The hours leading up to the big Patriots home games at Gillette can be some of the most memorable of the whole day, besides the winning touchdown of course. By following the commandments of tailgating, it will ensure everyone is on time, prepared, in good spirits, safe and has the best time possible. A day at Gillette can be an expensive one but nothing beats the atmosphere of getting off the couch and into the stadium for live action. So stick to these rules for an all-around positive experience for you and your parking neighbors.
1. Remember to come ahead of time. As many hours ahead of the game as you can make it, head over to Gillette. This will help to stagger the cars and traffic situation but also allow you to have a better parking spot, and in turn more time to tailgate. Keep in mind it will take time to set up your area, make your food, get your buzz on and then clean up and get packed up to head into the game.
2. Thou shall come prepared. Don’t expect the driver to do everything to make tailgating a success. Whether your group loves a thermos of New England clam chowder with subs or instead grills up sausages with plenty of sides, make sure to divvy up who is bringing what food and drinks. There is plenty to bring aside from the grill, music and chairs like garbage bags, plates and napkins. The more prepared you are about who is in charge of providing the essentials, the more fun the tailgate will be.
3. Thou shall be a good sport. If you end up parked next to the opposing team’s fans, yes some good old-fashioned heckling might be in order but make Tom Brady and the gang proud by not letting things get too heated and keeping it light. Everyone is there to have a good time. Also, it’s pricey to go to a game, so it is necessary to act your age and not let things get too personal. Who knows? As luck could have it, inside the stadium you could run into people who were out tailgating so you don’t want any bad blood from the lots to come into Gillette before the game even starts.
4. Thou must stay out of trouble. A follow up to #3, there are security and police present at Gillette so its important to be a good sport and stay out of trouble. You don’t want to spend the game in the security office waiting for your ride to get out because of some fight you caused in the parking lot. So keep your cool, eat your burger and drink your beer with your buddies, but don’t go too wild or do anything inappropriate to the point that there are issues with the higher ups.
5. Honor the Patriots and show your pride. Bust out the face paint and throw on your favorite Gronkowski jersey because it’s game time! Let loose with decals on the car and then for inside the game, don the best Patriots gear available. Red or blue hats and sweatshirts should keep you warm but also show off your favorite team’s logo and colors. Make signs and do whatever you can to help build up the Patriots enthusiasm at the game.
6. Thou shall not take over your neighbor’s spot. Yes you will be bringing a ton of stuff for the tailgate, but that doesn’t mean you can creep into your neighbor’s area. Don’t forget, they have a lot of stuff too. Be conscientious and don’t blast your music over there’s or set up the bean bag toss right near their grill. There is plenty of room for everyone.
7. You shall not steal. When there are beers filling up your belly, sometimes judgment goes out the window. An ice and beer filled cooler is set up next to your parking spot with no one attending to it. What to do? Chances are the owners just went to take a quick walk or hit up the bathroom, so play nice and don’t take any of the food or beers left out in their area. You wouldn’t want that done to you and if they get back and notice anything missing, it might not be a pretty sight.
8. Thou shall not drink and drive. It is hard tailgating and not going overboard with drinks but it is important to eat the right amount of food and to pace out the drinks consumed if you are the driver. Load up on water and soda instead of the booze to stay out of trouble. You don’t want to get arrested, in an accident or risk the lives of your crew, let alone mess up your Patriots mobile. So keep the drinks to a minimum or skip the drinking for the day to make sure it is a safe and fun day for all.
9. Thou shall not pee in public. This may seem obvious, but when tailgating, you might find it easier to sneak behind a car or garbage can to take a whiz. After drinking a ton of beers, sodas or whatever the drink of choice is, it is inevitable that you will have to relieve yourself. But doing so in public would be completely unacceptable. There are plenty of porta-potties and public restrooms around the parking lots. Heck, some people even bring their own bathrooms! Might I remind you of rule #4?
10. Remember to explore. You will likely have everything you need for the perfect Patriots tailgate right at your car. But part of the fun of pre-gaming is getting out and seeing other spots too. Make new friends or see if you run into someone you know. Don’t be afraid to get in on a group drinking game if invited as you stroll by or to chat up someone wearing the same jersey as you. Checking out other tailgates will also give you good ideas to use at the next home game.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Michelle Levine is a creative energetic, young professional that is passionate about everything Boston has to offer. She loves to attend local events, dine out, and cook and wants to share her findings with you. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.