Superbowl Tailgate

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Superbowl Tailgate

A truly American event, the Superbowl tailgate is a day for fun, food, family, friends and football. This event holds so much importance in American sports that people argue over its origins and, as a result, no one knows how tailgating started. Today, the only thing that matters is having fun and watching the game

What is Tailgating

Courtesy of ThePicMan

Tailgating is an overdressed, crowded picnic that often turns into a party. Some people tailgate at high school football games, though unlikely, but most go to big college games and NFL stadiums.

  • The event takes place in the parking lot where people set up chairs, a portable grill, coolers and even a television.

  • Everyone eats tons of unhealthy food, like chilidogs, nachos, pulled pork, chocolate cake shaped like a football and Buffalo wings.

  • Attendees often bring beer and play drinking games, wear team paraphernalia and decorate their faces or bodies with washable paint or makeup.

  • Tailgaters can stay in the parking lot and listen to or watch the game, while others join the party before the game and go into the stadium for the coin toss and kickoff.


The Superbowl tailgate event definitely gets more attention than any other game day party during the football season, but how did this celebration first occur? Quite a few legends exist as to the origins of this day, and it would be pretty cool to bring them up at your next tailgate gathering. You and your friends could debate about which stories do and do not hold water.

  • One story suggests tailgating started in 1904 when a train dropped off a massive amount of fans at Yale for a football game. The fans arrived at the school starving, and so decided to eat and drink before the game. This seems plausible enough, but how does it compare to the other stories?

  • The next theory claims Green Bay coined the term “tailgating” in their founding year of 1919. Fans would drive their pickup trucks to the game, park around the field and use their “tailgates” as seats. There were no concession stands, so people brought their own food and drinks.

  • Finally, some claim the first tailgate party occurred at the first game between Princeton and Rutgers. Fans would grill sausage before the game at the “tail end” of the horse. You can easily question the validity of this story, but it is a Superbowl tailgate legend that has been around a long time.


Everyone should tailgate at least once in his or her life, but a Superbowl tailgate should never be your first. Tailgaters can be anybody, but different levels do exist. You have the one-timers, the semi-fans, average fans, die-hard fans and the fans that know the players better than they know themselves. You also have fans from each team and many drunken people, as well as a high ratio of men to women, so ladies, be careful.

Since tailgating events, especially on Super Bowl Sunday, have such a large crowd, you might want to bring:

  • A pole with a small flag, hat or stuffed animal tied to it so no one in your group gets lost.

  • Sun block, a first aid kit, raincoat, toilet paper and trash bags should be on your list of items to bring aside from food and drinks.

  • Taking distinguishable cups might also be helpful in avoiding a drink full of cigarette butts or someone else’s germs.

  • Do not bring raw chicken, but frozen burgers are all right to keep in the cooler.

Armed with Superbowl tailgate history and advice, you can now prepare for the event. Gather some recipes, buy some team décor, call the football fans in your life and find a roomy vehicle. Go TAILGATERS!

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