In a perfect world, as a prideful Chargers fan, you’d be able to attend every game on the schedule. Whether it’s the preseason, home or away — you know if you had the means and power to do so, you’d be at every single one.
However, life isn’t every going to be that simple. (Unless you’re filthy rich and live a lavish lifestyle which, in that case, kudos to you.)
In my opinion, if you cannot attend a game in person, the next best place watch the Chargers is always going to be ... well ... your own place.
Why? Well, while you’re missing out on the game day experience and the synergistic environment that involves being in and around the stadium, you get to trade that all in for the comfort of your own home, your favorite couch/recliner, and your own personal choices when it comes to the food, drink, and other game day festivities that you partake in!
Instead of being bummed about not being there in person, try flipping the script and make your experience at home — or “homegate” as we like to call it — the best it can possibly be?
Whether it’s just you enjoying the game by yourself or you’re the type to invite over the gang, we’re going to discuss the plethora of options at your disposal to throw a homegate that you and your friends will never forget.
First, let’s talk about your gameday fit.
This is your house, your team, and your first big decision of the day. Since you’re going to be comfortably inside the entire time, there’s no reason to have to check the weather or make sure your outfit is going to be comfortable and practical for the entire day. If you want to wear your favorite jersey and jeans, that’ll be just fine. If you want to wear your team-embroidered overalls, an oversized foam hat, and your funky, fuzzy slippers with the Chargers logo on them, go right ahead. This is your domain.
Next up is your gameday menu.
Normally when you’re tailgating you’re stuck with whatever the host has prepared. The usual suspects are burgers, hotdogs/brats, chips and any other easy-to-pack items. If they’re really fancy, you might get lucky and score some smoked meats like brisket and ribs. However, you’re not at the mercy of someone else when you’re home. YOU get to decide the menu.
If you’re watching the game by yourself, you only have to worry about one person: You. Take a quick trip to the store and grab all of your favorites. Maybe you’re trading in the hotdogs for cheddar and jalapeño brats. Or maybe your red meat of choice isn’t going to be a burger, but a New York strip prepared just the way you like it.
One of my personal favorites is recreating the famous “Juicy Lucy,” which is a burger in Minnesota that’s constructed of two beef patties smashed together around a block of American cheese. When cooked correctly, it’s a spiritual experience and I highly suggest giving it a whirl.
Now for the beverages.
Unlike food, drink preferences can vary wildly. At a tailgate, the host just needs to buy several cases of cheap beer and call it a day. If that’s your thing, then by all means — go get those lightweight pilsners and hard seltzers. It gets the job done all the same!
If you’re like me and prefer the comforts of a liquor beverage at home, then let’s talk cocktails.
My all-time favorite cocktail is a margarita. It’s incredibly easy to make and usually it’s the simplest recipes that taste the best. Tequila, lime, orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Grand Marnier), and loads of ice. Shake it all up until it’s frosty and pour into your preferred glass.
Congratulations, you just improved your gameday experience by a mile.
What’s also super convenient about margaritas is that you can batch them up for a larger gathering and the quality will not suffer. I guarantee you your guests will light up when they see you’ve planted a giant container of margs on the counter.
If you’re not a tequila person, classic bar drinks like a rum n’ coke, whiskey ginger, or a vodka and soda will do just fine. Again, they get the job done while staying light on your wallet.
At the end of the day, I believe the perfect “homegate” is made by investing in the little things that do most of the heavy lifting in your experience. When you’re comfortable and all your basic needs are thoroughly taken care of, then it’s time to enjoy game day to the fullest.