Pregame festivities are the ultimate excuse to gather with friends for cornhole, crack open a cold beverage and fire up the grill. Maybe you are an ACC fan celebrating the season for your Demon Deacons, Tar Heels, Wolfpack, Blue Devils and Clemson Tigers or you're an SEC fan excited about the prospects for this year's Gators, Bulldogs, LSU Tigers and Crimson Tide; maybe you're an NFL fan who's eagerly awaiting the start of the 100th season coming up on Thursday. No matter what logo is on your jersey, chances are good you'll be tailgating soon.
Whether you're planning a football tailgate for tomorrow, next week or next month, here are some tools to make the process of planning your pregame festivities a little easier:
- Make sure you bring the right supplies. If you know right off exactly what you and your crew need, don't rely on your unreliable brain; capture the checklist for what to prepare, pack and bring within your Evernote account. If you are an Android user, you can use the already drafted list within the Tailgating Planner app, which is easily customizable as your list evolves and syncs between all your Android devices. If you are an iPhone user, you can create food and drink menus as well as collect attendees' fees from the Tailgate Nation app, making it easy to host the party.
- Efficiently answer your friends' "What can I bring?" question. Whether you update the list built into the Thing2Bring app on your iPhone or you use an event list from SignUpGenius.com, having folks choose from a list will better ensure all elements needed are covered without too many folks bringing the same thing. Ice is important, but you don't want everyone bringing only a bag of ice, just like too many desserts won't cover all needs.
- Be weather aware before and during your tailgate. Check the weather beforehand to be sure you dress appropriately as well as take whatever accessories will be needed for what Mother Nature is sending, like tents, jackets, umbrellas and sunglasses. Then, setup alerts from your preferred weather app to be notified when there are changes or a weather system gets nearby, whether that's via the app for your local TV station, what's built into your mobile device or from The Weather Channel.
- Ensure attendees painlessly find the party. The Map My Tailgate app on Android as well as iOS allows hosts to share exactly where the tailgate is, choosing to share that with invited guests or inviting anyone with the app to come share your fun. Alternatively, if you used the Tailgate Info app to plan who will be bringing what, it includes Point to Point Navigation for easily finding your precise location. Plus, whether stars, footballs or something else, a bundle of helium balloons from Dollar Tree will last a long time, giving great visibility for those roaming the lot in search of your tailgate.
- Avoid FOMO by staying abreast of all the other games. You could use an app like ESPN or Yahoo! Sports to get notifications of all the others' scores and important plays. Or you could setup an actual TV in your truck tailgate to broadcast what's happening elsewhere.
Going beyond these basics, make sure to checkout BuzzFeed's 41 Tailgating Tips That Are Borderline Genius. These best practices are guaranteed to take your pregaming from great to amazing in the snap of your finger, and you will certainly say "Wow!" when reading at least one.
Once you have nailed how to organize a successful tailgate party, if you are in the state of North Carolina, consider submitting your next tailgate to the David Glenn Radio Show to win big prizes as the tailgate of the week or of the year via the Big Tailgate Tour. DG will definitely bring even more excitement to your already fantastic celebration.
What's your favorite way to prepare the ultimate tailgate? Which element is essential for your most fabulous tailgate?