What to Wear: Tailgating

Tailgating season is here, and our resident tailgate expert, Sean Cullinane has all your tailgating essentials listed right here:

“You are going to be standing on frozen asphalt for three hours, that cold is going to come straight up through the soles of your feet. Get some thick socks or insulated boots.”
Wolverine Big Horn Insulated PC Dry Waterproof Boots, $156 at wolverine.com.

“Late December in East Rutherford NJ is colder than a well digger’s ass and you need layers. Start with Under Armour, just like the players. It stays tight locking in your body’s own heat. They make long johns and mock turtleneck tops (this is the only situation where mock turtlenecks will be endorsed by The Manual). Throw your favorite jersey over that. Hit up Mitchell & Ness for a throwback that will make you stand out and be popular with all your fellow tailgaters of many generations. Then pile a down coat over that, you’ll take it off and on ten times but its good to have. Once you’re inside its surprisingly warm, 70,000 people jumping up and down will do that. And always wear a hat. Hear escapes your body through your head, don’t let it.”
Under Armour Long Sleeve Waffle Crew, $39.99 at underarmour.com.
Under Armour UA HeatGear Leggings, $39.99 at underarmour.com.
Eddie Bauer Classic Down Parka, $179 at eddiebauer.com.

“You don’t have to get fancy here. You need a football. The Duke by Wilson is a game day classic. Play catch, run routes, go long but be respectful of your neighbors’ tailgate (unless they are Eagles fans) You also need a game of skill that can be played while juggling a bratwurst and a malted beverage and all of America can thank the Midwest for giving us “Corn Hole.” Unfortunate though the name may be, this game is undeniably addictive.  It looks easy to throw beanbags through a hole on a slanted board, but try it…you’ll see what we mean. Check out victorytailgate.com for some beautiful handmade sets, all made right here in the USA.  And if course, the epicenter of a real tailgate — where the true masters of the parking lot will gather — is the grill. There are lots of choices here, and the charcoal purists will scoff but for our money the best grill for tailgating in the world (assuming you are not going to be one of those crazy (perhaps enlightened) people who set up temporary Top Chef level kitchens out in Lot D, is the Baby Q from Weber. It is compact, easy to set up and break down and it cooks food evenly and quickly. Make sure you shut it down 30 minutes prior to stowing it back in your car and you’ll never have a problem with this reliable little number. Which brings us to…”
The Duke Football by Wilson, $84.95 at onlinesports.com.
Weber Q 100 Gas Grill, $149 at target.com.

“As for tailgate fare, skip the hot dogs and hamburgers…you can mooch those off your neighbors. Bring some chorizo, pork tenderloin or skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. Stand out. The smell alone will let people know you mean business.  And last but certainly not least, no tailgate is complete without…”

The Booze
“If it’s a morning tailgate, start with Bloody Marys. But know that all Bloodies are not created equal. Your best bet is to spend several Sundays prior going to many different all you can drink brunches and finding one you like. Befriend the bartender and he’ll tell you his secret to successful Bloody Marys. You’ll set the tone for the whole day with a well-made morning cocktail. Always have a cooler full of beer, cold, canned and domestic. Your preference. Finally, the secret weapon of any good cold weather tailgate is a flask of Hiram Walker blackberry brandy. A nip here and there warms you up from the inside out. And hey you have that big down coat on as you head in to the game and they make you put your hands on your head as they pat you down in the security line. You wouldn’t sneak that flask against your forearm where they never check, would you? Nah…”
Hiram Walker Blackberry Brandy, $12.99 at bevmo.com.