Tailgating usually isn’t dangerous. It can be dangerously fun but very rarely do you hear of a horrific tailgating accident that scarred a person for life. Now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t make some kind of embarrassing faux pas resulting in an unwanted nickname that will follow you to your grave. Tailgaters are built to heckle and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of that taunting. So follow these simple guidelines and you’ll avoid being the butt of the joke.
Alcohol is good except when you’ve had too much. Before you know it, you’re holding a beer in your hand, swaying side to side and spewing nonsense about how life was better when you were growing up. These kids, who are two years younger than you, don’t know how good they have it. Later on, you spew something else that’s not so pretty that makes your drunk soliloquy sound poetic. This is a good way to not get invited back to your Dolphin friend’s tailgating party. It’s also a good way for one of the many officers on duty to finally notice you. Do yourself a favor and don’t be that guy.
After you’ve drank the last beer and eaten all the bratwursts you can stand, it’s time to head into the game. Don’t be the guy who starts a fire while he’s attending the game because he didn’t extinguish the coals properly. Douse those coals with water to extinguish the flame and then pour them into a plastic bag and throw them away. Also don’t leave your belongings out in the fire lane. The fire trucks need room to get through so they can stop the next Frankie Fire-Pants from committing involuntary arson.
Before you head into the game, take note of where you parked your car and which gate you entered Sun Life Stadium through. Whether you know it or not, every entrance looks identical and the same goes for the parking lots. Don’t be one of those people who leaves the game exhausted and exits through the wrong gate only to find out that they forgot where they parked. There are actually true accounts from rickshaw drivers who picked these people up and carted them all around the stadium while their passengers cowered and cried in the backseat because they thought they would never find their car. So if this happens to you, get a grip. You’ll find your car. It’s just a temporary inconvenience. If you want to prevent this all together, don’t forget where you parked in the first place.
When you tailgate, you try to impress strangers. When you try to impress strangers, you breakdance. When you try to breakdance, you break a bone. When you break a bone, you end up watching the Dolphins game from a hospital room. Don’t watch the Dolphins game from a hospital room. Seriously though, it’s not a competition to see who’s cooler. If you’re good at party planning then go big and pull out all the stops. If you’re an amateur, just be you and don’t hurt yourself trying to impress people you only see once a week for four hours. It’s just not worth it.
Happy tailgating! Here’s to hoping that if you do get a nickname, it’s an awesome one.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida and has been here ever since. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.