Any true football fan in the South knows tailgating isn’t to be trifled with.
Nowhere is that more true than at the University of South Carolina, where there is even a class offered to make sure new students are properly indoctrinated to the proper way to tailgate.
There are obvious steps one must take to properly tailgate before the Gamecocks play. You must have a pre-arranged spot. Whether you gather in one of USC’s famed Cockabooses, at a nearby condo, in special tailgating parking facilities scattered around Williams-Brice, the State Fairgrounds or one of the parking lots near the stadium, you must have a designation where your friends can find you.
Secondly, you must have fried chicken. Now, folks will have a lot of strong opinions about where you get that fried chicken. Some wouldn’t get anything other than Bojangles or Chick-Fil-A. Many like to stop at Rosewood Dairy Bar or Bernie’s on the way. Others have favorite spots near their homes.
Finally, you’ve got to have your Gamecock tailgating supplies – platters, napkins, cups, chairs, tables, chairs, bowls, picnic baskets and of course, coolers.
And each year, it’s important to add new cool stuff to that list – preferably before anyone else does so they come over to ask you, “where did you get that?”
We can help with that with a few ideas:
Rocking tailgate chair
Yes, it’s a folding tailgate chair, with cup holder, that rocks. Academy Sports and Dick’s Sporting Goods has them for $49.99.
Portable air conditioner
What? It’s a cooler that also keeps you cool. Sharper Image has it online for $395. Here’s the (edited) product description: “Keeps food and drinks cold, and cools you with a steady blast of cold air up to 25 mph that’s 35 degrees below ambient temperature. The blower runs up to 6 hours on a full charge.” It’s got cup holders and wheels for easy transport.
Side panel for tents
Chances are if you’re a tailgating veteran, you have a tent. But there are times when the sun still shines in the side. Getting a side panel – one with a Block C on it – is one solution. Garnet and Black Traditions has one that is 6-feet tall by 9-feet across, with Velcro patches on the sides that securely attach the side panel to the tent. Get it for $39.99.
Inflatable buffet cooler
One of the biggest challenges is keeping food cold. Party City offers an inflatable cooler that will help. For $14.99, you won’t get a garnet on USC version, but creative tailgaters can make it work. If they don’t have them at your local Party City you can order online, www.partycity.com