Joe Drozda and Bob Bley are writing the third edition of The Tailgater’s Handbook which will be published in 2014. Drozda is considered the “Father of American Tailgating” by many including The Wall Street Journal. Drozda and Bley both grew up in NW Indiana and attended Indiana University together.
With the recent cold snap following another cold spell, it’s probably time to pack up for the season. After all, the high schools finished their football games weeks ago, and except for bowl games, the colleges have too. Bears and Colts fans also need to think about the health of their tailgating guests and “give it up” until next season.
When packing up for the year a tailgater needs to consider several things. They first have to clean all their equipment. Then they have to solve the puzzle of where to store the stuff. If your garage is like both of ours, fitting everything in so you know where to find it, next year, is like solving a crossword puzzle. Some parts need to be figured out from the placement of others. Assuming that you exercise hygienic cleaning and storage, there still may be one more consideration equally as important.
Most of us have a tendency to forget. Some days just finding our keys, cell phones or even the TV remote take all our brain power. So wouldn’t it make sense to make some notes as you pack up the tailgating gear? Here are some helpful thoughts:
• Make a map of where everything is stored.
• Evaluate every piece of gear to determine if it will last another season or it needs to be replaced.
• Make a list of gear you needed, but didn’t have this season.
• Take this list with you as sales appear during the off-season. Buy your equipment before the spring line comes out with its higher pricing.
Most tailgaters watch football on TV, this time of the year, and in doing so they need a great snack that will get them through the game and the food commercials. This is our world famous Chili Con Queso.