With a less than a week left before our home opener, now is the time to get your tailgate supplies ready and represent the great tradition is the Hurricanes parking lot madness. Everyone has their own style, but this is ours. Take our advice for what it’s worth, but whatever you do, come strong in your tailgating.
-Pick your spot and stick with it: Tailgating is all about tradition. It’s always nice to be able to make your way around the lots and know exactly where to find friends, old and new. There are numerous great spots to stake your claim around the PNC. If you want a prime spot ala in the grass, make sure you plan to arrive early enough to get your spot.
-Be a freaking Boy Scout and come prepared: It’s all about having the right stuff to have a great time. Our little group has our “tailgate box” that is always full of the stuff you may need for a tailgate or the zombie apocalypse. Having a pre-packed box that you can quickly grab and go make sure you never leave something at home. Here’s a good list of the items that we have in our tailgate kit: plates, red solo cups, napkins, ziploc bags, plastic utensils, leatherman tool, hand sanitizer, grilling utensils, long lighter, playing cards, garbage bags (for garbage or ponchos), first aid kit, combo wine and bottle opener, koozies, and duct tape. With this prep kit, there have been very few days that we haven’t been able to have a great tailgate.
-Entertain your crew: For some folks it’s music, for some its games of skill/chance, for some it’s a freaking hot tub in the back of the pick up truck. Whatever your choice, make sure you have something above and beyond food and drink for your friends. Cornhole and music is the choice for the Section 328 crew. Whatever you decide to do, make it yours. Plastic cornhole boards are a horrible idea, like Sidney Crosby’s facial hair horrible. Invest some time and $$$ to make whatever form of entertainment you choose special for you and your crew. Hit us back on twitter and let us know what your favorite tailgate entertainment is.
-Food and drink separates the men from the Drayson Bowmans: So, for a Tuesday afternoon quick tailgate with only an hour or two in the lot, we can sign off on a box of Bojangles or a bag from Char-Grill. But, if you are making it a full scale tailgate and it’s a Friday/Saturday/Sunday, you have to come strong with your grub. Start off with a grill. Whether it be a small Smokey Joe or a full scale smoker, make sure you have your ducks in order and provide some unique grub for your tailgate crew. Things that can held in your hand are always best. So, whether it be brats, BBQ, burgers and dogs, or the mighty Bacon Explosion, have fun with what you do. Side dishes are necessary but touchy. Things with mayo are a no no in order to avoid a fun case of food poisoning. Chips, bean salads, and grilled veggies are your friends. But deserts are where you can really make a huge splash. This little crew has a secret weapon who has a well guarded recipe for Maple Bacon Ice Cream that is a treat that only the insiders get to enjoy. Watch this spot throughout the season as we hope to get this person to share her recipe with the world.
-Start a crazy tailgate tradition: Tailgates are great, but traditions are part of what make them memorable. Whether you choose to have a special recipe that you only break out for the big game, a special pregame psych up mix, or in our case a beginning of season Jaegermeister toast, make it yours. Get crazy, have fun with it, and share with us what you do with your tailgate crew.
-Make friends with everyone not wearing a Buffalo jersey: Tailgating is the most social of events. Don’t just stick with your folks, wander over to your neighbors tailgate. Stop by an make friends. Offer a stranger or a parking lot attendant a hot dog or a cold drink. Or come by our spot on the grass in the far edge of the east lot and say hello.
Well, that’s a good start. We will divulge our home opener menu and tailgate recipes over the weekend. Until then, get excited and get your tailgate kits ready. T-5 days until the family comes back together in the lots of the PNC Arena.