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.
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Most of us “Type A” males make a plan to tailgate and have almost an uncontrollable need to follow-through with every detail of that plan, in spite of the things that change or happen unexpectedly. We need to think about what Eisenhower was really saying: no matter how much planning, you need to be flexible. Even though we may have a grand plan for the big game’s tailgate party, we should learn to prepare for contingencies.
The first planning decision is what gear and equipment we can comfortably fit into and transport with our vehicle. Can we fit a tent or a partial shelter to keep us dry in a rain? Should we pack a portable fireplace and wood to keep us warm? Are there things that can serve double duty? Unless you have a motor home than can hold everything, you’ll have to make these decisions. Things people should consider are:
• Sun can make you warm while wind and rain will make you cold – prepare for both possibilities.
• Proper positioning of your vehicle may can help screen against the wind.
• Two-ton vehicles (typical car or minivan) make good anchors for tents and tarps.
• Minor accidents happen so have a good first aid kit (and remember to replenish used items).
• If the weather is horrible, use common sense and don’t tailgate, stay in the vehicle.
• Don’t forget Red Green’s most important tool for contingencies – duct tape!
When it’s time to eat, here’s a good soup that can make a whole meal. Bring this to the game in a thermos and enjoy it once all the planning has come to fruition.