take along. Check off items as you pack. Pack paper products (plates, napkins, towels, forks, spoons, etc.) the night before. Remember such items as a small first aid kit, trash bags, water, and damp towels in plastic bags to clean hands and face.

4. Plan to arrive 3 to 4 hours early and stay 1 to 2 hours after the game.

5. Find a good spot to park. Not all parking spaces are created equal! Park next to a grassy area or at the end of the parking row–this gives you more room for serious tailgating!

6. Fly a flag on a very high pole so friends can find you.

7. Decorate your tailgate site with team pennants and other team stuff.

8. Meet your tailgate neighbors, throw the football with friends, read the Sunday paper and have a good time! Note: If attending a Thursday or Saturday game, substitute appropriate newspaper.

9. Food should be ready 1 1/2 hours before the game starts. This is plenty of time for those going to the game to eat, clean up and extinguish fires. (Those not going to the game can pull out the generator and TV.) Share food with neighbors. Swap recipes.

10. Leave area clean. Begin thinking about food and friends for the next game.


Thanks, Joe, and be sure to check out his “Tailgating Must Haves” list here!  

Related Topics: Commissioner Of Tailgating | Events | Grill Advice | Grilling Tips | Grillingusa | How To | Joe Cahn | Summer Grilling Tips | Tailgating | Tailgating Tipsgrilling Advice

User Guidelines