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How To Tailgate Like A Pro

Tailgating - Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
 Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Football is finally upon us, and that means that tailgating season is here!  Just in time for the Cowboy Kickoff Concert & Pep Rally in Laramie August 29th!

Often the best part of the game, tailgating turns a 3 hour battle into an all day event. You show up early, party until kickoff, and then proceed to enjoy an afternoon yelling and screaming for your team. ‘Merica!

In the 90′s, we had season tickets to the Wyoming games. We would roll into Laramie at 9am, grab a parking spot up front next to the players, and proceed to fill the air with loud noises, mouth watering aromas, and a festive mood that affected everybody that happened to stroll by. Since our pre-game festivities were open to any UW fan that wanted to join, we made many new friends each week.

After the games (usually a loss), we would head back out to the car, and re-start the party until the parking lot was empty. Going to those games were some of my best memories, and the Cowboys were on the losing end more often than not in those days…

That’s the beauty of a good tailgate. You’re enjoying the experience, no matter how bad your team is!


Here are some tailgating essentials you’ll need:

Beer. Lots of it. – Make sure you have plenty to share, as tailgating is a community event. Share with your friends, and other random people who want to partake.

Radio – Part of the process is enjoying the pre-game broadcast on the radio as get your mind set on football. If the party starts to drag, kick on some tunes.

Hibachi grill – I prefer propane, but since you’re going to be sitting outside for a few hours, you might as well go old school and do it right. A small hibachi will allow you to show off your BBQing skills, while taking up very little space. We used to have a small one we sat on the tailgate of our truck.

Food. Lots of it. – Again, you want to make sure you have plenty to share. If you’re not willing to share, you probably should just hit a bar before the game, because you don’t understand what tailgating is all about. Good times, good people, and football.

Football – Eventually, everybody will want to play catch, and you better be prepared. Sometimes, you’ll see a ball go flying from one end of the parking lot to the other, for no apparent reason. This is called “awesome”.

Other random things – Paper plates and silverware, plenty of napkins, ice, a blanket, lawn chairs, a trash bag (always clean up after yourself), proper attire (in Wyoming, we need to dress extremely warm for every game outside of September), and a sense of humor – you will meet fans from the other team. It’s OK to jaw with them, but make sure you keep it civil.

Those are the essentials. After tailgating once or twice, you’ll most likely find out a couple of other items you may need, or a few you could do without. The important thing to remember is – you’re hosting a party. Let whomever wants to join, join…as long as they are rooting for the correct team. People will bring over contributions to your party, and some will invite you to come join theirs. It’s really cool when a bunch of little tailgating parties turns into one big bash – and that happens quite a bit. No matter how your team does, you win every time!

The Cowboy Kickoff Concert & Pep Rally is right around the corner! The Concert-goers are encouraged to bring small folding chairs or blankets for seating. No outside food or drink will be permitted, but concessions will be available on-site. Adult tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the gate on the day of the show; students with ID are $10 in advance, $15 on the day of the show. Children under 12 are just $8. Advance tickets are available online at uwyo.edu/finearts. For more information contact: cowboykickoff@uwyo.edu , William J. Evans – (307) 766-6612.

Buy Your Tickets Here

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