Tailgating Recommendations for September
Opponent: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Kickoff Time: 8:00 PM
First off, this game is in well in the evening, so feel free to sleep in just a little. This game is big-time, though, so if you wait too long you'll find no tailgate spots. I recommend being on-campus by around 2 PM in order to get enough rest, have time to prepare a badass dinner, and ensure yourself room for every thing. Bring a TV and dish if you've got it, to watch games all day. If nothing else, have a good radio handy, or satellite radio if someone's got it.
Drinks! Call me old-fashioned, but I tend to fill my Sippin Seat with Makers for every game. I will, however, offer drink recommendations for those of you who like to theme your tailgate a bit more.
They're made by a Tech grad, by the way.
Like I said, drinks! The obvious choice is Irish Carbombs, but DO NOT leave the Bailey's sitting out in the sun. Also, you're going to be 'gating all day, so I recommend something easier to sip on as well. Go with the old Irish Highball. The most important thing is, PACE YOURSELF. You've got 'til 7 PM or so before going to the stadium, so don't go overboard and miss the game... Not that I haven't seen that done with less than 6 to 8 hours of tailgating.
Food! Forget an Irish theme, this is the only Midwest school on the schedule. Bratwurst, baby! Simmer them boys in some beer all afternoon, throw em on the grill around 5:30 or 6, and you're money in the bank, baby. I'm sure anyone from a Big 10 state would scoff at most Southerners' brat efforts, but do what you can.
Opponent: Samford Bulldogs
Kickoff Time: 3:30 PM
Bring sunscreen! Even if you have a sweet tailgating tent, sunblock will do you good come game time. Afternoon kickoff, so if you want a good amount of time to tailgate, plan on getting set up by 11. Noon might do ya, but that might not allow for a solid lunch.
Drinks! Being that we're playing a team from Alabama, I recommend the classic Alabama Slammer.
Food! I plan on going with a Southern classic, such as BBQ or fried chicken. The most important thing is don't go overboard because of the early kick-off.
Opponent: Troy University Trojans
Kickoff Time: 1:30 PM (seriously)
Remember what I said about sunblock? And an early kickoff? Yeah, rewind that back and play it a few times. For this tailgate, my recommendations go all the way back to Friday night. Go home from work, take it easy, and get to bed early. If you stay out late, you have no chance of having a good tailgate because you'll be all tuckered out. Why the early kickoff? UVa is on the following Thursday, so D-Rad and Chan want to give the players as much time as possible to rest after the Troy game. So get to bed early so you can get to campus early.
Drinks! Try this one on for size: The Trojan Horse. Big in the UK.
Food! I've got no theme food for this one, but I recommend something as quick as possible, since you're in for a short 'gate unless you get up at like 8 AM. Do something you can prepare the night before, e.g. marinaded steaks or pre-skewered kebabs.
Opponent: Virginia Cavaliers
Kickoff Time: 7:30 PM
Okay, guys, this one is about as tough to handle as a 1:30 kickoff on Saturday. The bottom line is, if you want to tailgate, you will not be at work until five. Personal recommendation? Take a vacation day or call in sick. Also, if you want to get an early start to your tailgate, aim for getting to campus either around 11 AM or 1-2 PM. That way you can avoid heavy rush hour and lunch traffic. I expect to be 'gating by about 2 PM. Take your time and relax, you've got a late kickoff.
Drinks! This is UVa, folks. I'd say wine, but I can not in good conscience actually recommend wine for a tailgate without other stuff to go with it. Cider works well for Virginia, but honestly I got nothing on this one folks. As always, I will drink my bourbon and be happy.
Food! We play Maryland at home this year, so save any seafood plans for them. This might be a good time to make some BBQ. We play UNC and NCSU in Carolina this year, and Virginia barbeque is basically the same as N. Carolina BBQ.
Add any of your own recommendations in the comments, and I'll see y'all in September!