A few weeks ago, my family and I went to Philadelphia to watch the Eagles play the New York Giants. I am a huge sports fan and my dad has had season tickets to the Philadelphia Eagles for over 10 years, so football Sundays have always been a big deal in my family.
This game was even more exciting because I happened to fall in love with and marry a New York Giants fan. After years of watching the Yankees play, I finally got him to come to a football game with me! We may not have cheered for the same team, but we still had a lot of fun.
I like to watch football on television but what I LOVE the most is going to watch the games. There is something so fun about seeing your favorite players up close and personal, cheering with thousands of strangers that become your best friends for one day, high-fiving each other when your team scores or makes a big play. I literally get tears in my eyes when the players come running out on the field (don’t laugh!). The atmosphere of the stadium is positively electric and all the energy gets you even more pumped for the game (not to mention the stadium music – they play the Rocky theme in Philadelphia.
But my very favorite part of the game day experience happens before you even step into the stadium. It’s called TAILGATING! There is nothing better than waking up early, parking your car in the parking lot with thousands of other fans all getting ready to cheer on their team.
Check out these helpful tailgating tips for new football fans!
What To Wear
Growing up, I used to wear my brother’s jersey to games and on cold days I would wear my dad’s Eagles sweatshirts. Not cute! But now there are tons of NFL clothing lines targeted at women so you have lots of choices for super-cute game day gear. And it’s fun to show your team spirit when tailgating. This week I wore my vintage Philadelphia Eagles Randall Cunningham jersey with a dark pair of jeggings, flip flops and a pair of Ray Bans. Tares sport chic!
Jerseys are a wardrobe staple for football fans. The NFLshop.com sells a women’s line of official team jerseys. The jerseys are made to fit our figures in a flattering way. Another jersey alternative is to buy a kid’s youth size. They are more form-fitting and will save you some money. Here is are some size suggestions:
Womens Small = Youth Medium
Womens Med = Youth Large
Womens Large = Youth XL
Of course, not everyone likes to wear NFL jerseys – it just might not be your style. Luckily, there are other options. Thanks to Victoria Secret’s Pink Collection and Alyssa Milano’s Touch clothing line, you can find NFL sweatshirts and vintage t-shirts to wear with a pair of jeggings – cute and comfy! They also have flattering NFL sweatpants for when you are lounging around your house watching the game.
The most popular tailgating game I’ve played is corn hole, or some people (my dad) call it corn pone. The objective of the game corn hole is pretty simple – you take turns tossing corn hole bags, (which are like bean bags) into the holes of a raised wooden platform. They even make the platforms now where you can add your favorite team logo. And best of all, it’s fun for all ages!
Another great tailgating came is called Ladder Toss. This game is where you take “bolas” (two balls connected to a string) and toss it in an effort to wrap it around the ladder. You get points depending on where the “bolas” land on the ladder.
Easy Tailgating Recipes
Tailgating is really just a big party before the game, and what do we do at a party? We eat!
To really do it right, you’ll need a tailgating grill, which you can pick up at Lowes, Home Depot, or Target. And once you’re ready to cook, here are some of my favorite pre-game party recipes:
Chicken Panini Recipe
Serves 6 people. Prep time – 15 minutes, cook time – 3 minutes
Making paninis over the grill is a great tailgate meal, because they’re easy to cook and don’t take a lot of time to make. Prepping is KEY! Just line all the ingredients out on a table and people can make their own custom sandwiches.
- 1 Rotisserie chicken (breast only)
- 12 slices sourdough bread
- 12 slices pre-cook smoked bacon ( heat according to package instruction)
- 12 slices fresh smoked mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 4-6 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (Kraft)
- 2-cup good mayonnaise
- 1 lemon (for zest & juice)
- 3-4 teaspoons prepared pesto
- salt & pepper
- 3 bricks wrapped in aluminum foil
Directions (before the game)
Slice rotisserie chicken into 1/4 inch slices and separate into 6 equal portions. You can do this all the night before and bring it in small Ziploc bags. Make the bacon and add it to the baggies.
In a small bowl combine lemon zest and juice. Remove all seeds and whisk in the mayonnaise and pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Note: You may add more pesto, if so desired. Cover and set the mixture in the refrigerator overnight in a Tupperware container. On game-day, put the container in a cooler until ready to use at the tailgate.
Directions (at the tailgate)
Assemble each sandwich by taking slices of sourdough bread and brushing their outsides with butter. On the inside, generously spread pesto mayo on both sides. Place chicken on the bread, followed by two slices of bacon, two slices of mozzarella cheese, onions and tomatoes. Close the sandwich and sprinkle parmesan cheese on the outsides.
Place the sandwich on the grill top and then place a brick on top of the sandwich. Wait one minute and flip – then cook for another minute with the brick still on top.
Serve with fresh fruit and any of your favorite potato chips.
Want to add a little fiesta to your tailgate party? Try these fajitas for a filling treat before kickoff!
- 1 pound flank or round steak, or chicken breast cut into thin (1/4 inch) strips
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 red and 1 green bell pepper cut into long strips
- 1 large onion, cut into rings
- Soft tortilla shells
- Low fat sour cream
- Shredded taco cheese
The night before the game, marinate the steak or chicken in a Ziploc bag. (Ziploc bags are crucial for easy cleanup at tailgate parties!) Combine lime juice, white vinegar, cayenne pepper and salt. Leave in the refrigerator overnight, and pack in the cooler to bring to the game.
Once you’re there, fire up the grill and cook the steak, and chicken. You can also use the grill to heat up the tortillas. (Add a drop of water to each shell and stack them in aluminum foil, then place on grill.) Grill the peppers and onions and by putting them in foil with a little bit of olive oil.
Serve! Make sure you have the sour cream and shredded cheese out so everyone can personalize their fajitas.
Tailgating is a huge party with all your family and friends, and then you get to watch a game. My four-year-old son is still talking about his first tailgating experience, and I can’t wait till his next one. I hope these tips help you add some fashion, fun and food to your own tailgate parties! Go Eagles!