Real Tailgating is Not for the Weak of Heart (or Weak of Stomach)


Tailgating is a serious sport. Like the warriors who take to the Grid Iron each and every Sunday across this great nation of ours, this food-filled festivity is 50% sweat, 50% pure mental steel and 100% appetite. Okay, so I wasn’t aware there would be math in this post. Sorry.

The art of tailgating has certainly stepped up over the past few decades as you’ll now find fans cooking up everything from gourmet wings to tofu burgers, while sipping Appletinis or some other foo foo drinks. Um, say what now?

No offense to vegetarians or healthy eaters out there, but that’s not tailgating. You’re just… well, you’re doing it wrong.

Thankfully, this week I’ve teamed up with a Titan of Tailgating. A true hero in my stomach’s eye. Yep, I’m participating in another fun-filled Life of Dad campaign, but this team, I’m getting the pleasure of teaming up with Mike Golic from ESPN’s Mike & Mike sports talk radio show.

Mike (left) and Mike
Mike (left) and Mike

Yes! Team @ESPNGolic consists of myself, Mike Golic (he’s the big guy on the left in the above photo) and a quartet of terrific tailgating dads who I lovingly call my brothers: Daniel DeGuia (@deguia), Phil Corless (@NorthIdahoDad), Jack Steiner (@thejackb), and Rick Fauquet (@Rick_OntheRocks).

We’ll be chatting away on Twitter all week (mostly making fun of Team @ESPNGreeny) and participating in a mega Twitter Party this Thursday. (Details at the end of this post!)

So what am I hear to talk to you about today? What can I possibly share with you in terms of a tailgating battle topic? That’s easy. I get to discuss only THE most important aspect of tailgating: the food.

But before you even fire up the grill, there’s something almost as important. Dressing the part as Grill Master!

Let’s face it, manning the grill is a right of passion passage. (Sorry, I’m just really passionate about food.) You’re standing up there in the heat, with your eyes on the prize, your hands on the spatula and your feet firmly planted in the ground.

You need to be comfortable for sure. One false move and you’ve got a burger on the floor or… gasp… a burnt hot dog! Tight jeans, loose socks, stuffy shirt. They’re all very real dangers to being a Tailgating Master Griller.

The best way to dress for tailgating? Get yourselves a super comfy pair of Lee jeans. These guys have been bringing active comfort to jeans for more than 125 years, so yeah they know a thing or too about flexibility.

Before you put your pants on, however, be sure to slip on a pair of your team’s boxers and, of course, matching team socks. Complete the ensemble with your team’s jersey. If applicable, try to get one sporting a recent Super Bowl Win patch on it. (Sorry, Jet fans.)


Clearly the poster child for football fashion (Hey, I learned a lot during NY Fashion Week!), here I am sporting my brand new Lee jeans.


This rear view of my Lee jeans reveals the secret ingredient to my tailgating grilling: a Terrible Towel!


Armed with the power of my Pittsburgh Steelers’ Jerome Bettis jersey, I took to the grill for a true tailgating feast. What exactly did I cook up? Glad you asked!


The best tailgating food can be summed up in one simple word: Meat. No fancy goose liver pate. No caviar. No avocado-and-kale wings infused with an orange zest.

Uh uh. It’s all about meat!

I whipped up a handful of burgers, hot dogs, kielbasa and sausage. Yes, yes, I humbly admit that I used turkey sausage, but that’s what happens when my wife does the food shopping. (It was still real tasty.)


Toss on some sauerkraut, baked beans and pickles (garlic dill, none of this “sweet” pickle nonsense) and you’ve got yourself the perfect Tailgating Food to offer up to your fellow fans.


Hot diggety dog, is there a better food on this planet than a grilled dog? According to a recent Lee Tailgating Survey, dogs and burgers rule:

Americans prefer traditional fare to high class fare at their tailgate: Tailgaters like tradition, even when it comes to food, preferring tailgate staples such as burgers, brats and hot dogs. Among the traditional fare, tailgaters pick burgers over wings and hot dogs over brats.

I’m a simple guy when it comes to my burgers too. Just add some cheese, ketchup and maybe some steak sauce. Keep your lettuce, tomato and onion off my meat too. If I wanted a salad, I’d… well, I wouldn’t be tailgating, would I?


Be sure to join me and the rest of Team @ESPNGolic (okay, and all of Team @ESPNGreeny too) at our #LeeTailgate Twitter Party this Thursday, September 24 from 12 pm – 1pm ET!

We’ll even be giving away a $250 Lee gift card! Yeah, that’s a lot of pants to fill.



What’s your favorite Tailgating food?



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Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Lee Jeans for this promotion.  I have received compensation for my participation, but my thoughts are my own.

9 thoughts on “Real Tailgating is Not for the Weak of Heart (or Weak of Stomach)”

  1. I love your plate of tailgating food! I like it all, what is fun about tailgating is forget all the persnickety healthy regimen and just chow down on all this good stuff!

  2. I’m not sure if we tailgate here in Canada lol I don’t live in a city with either a football or a hockey team, so I just don’t know! Looks good though!

  3. First, my daughter (she’s 15) would flip out over your outfit. She’s a big Steelers fan, even wants me to do up her room in Steelers stuff. Your tailgating food looks delicious! I love sausages and keilbasa (even though I couldn’t get the one you have as I have a kid allergic to turkey. Yes, I actually said Turkey. Looks like you have the works there which is just the way a dog is suppose to be. Course I’d add a bit of mustard to mine. Happy Football Season!


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