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How Different Football Fans Are Getting Ready To Tailgate At Home

Sports fans won't miss out on this fan-favorite pastime.

By Pam JannesPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

Among the things sports fans are missing out this year includes visiting the stadiums, throwing down with opposing teams, and of course: tailgating prior to the main event. While some sports have returned to their respective stadiums, arenas, and rinks, fans aren’t necessarily allowed to join the players to spectate.

Most colleges and universities have prohibited fans from participating in tailgating, some have turned to virtual-tailgating (looking at you, Georgia Bulldawg fans). Tailgating isn’t limited to college sports of course, so it’s reasonable to assume other fans (like the Texans) are missing out, too. And maybe even the players who feel the lack of energy in the stands on gameday.

Sports fans can compete over anything from pitching stats to stadium hot dogs. And one of the most contentious fan feuds occurs over which football fans do tailgates best. Even Sports Center has created guides for fans about the best and worst tailgates to attend.

It’s true that the Cheeseheads turn Lambeaugh’s parking lot into an Arctic Party and Saints fans bring the best brass sections out to their cookouts, but as football fans stay safe at home for games this fall, a new question has risen: which at-home tailgate will rank supreme?

A new study from garden supplier Dutch Bulbs looked at the top-searched tailgate items that different states’ residents are stocking up on to have a killer at-home tailgate.

Recently, the top-searched outdoor accessory in 20 states was a grill, the end-all-be-all of a good tailgate. It’s popularity peaked in the South, Northeast and Midwest, home of plenty of tailgate food connoisseurs.

With so many fans looking for grills, it’s exciting to think about how fans at home will replicate the impressive food showings that some tailgates have to offer. Just think about the perfectly cooked seafood shouted out in this Sport’s Illustrated profile of a Miami Dolphins tailgate or the entire world of cheesy fare that make Midwestern tailgates famous, as recounted by Midwest Living.

Of course, there’s more to a tailgate than just the crispy food. Any good tailgate fan will tell you-maybe through a hiccup- that ice cold beer is crucial for a pregame warmup.

Interestingly, according to the Dutch Bulb’s study, outdoor refrigerators and coolers also were among the top-searched items in nine states: most of which were located in Western and Southern states like California, New Mexico and Mississippi. Certainly, this is a sign that in states where at-home tailgates mean putting up with some lingering summer heat, the party won’t stop for high temperatures.

Interestingly, certain alcohol brands have even leaned into this new reality for fans. We’ve seen brands like Dos Equis getting creative by giving away special edition six-foot beer coolers to encourage social distancing, as reported by Forbes.

Lastly, it wouldn’t be a fan feud if some at-home tailgaters didn’t push the boundaries. The top-searched tailgate item in two states, Louisiana and Florida was an outdoor kitchen. Certainly these fans are ready to go above and beyond in turning their at-home tailgates into outdoor feasts for football games.

This last statistic is hardly surprising to any fan who has visited Louisiana’s famous superdome, filled with jazz, gumbo and a passion for the Saints that is deeply engrained into the New Orleans’ identity. Just reading about the Saints’ fans nearly-spiritual tailgate experiences makes it clear why making the most of an at-home tailgate with a full outdoor kitchen would matter so much to these fans.

No matter what tools fans are getting, here’s hoping that they will be able to safely make some great tailgate food and forge some meaningful memories this fall. We are all experiencing unprecedented times, so we might as well find a way to do it together while we get to enjoy one of our favorite pastimes at home.

Now, who’s ready for some wings?


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