Cornhole: The Game Outside the Stadium

cornhole boardsSports and competition are at the heart of the tailgating experience and nowhere is this more evident than in the games we play between beer and brats. ATA will be covering all the tailgate favorites in new our series, The Sports Outside the Stadiums. First up, Cornhole.

The origin of Cornhole is murky. The earliest recording of any version of the game comes from the high seas, not the heartland of America. Some suggest that the pirate Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach, tied victims at opposite ends of the ship and had his men lob 18-pound bags of barley onto their heads.

It first showed up as an organized game during the Civil War. According to a confederate soldier’s completely falsified diary entry dated April 12, 1861, Gen. P.T. Beauregard after three days of siege, challenged Union Maj. Robert Anderson to a contest of tossing small bags of corn into the mouths of cannon. The winner, Beauregard offered, would take control of the island fort. The game went on for a tense 15 hours with neither side able to win by the requisite 2 points until Anderson claimed Beauregard had stepped over the pre-determined throwing line. Incensed at the insult to his honor Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter in a flurry of poor sportsmanship.

Hot Spots for Family-Friendly Tailgating

family tailgatingRemember the good ole days when you and your friends packed up the grill – and the cooler – before heading to the stadium? Maybe you had a few too much to drink or bet a few too many dollars on the game.  Man that was fun! Fast-forward a few years to spouses, children and accountability. Are those days over? Absolutely not. Family time and tailgating time are not always polar opposites. There are myriad options to still get your tailgate action on with the family in tow. Check out these family-friendly hot spots next time that tailgating bug bites.

Cost-Saving Tips Can Enhance Your Tailgating Experience

money saveFire up the grill, get your decals on your car, and get ready for kickoff;football season is here. What goes hand-in-hand with football season? Tailgating of course. Fans everywhere are honing secret recipes and stocking up on supplies to make their party dominate the parking lot. It’s important, however, to be mindful of spending, as the festivity’s cost can quickly add up,

Short on Time or Space? Disposable Grills Have Come a Long Way

Whether the issue is having a car packed with your family, or a compact car where space is limited, tailgating often takes a back seat on game day when space is limited. Thanks to advances in the design of disposable grills, even the most space-challenged and time-crunched fans can take advantage of the pre-game ritual of tailgating with a disposable grill.

All Coolers are Not Created Equally


So you have had a productive week.  Your getting lots of work done and your ready to cut loose.  Your team is playing so you call your friends and plan to tailgate the game. There are a few things that are absolutely essential for a great tailgate. No matter what your drink of choice may be, drinks need to be cold, so a cooler is paramount.

Offseason Maintenance of Your Gear Helps Keep the Party Hoing

GPetty_PinUp-onWrenchAfter a season of fine-tuning the equipment that makes your tailgate sing in harmony, the last experience any tailgate host wants to deal with is taking half of the next season to get all that equipment back into working order. Like athletes, tailgate gear needs to be kept in shape in the offseason so it is ready to go once the regular season begins.

Gifts Ideas for Your Favorite Tailgater

tailgatingbasketThe holidays might be over, but it’s always en vogue to give tailgating gifts, especially if you ever find yourself on the invite list. Here are a few ideas for that tailgater in your life.  You won’t need to contest the charges of your credit cards for these gifts.  

Get That Gear Ready for Tailgating Season

If you are like many fans whose NFL team didn’t make the playoffs, your tailgating equipment has been in storage since late December. You might find the three-month dust accumulation pretty amazing; no matter how well you stored your goods. Since March 20 marked the first day of spring it is time to start thinking spring cleaning tailgating style. Time to pull out the coolers, portable grills, tailgating chairs and of course the Cornhole set. After all, another season of tailgating is under way, and your gear needs to be ready.

First things first, analyze what you have, and determine what needs cleaned and what needs pitched. It is not worth it to keep dilapidating gear, especially with fun, new products on the market. Additionally, determine what you need to add to your collection. These 5 products are must haves for any tailgating enthusiasts:

The Beer Belt: The Closest Thing to Hands-Free Tailgating


When many hear the words “beer belt,” a less-than-ideal picture of one’s midsection is envisioned. Similar to beer the dispensing hat, the beer belt has been wrongly associated with gluttony and a symbol of less sophisticated individuals. While an overindulgence of adult beverages may occur with the beer belt, this tool provides multiple uses at a tailgating party.  Keep these belts away from your Family Car Stickers, as they are not for the faint of heart. 

Milwaukee’s Ultimate Tailgate

summerfest 2013Milwaukee goes by a few different names: The Cream City, The Brew City, and during summer time, The City of Festivals. And one festival above all the others has given Milwaukee that title: Summerfest. Summerfest is an eleven-day music festival held on the shores of Lake Michigan just steps from Milwaukee’s downtown. Every year it brings in nearly one million visitors with promises of great music, cold beer, excellent food, and one of the biggest and the best parties in the nation. It never fails to deliver. This blogger and other bloggers seem to agree.  Word of mouth marketing is all this festival needs. 

The Tailgaters Guide To Hitchhiking

thumbAhhh, the lure of the open road and the call of that big event. There is nothing like it, all those miles of open road ahead of you. Now imagine you are walking. Hitchhiking. People still do it and no I’m not kidding. There is an entire subculture of folks that hitchhike to their favorite tailgating events each year, mud, flood, hell or high water. While some people have relegated themselves to playing cornhole on their computer, these people have gone the other direction.

Tailgate Tune Up: Jimmy Buffett

In a career that has spanned six decades, soft rock icon Jimmy Buffett has practically done it all.  He has jump started sex lives and entertained millions of people throughout his career.

Known for his non-stop work ethic when it comes to music, he’s released over two dozen studio albums, relentlessly toured around the world and provided priceless inspiration to his devoted legion of fans, affectionately known as “Parrotheads.” Meanwhile, on the non-musical side of things, he’s written three best-selling books, started his own restaurant chain and co-owned two minor league baseball teams, to name a few.

It all started at Auburn University in Alabama, where Buffett first picked up an acoustic guitar. Eventually graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with a history degree, he worked as a country music writer for Billboard, piquing an interest in the music world that carries on to this day.

Ultimately deciding to make music instead of writing about those who did, Buffett released his folk-flavored debut, Down to Earth, in 1970. Over the next six years, he recorded five more albums, eventually making his way to the top 25 of Billboard’s US Country charts with Havaña Daydreamin’ in 1976.

Tailgating Goes Country: It’s Not Just for Football Anymore

If you’re like most people, when you hear tailgating you think of the pre-game party that takes place in the parking lots of stadiums across the country. But tailgating is not restricted to just football games.  It’s a lifestyle that can extend into any event or social gathering.


Typically, tailgating is the prequel to a major sporting event. Most people don’t even think to link tailgating to concerts or other live events. If you haven’t tailgated at a country music concert, you don’t know what you’re missing.

The best part about tailgating at a country music concert is the feeling in the atmosphere. Sure, anticipation is high before a sporting event but sports fans feel an array of emotions on game day: nervousness about whether your team will be able to pull off the big win, bitterness toward a rival team, and the dread that if, heaven forbid, your team loses and your entire week is inevitably ruined.

Beach Boys are Surfin’ USA 50 years later

One legendary group that has reunited that truly calls for a celebration is The Beach Boys. The band not only helped define not just American popular music in the 1960s, but also created several distinct sub-genres of music in the process. They are one of the most beloved bands in music history with a string of hits spanning four decades. And next week they will embark on a 50th anniversary tour that starts after recording a charity single for the Earthquake/Tsunami relief effort for Japan. They still even have a significant facebook following and are mentioned constantly on social media.

After a few festival dates and a surprise appearance at the 2012 Grammy Awards, the group has booked a full-fledged 50 date American tour. The core of the reunited group features mostly original members including mastermind Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks. They are even releasing a new CD later this year! This is already one of the hottest tickets for this spring and summer, so you better get those tickets soon and start planning for the pre-show party Surfin Safari style.

If you are going to one of these dates, it is sure to be a night to remember. Videos of the group show them to be in terrific form and sounding a sweet as ever vocally. Why not do it up the tailgating with style and panache and really get into the spirit of the show.

Parrotheads In The Parking Lot

parrotJimmy Bufett’s musical career hasn’t always been about island sunsets and frozen drinks. During the late 60′s he was actually a country artist and released folk rock records. He could often be found busking, playing on the street for money, in New Orleans.

History of Tailgating: A Time-Honored Tradition

The art of tailgating can be described as a delicate balance between fandom and celebration. It is an event that does what nothing else can: It brings together sports and eating. It’s a place where fans can not only paint their faces, but enjoy a beer with a supporter from the other team. It’s a medium where sports can be enjoyed pre- and post-game. a great place to network with clients. A great place to have fun. 

There is something about the combination of friends, family, appetizers and beverages that excites fans like few other things can. Grilling burgers that are branded with your team’s logo, competing to see whose flag can fly the highest, and dressing children in sports paraphernalia – all are as American as the hot dogs and apple pies that are consumed while doing them. And while this time-honored tradition dates back to some of the earliest sporting events, tailgating has arguably grown more popular than the events with which they are associated.

Skewers Make for Simple, Tasty Tailgate Treat

skewerEveryone has a picture in their head of the basic ingredients for a skewer—some kind of meat (chicken, pork, maybe thick pieces of steak) coupled with flavor which can come from onions, peppers, or both, and a bit of sweet to cap off the skewer meal which tends to derive from pineapple’s zesty taste. This traditional skewer can be found on barbecues across the country, offering a change of pace and fun alternative to a tailgate party from the usual burgers, dogs, and brats that tend to dominate the grill. With such an unconventional display of food, there is so much more than meat, peppers, onions, and pineapple that can be skewered.

Bourbon of the Month: Bulleit Frontier Whiskey

Like pulling into a Rolls-Royce dealership and driving away in a Phantom, everyone knows where to find a great product that costs a bundle.

Similarly, a good bourbon is easy to track down. Several can be spotted on the shelves or (more likely) in a locked cabinet at any liquor store. The question is, how big of a dent to you want to put in your wallet?

Use Your Noodle at Your Next Tailgate

lazzAttention tailgaters: April is National Noodle Month. OK, maybe it was March and we’re just now clearing the decks, but no matter, there are many tasty and easy-to-make noodle dishes that can easily be incorporated into an upcoming tailgate event.

Noodles and pasta have much in common, but to be classified as a noodle, the dough must contain 5.5 percent egg solids. Noodles are formed of unleavened dough, typically wheat, rice or buckwheat although oddities like acorn meal, mung beans and potato starch sometimes are used. Once the dough is rolled out it is cut, often into strings a la spaghetti, but also into a huge variety of shapes including the little alphabet letters you might remember floating in your soup when you were young, orecchitte, meaning “little ears”; fiori, flower-shaped and farfalle, shaped like a butterfly or bowtie. The word noodle derives from the German nudel.

Foster’s: The Wonder From Down Under

fostersA commercial appears on television. An Australia didgeridoo vibrates a well known drone, a unique sound which has no parallels in the world. Next a can of Forster’s blue flashes before the tailgater’s eyes. The commercial has made a connection. This is a well thought out ad. Foster’s has done its homework.