Top 5 Must Have Tailgating Items

Being from San Diego, I can relate to the excitement and heartache of being a Chargers fan. But this time around, something just feels "different" about our team. Sure, we have a new head coach, but that’s just part of it. Our team’s, nay, our city’s energy seems to be at higher levels than it’s been in years. Gone are the days of running doomed plays up the middle, or throwing a 2 yard pass on 3rd down, when we need 6 yards. Instead, our Chargers are running like a finely-tuned machine and are toppling tough teams, thanks in part to #17’s on-the-fly play adjustments. Simply put, the San Diego Chargers got their confidence back, by being allowed to play like the San Diego Chargers—aggressive, electric & passionate. Sure, they still need to shake some of the bugs out of their system and have some serious work ahead of them, but for once, I’m optimistic that our team will be a serious contender in the years to come. So, if you’re a fellow San Diego Chargers fan, hold your head up high and accessorize for success, with the top 5 ways to show your Charger’s pride.

1. Lay Down the Perfect Football Foundation

If you want to be the ultimate Chargers fan, you need get fired-up in the stadium’s parking lot first. That’s right, no football game is complete without tasty, meat-treats and the best way you can kick off the pre-victory celebration is by placing man’s altar to the football gods—the grill, on top of your Chargers-emblazoned grill mat. It’s a fact—nothing says "Winning", quite like a bratwurst in your hand and sovereign Chargers territory beneath your feet.

2. Sit on the Cooler

This may sound counter-intuitive to mass-drink dispensing, but to be a better fan, you need to be the center of attention and that means blocking the cooler. And what better way to do this than to sit on a motorized cooler and drive away with it? The cooler is yours—you command it and act as gatekeeper of all that is cold and quenching. You’re calling the shots here pal and can bark an audible like, "If you aren’t rocking Chargers gear you aren’t getting any". Picture this: you’re jazzed-up with full face paint, wearing a Rivers jersey and sitting on a cooler that’s potentially full of cold and tasty beverages when your "buddy" in full Chiefs-regalia asks, "Bro, can you move?" Instead, you wheel away at high speed with a cooler under your behind while leaving a laughing crowd and a thirsty, red face-painted friend. Now that’s a QB sneak.

3. Give Your Team a Home-Made Advantage

What’s cooler than cool? Building a home-made tailgating table with the help of rap icon, Vanilla Ice of course! When your brew is so chill it’s making you ill, you need a place to set it down, otherwise you’ll have a non-recoverable beverage fumble on your hands. So trust a dope rapper’s carpentry knowledge to bolster your beer-handling ability, set down your suds on an ice-hard tailgating table and raise the roof for your Chargers!

4. Grill, Baby Grill

After finding a choice tailgating spot, the next step is unloading your grill. But getting that BBQ behemoth out of your truck’s bed can feel like you’re easing a player piano down a flight of stairs. One thing’s for sure, if your grip slips while lowering that beast and it falls, your foot will look like hamburger and not in a tasty-way. Thankfully, you can avoid unnecessary pain and suffering by bringing a hitch-mounted grill from to your next tailgate party instead. I found one of these ultra-efficient hot dog heaters at They simply slip into your truck’s receiver hitch opening, stay attached full-time and swing out in seconds. That way, you can deploy your secret tailgating weapon and churn out scrumptious, juicy, meaty goodies, well before kickoff time.

5. Don’t Feel the Burn

You know that literally-nuclear-hot orb that’s hovering over the stadium parking lot? Yeah, it’s the sun and it’s glaring right at your bare skin, longing to transform it into crispy bacon. If you prefer fun versus searing pain, you need to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays. You have two options: you can either dig through your girlfriend’s purse for the pink bottle of fruit-infused sunscreen, or get in the shade. Logically, you want to keep your manhood intact and your pores clogged with acrid-smelling grill smoke, so your only choice is shade and a truck awning is a slick way of giving you a man-sized helping of it. These puppies bolt on your off-road rig’s roof rack and roll out in seconds, providing cooling shade and ensuring the only lobsters in your tailgate party will be the ones served with herb-butter.

You see, there are plenty of ways to show how much you love your team and these are some of the less-extreme examples I could find. Now, you don’t necessarily have to be a Chargers fan for this list to apply…theoretically, you can root for the Broncos or whatever team you want, I’ll forgive you. But what if your team isn’t going to make it to the playoffs and you’re switching early to baseball-mode or maybe football just isn’t your thing? No worries, I also wrote a guide on the Top 5 Ways to Become Your Team’s Ultimate Fan, just for you.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.

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