Football season is finally here. It seems like it’s been a year since the Spring Game and an eternity since last year’s huge win over Louisville. The Big Blue Nation is ready. It’s time for football and that means it’s time for all those mighty Tailgate Warriors to shine.
Sure, it’s a little bit of a downer that the first game of the year is being played on the road. While I’m sure a fair number of the BBN will make the trip down south, plenty of you will remain in the Bluegrass and will watch the game with friends somewhere. If you’re one of the Tailgate Warriors, you can use this weekend as a dress rehearsal for the home opener next weekend. If you’re a Tailgate Newbie, this is a great opportunity for you to get Game Day ready as well.
First, let’s recognize the commitment of the Tailgate Warriors. Planning your day around a football game requires plenty of planning and preparation to enjoy the event to the fullest. You need appropriate attire for the expected weather conditions. If you’re planning to meet up with friends for your tailgate party, you need to coordinate food, beverage, ice, and recreation activities. And all of that is before you can even think about entering Kroger Field for the game. Here’s a guide to help you have a successful tailgate gathering:
Let’s start with the basics. A cooler (with ice), a can hugger, a flag for decorating your party location, some pom poms, and temporary tattoos featuring UK logos are musts. Food and beverages depend on your guests so be sure and plan ahead for the best resulting menu. When all else fails, show up with a quart or two of apple pie moonshine and you can probably trade that for a good meal at just about anyone’s tailgate.
Be prepared for the weather. Noon and 4:00 pm games will usually require protection from the sun so be sure to have your favorite UK cap and sunglasses at the ready (don’t forget the sunscreen)! Don’t forget to stay hydrated and be sure to take advantage of the free water stations when you enter the stadium.
Rainy days are just tons of fun (please understand I am using my sarcasm font for that statement). Besides trying to keep dry on your way to the stadium, there is also the challenge of having a dry place to sit once you get inside. Having a rain poncho on hand is highly recommended, and I would also suggest bringing along some plastic sheeting for placing on the bleachers before you sit down. After all, nobody likes a soggy bottom.
For cold weather, layers are the secret. A t-shirt covered by a sweatshirt with a jacket on top will help keep the cold at bay. Heavy socks, hand warmers, gloves, ear muffs, and scarves are all helpful as well. Some fans maintain that bourbon is the greatest way to beat the cold, but since it’s not allowed in the stadium, I cannot recommend smuggling bottles into the venue. I also cannot stop you from doing so.
Most important of all, bring your Game Day spirit. Be sure to cheer on the Cats for all 4 quarters. Be courteous to other fans in the stands. Oh, and have fun. After all, it is football season…FINALLY.
Follow me on Twitter @ForeverBigBlue