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6 simple rules to follow

To throw a successful parking lot party that makes guests forget they have tickets to an actual game, you’ll have to pull out all the stops

6 simple rules to follow

Take it from the “Commissioner of Tailgating”

The job of the tailgate guest is easy: Show up, grab a burger, pound a beer, fling a football.

But the job of the tailgate host is considerably trickier. In order to throw a successful parking lot party that makes guests forget they have tickets to an actual game, you’ll have to pull out all the stops.

Luckily, Joe Cahn is here to help. After selling his cooking school in 1996, the self-proclaimed “Commissioner of Tailgating” has spent the last 20 years traveling around the country, hosting epic tailgates for college and pro football teams.

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Here are Cahn’s six simple rules for mastering the art of the tailgate.

There’s nothing worse than showing up with a Winnebago full of beer, brats, and buddies, only to be turned away from the stadium.

“Find out exactly when the parking lot opens,” Cahn advises. Even if it’s before the home team gets there, it’ll be worth pulling in early to stake out your spot as the king.

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Don’t have a jersey? At least sport the colors of your squad. Cahn says fans can have an impact on the game if they truly bleed their team’s colors.

You don’t want to miss out on valuable cornhole time, so shape the patties and marinate the wings the night before your tailgate.

“If you’re chopping and dicing any food, do it at home, and put it in reusable containers,” Cahn says.

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Cans don’t just fit better in your coozies—“they’re also easier to clean up than glass bottles,” Cahn says.

Make sure you drink enough H2O in between beers. Cahn’s tip: “Freeze bottles of water to keep your cooler cold. When they thaw, you have a cool bottle of water to drink.”

Over the last 20 years, Cahn has seen his fair share of tailgate disasters. (It’s all fun and games until someone gets trigger-happy with the lighter fluid.)

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“Anything can happen,” he says. “Bring a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, and most importantly, a designated driver.”

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