Being car-less this football season isn't such a bad thing. Just think how small your carbon footprint will be. And not having a ride doesn't mean you'll miss out on tailgaiting. "All you really need is a bunch of food and a few football fans," says Ulla Capps, event coordinator and owner of OhLaLa Events and More. So gather up all of your football-loving pals and get ready to rumble.
Tailgating is all about atmosphere -- you're outside surrounded by fans decked out in their team colors. You may not be parked in the stadium car lot, but you can get that same feeling of unity. Make banners (get the kids involved!) out of rolled paper table clothes, says Capps. And, attach them to your trees or fence. You can also paint a few trees the day before in your team's colors with washable sidewalk paint.
Watch (or Listen)
With traditional tailgating, you either head to the stadium for kickoff or listen to the play-by-play via a car stereo. If you have a portable stereo, great -- hook it up outside and keep the party going. Dragging your big screen TV or living room stereo outdoors, though, can be a pain in the neck (literally). instead, hook a projection screen up to the television in your house. Then put a sheet up on your garage door or on the side of your house to project the game live. Sure beats that rinky-dink mini TV you used when tailgating with a car, doesn't it?
When it comes to grub, backyard or in-the-park tailgating is actually a lot easier than tailgating with a car in the stadium parking lot, if only because you don't have to transport the grill. So, fire that bad boy up and throw on a few "Grossman Steaks" and "Hanyesworth Hotdogs." (Sorry, we had to do it! We're Redskins fans!). Have your guests bring one item to eat and one item to drink. And keep in mind that while many stadiums ban alcohol, you're free to make whatever rules you like in your own backyard.
Be sure to have plenty of toys -- footballs! -- available for your guests to toss around during half time.
And finally, keep in mind that tailgating in your backyard means you'll have access to a clean bathroom and an air conditioned living room. In the fourth quarter, we're betting you'll be glad for both of those.