Thursday, September 27, 2007

More than just a tradition...

...but a way of life. The T-shirt in the above photo says it all! Tailgating, Steelers-style! Where the fun starts before most people are even awake, and sometimes doesn't end until well after dark.

So, what are the essential elements for a good tailgate party?

First, the hardware...a cooler with lots of ice, a grill, barbeque tools, a few comfortable chairs, and a large vehicle to get everything there and back!

Second, the software...beverage of choice (usually, a local beer, in this case, Iron City, or IC Light), grillable meat of some kind (hot dogs and hamburgers usually work best, but wings, ribs, chickens, even steaks, work quite well), potato chips and so forth, and anything else you can bring along.

Not required, but often used,...a tent or umbrella, a stereo system of some sort, a beer-pong table (yep, they play beer pong in the parking lots!), and some cash to buy goodies from the street vendors (you can get good deals from some of these guys!), and maybe a tv or radio.

Put it all together, and you're almost there! "What's the missing ingredient now?" you might ask. "Sounds like you've got it all covered!"...the love of a team, the love of a city, and the carrying on of tradition. All teams have fans, lots of these fans like to party, and tailgating is big in many cities, but in no place is it done like it is in the 'Burgh! (or in many of the away games, because the Steeler Nation is everywhere, and they travel well!)

Guess you have to be there, to see it, feel it, hear it, and smell it, in order to really appreciate it! Pictures and words don't do it justice. It's an atmosphere like no other, and I love it! It's even better when the team is good, but the parties go on, whether it's a win or a loss, a good season or a bad one!
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