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5 Backyard Tailgating Do's and Don'ts

5 Backyard Tailgating Do's and Don'ts

Sep 13 2015


The NFL football season has arrived, with the first game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. You probably already have your fantasy team picked out and are ready to enjoy the game with friends and a good beer. Naturally, you want this event to be fun and enjoyable for everyone, and to make this possible, there are a few tailgating do's and don'ts you should definitely follow.

1. Don't watch the game indoors

Watching the game inside is fine if you're by yourself, but when you have a whole group over, the space will quickly become crowded. Seating is another issue that sometimes comes up when you're inside the house. Creating enough space for everyone on the couch is difficult, and standing for the whole game becomes uncomfortable. For those who are forced to take a seat at the back of the room, hearing and seeing can become a problem. Don't make your guests sit in a stuffy room for the whole event. Instead, come up with a solution that is a lot more spacious and enjoyable.

Do host the event outside

Invite people over to watch the game on your outdoor media system. You and your friends will feel like you're on the field with the team when the fresh air hits your face. Being outside can also make viewing the TV a lot easier because you don't have a wall stopping you from stepping back for a better view.

"Turn your yard into a sporting arena with artificial turf."

When you're setting up for outdoor tailgating, make sure you take the volume of your TV into consideration. Remember, sound travels differently outside. The area doesn't have any walls to contain and reflect the sound waves, so the volume may need to be amplified. Have a sound system installed in your media space to be on the safe side. Then you won't have to worry about missing a call or big moment because you couldn't hear the commentator.

2. Don't have dead grass

Hosting an outdoor tailgate should be fun and lively! You want people to feel like they are a part of the big game. Not only is dead grass an eye sore, but it also has a way of dampening the upbeat atmosphere of a party. Don't let a dry and brittle grass detract from the experience, and instead, replace it with artificial turf. This durable alternative will be great for a quick game of football with friends during downtime.   


Do mimic football turf

Grass can be really finicky and difficult to maintain. It takes a lot of water and grooming to stay green and even. Using extra water to keep your lawn looking healthy just isn't an option when resources are scarce. So, have artificial grass installed to revitalize the yard. Turf is an excellent alternative to natural grass for several reasons: For one, turf will look amazing no matter the weather conditions. The material doesn't require much watering, so it will remain green and gorgeous throughout the longest drought.

Turf is also a more eco-friendly option. You don't have to waste water or energy to hydrate the lawn any more, and you won't need to frequently refuel the lawnmower to cut the grass. With artificial grass, you can rest assured knowing you've reduced your carbon footprint. 

You should also use turf instead of regular grass because it will enhance your game-day experience. Many professional sporting arenas use turf on the fields, so having your own artificial lawn will make you feel like you're standing on the goal line at the football stadium in your own backyard.

3. Don't rely on a tiny grill

When you're tailgating, chances are there are going to be a lot of people in your backyard. It's not required, but it is expected that there will be plenty of delicious game-day food available. Relying on a tiny grill for all of your guests will give you various problems. First, you're going to have to cook several batches of ribs or hot dogs to serve everyone you invited, which will cause you to miss out on mingling with friends. Also, with only one surface available, you'll barely have enough room for cooking one type of food. Finally, you'll have nowhere to set the food once it's done cooking.


Do take advantage of a BBQ island

You're having people over for a football tailgating party, so plan the menu accordingly. Try working in some of Sam the Cooking Guy's delicious recipes like the Italian Sausage Burger or a grilled salad nicoise. Cooking on your barbecue island will be better than a regular grill because you'll have plenty of space for all the food you want to cook. The island also creates lots of room for serving your guests and gives them a place to sit and eat.  

Enjoy a cold one with friends at your outdoor island while game-day food cooks on the grill.

4. Don't leave the space bare

This is a tailgating party, so make it look the part! Get people excited for the event by decorating the space. For instance, you could draw a mini football field onto your yard with removable paint and set up some small goal posts. This will also be a great place to toss a ball around during halftime.


Do promote your team

In addition to making the backyard look like a football stadium, show support for your favorite team by decorating with its colors. So, if you're a Steelers fan, set out black-and-gold drinks and weave the colors into the outdoor pergola. You could also have a cake made in your team's colors to celebrate the end of the game.  

5. Don't wing it

When you have close friends over for an event, it's okay not to have a bunch of activities planned. However, when you're having a large party of people over, it's better to be prepared for the occasion, so have a few activities in mind for downtime.

Give your guests something to do during halftime by setting out tailgating games.


Do set out games

In addition to having a mini football field placed on the yard with temporary paint, set out some other traditional tailgating games. Corn hole is easy to play with a drink in hand, as is yard darts. Chances are, most people will be satisfied watching the game on the outdoor entertainment system, but for those who want to do more, you'll be prepared.

If you remember all of these suggestions when preparing for your big game-day event, your tailgating party will be a success. To cater these ideas to your own group of friends, try thinking of games your buddies like doing. For instance, instead of corn hole, maybe you like washers. If all of these elements are in place, then you're ready to host the first NFL party of the season in your outdoor media area.

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