Hello there Cardinal Fans! As a new football season quickly approaches, I know we’ve a..."/> Hello there Cardinal Fans! As a new football season quickly approaches, I know we’ve a..."/>

University of Louisville Football: We’ve Never Lost a Tailgate


Hello there Cardinal Fans! As a new football season quickly approaches, I know we’ve all been counting down the days, just over 30 now until the opening game against the University of Kentucky Wildcats. We’ve been through the summer of Twitter arguments, and billboard wars, but it’s finally getting down to time for business. As we pack our cars, trucks, SUVs, Rvs, whatever it may be, we need to make sure we have all the essentials. Nothing worse than arriving at the parking lot to realize you’ve left the hot dog buns back at the house. I have made a list of a few tailgating essentials to make our first game a little less stressful.

First….the cooler! Now, what exactly your cooler is filled with is up to you. Water bottles and juice boxes for the Jr. Cardinal fans, beer and coke for the rest of us. Of course the coke is only to mix with the bourbon! A tailgate just wouldn’t be a tailgate without the drinks!

Second on the list, the food! What is tailgating without the food? It doesn’t matter whether its fast food or a full, five course tailgate, you have to have the food. Ribs, Burgers, Dogs, Sausages, and Brats are all the usuals, but my favorite are the Jalapeno Cheddar Smoked Sausages by Johnsonville! If you haven’t tried these things, you are guaranteed to have a mouth full of pleasant surprise with the first bite! Be sure and grab all the dressings too. Ketchup, mustard, relish, and buns are a must!

Next, what good is a burger or jalapeno sausage if you don’t have the grill to cook them on? Whether it’s a portable, table top propane grill, or a smoker so big you have to pull it with the truck, it doesn’t matter. Your food is nothing if it’s cold! Just be sure not to forget the charcoal or propane!  Also be sure that whoever is the “Grill Master” at your tailgate is wearing a cooking apron.  We can’t have a mess all over the front of our favorite Cardinal jersey come game time!

Be sure you’ve packed the chairs so you’ll have a place to sit. Now by chairs, I have to be pretty vague with the description. A tailgating chair could be anything from the nice fold out chair with cup holders, to an old recliner that your grandmother wanted you to sit out for the trash. If you plan on being a wondering tailgater, simply your cooler on wheels will do as a nice place to rest your bum. We all know we will be out there several hours before the game, and we have to make sure our legs are well rested so we can stand up and cheer on the Cardinals. I have a good feeling that Teddy Bridgewater and company will be giving us plenty of reasons to jump up this season!

You also need to make sure you grab the tents for shade! I’ve seen it all when it comes to this here part of the list. I’ve seen tarps strung across cars. I’ve seen tents that take 10 people to hold together the PVC pipes while another 10 pull a tarp over the top. I’ve seen tents that are solid color. I’ve seen the tents that have tailgaters’ favorite NFL team on them, but I think it would be nice to see all the tents have a big ole Cardinal Bird on the top! Nothing better than a parking lot full of RED!

You’ll also want to make sure you and your buddies pack the games to bring along. From the corn hole boards (don’t forget the beanbags too), washers, crazy balls or ladder golf, to the tables for flip cup and beer pong, make sure you have something to do during the tailgate! A friendly corn hole tournament with the buddies before a game is always sure to be a hit. Be sure someone has a football too! A tailgate without the pigskin would be a sin.

Last, but certainly not least on the list of important things to bring…..the sound system! It doesn’t matter if it’s the boom box you use to carry on your shoulder in the 80’s with its 10 size D batteries, or you have the sound board and six tower speakers that run off the generator, playing music off your iPod, the music is a must have!  Some even bring microphones to sing along with their favorite tunes after a couple of those bourbon and cokes.  When this happens, it seems to be a hit with all tailgaters!

Of course each tailgating group will have the things that make their setup unique that you won’t want to forget. Some will have team flags flying high above the cars and RVs. Some will have the flat panel TV’s with the portable satellite systems. Big or small, all tailgating is an absolute blast. I’ve never met anyone who said they didn’t have fun. At the University of Louisville we have some of the best tailgating around! For me, there is nothing like tailgating with friends and family for hours, and walking the short walk from Gate 4 at the fairgrounds over to Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium for another Cardinal victory! Either way the game goes, we’ve NEVER lost a tailgate!