Any true college football fan knows that spending all day Saturday tailgating is as much a part of the experience as the game is.
Whoever decided to add Friday night games (the traditional high school game night), then compounded that mistake by adding Thursday night games to the schedule, took away a lot of the fun of hanging with old and new friends and getting hyped up on game day. That marketing “genius” should go down in the football hall of shame.
HELLO! People work and a 6:00 PM weekday/workday kickoff in a downtown location like USC in Los Angeles makes for a much shorter, less fun pre-game experience – not to mention the traffic nightmares that face people who can’t get off early meaning seats look empty on the national TV broadcast.
Even worse, in a non-college town (unlike most of the towns around colleges in the South) game day is just another day in the week when it’s not a Saturday. The stadium isn’t as full as it would be on a weekend (especially one that holds 90,000 + when sold out) and, no matter how good or bad the team is doing, more and more people are skipping the game and/or giving away their Thursday night game tickets. The excuses are varied yet all some version of the same: unable to face the traffic, hate the rush to get there, and need to get up too early for work the next day. I am part of the working world, we are more than an hour from the stadium on a good day, but we only get 6-7 home games a year, so we’re blazing ahead!
Weeks like this are great opportunities to cut down the usual prep time, combine ready made foods in grocery stores with easy snacks, save setup and eliminate the need to cook on site, so we can enjoy our shortened time together!
Needless to say it won’t be like our Week 1 Lobster boil, but I’ve huddled with our fellow tailgaters and we’ve come up with a total no-cook pre-game plan:
- 2 Buckets of Grocery-Deli Fried Chicken
- Deli Potato Salad
- King’s Hawaiian Rolls
- BBQ Sauce (for making chicken sandwiches on the rolls)
- Chips & Sour Cream Onion Dip (OK we will have to add the envelope to the container)
- Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies and various no-cook, grab & go snacks
- Beer/Wine/Cocktails & plenty of Water for re-hydrating
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