Appreciating all that makes America special

Americana: Tailgating

It's hard to beat an SEC tailgate. Uploaded by a.espncdn.com.

It's hard to beat an SEC tailgate. Uploaded by a.espncdn.com.

Long gone are the days when tailgating was limited to fried chicken and potato salad. Go to a ballgame today and you’ll see exclusive set-ups that would be the envy of a Beverly Hills caterer.

One group at an NFL stadium builds a football temple each week. Three pop-up tents contain gas grills, cookstoves, 10 folding tables, a satellite dish, and a wide-screen TV. And the food would make the Food Network jealous. Lobster tails, steaks, crab, and turducken. (Yes, it’s what it sounds like.) And, of course, lots of adult beverages.

Hokies are as good in the parking lot as on the field. Uploaded by vtmagazine.vt.edu.

Hokies are as good in the parking lot as on the field. Uploaded by vtmagazine.vt.edu.

Of course, most people’s idea of tailgating isn’t to build a mobile four-star restaurant. Take me, for example. I’m happy with burgers on a hibachi, barbecue and baked beans, homemade banana pudding, and sweet tea. Oh, baby.

Here are 10 things to bring to a tailgate (which you could easily forget), courtesy of tailgating.com: 1. Jumper cables 2. Toilet paper 3. Plastic trash bags 4. Extra ice 5. Rain gear 6. First-aid kit 7. Sun block 8. A newbie 9. Comfortable shoes 10. Antacid

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