The New Orleans Saints obviously could not host their first home game in the NFL season due to Hurricane Ida. The damage is still being repaired as the team looks to make it home by Week 4, but why should fans have to wait on that? All Saints fans can bring the joys of a tailgate into their own homes, especially in these unprecedented times.
There are many game day traditions which can be hosted in the comfort of your own home. Just because you cannot stand up and dance with thousands of others at the behest of the Ying Yang Twins does not mean you have to miss out on the fun (hold off on the siren though, please). Here are some ideas to enjoy a “homegate” — that is, tailgating from home — with your crew for the next Saints game day.
Getting Ready for a Saints Homegate
First things first, the black and gold. Most fans have that one, or more, items they keep for game days. Dig out that old jersey, t-shirt, or Nikes. As long as the colors are black and gold, the fit will be just right. Around the house, throw out something or nothing. The Fleur-de-lis is a common staple in most households around the region, so finding anything black and gold will accent the home. After getting the décor ready and the outfit just right, time to start attracting the crowd with a Louisiana morning staple.
Break out the celery sticks, bacon, shrimp, pickled okra, and Zing Zang. Mornings in Louisiana begins with this classic spirit often and game days will be even more prolific. The Bloody Mary will be sure to start the party. Post a picture on social media of your cocktail bar and the people are sure to show up. The best part of tailgates is the company of others. Cocktail bars are best when shared. Take these two hand-in-hand and get ready for Saints game day.
The Menu Has to Satisfy
Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region might have the greatest food in the world. This is a big boot to fill, but a challenge most Saints fans will be willing to take. Every family has their specialties and the Gulf Coast region is not picky. Everyone knows someone who can smoke the best meat, fill the best pies, boil the best seafood, fry the best cut, or stir the best roux. Stick to what you know! Game days are about togetherness, and the serving table might be the glue holding it all together. Do not worry though, no one will come to this party empty handed. Expect everyone to bring their best game day recipe — just be very careful with that one deviled egg dish. That is not a problem you want in your life.
Adults will also likely partake in some beverages during your homegate. Be ready for this by supplying some small items that will make the day easier. A simple pack of disposable cups will keep dishes clean and allow everyone to mix whatever they are feeling. Do not forget the ice! A filled ice chest might be the most important part of the homegate. Everyone will be thankful that their favorite game day beverage can be served ice cold.
Turn It Up
One of the biggest advantages to being at a Homegate is the sound. Take advantage of this situation. Find your local WWL affiliate and listen to the Saints play-by-play direct from the voices of the Who Dat Nation. Do your best to sync up this audio with the television feed by using the pause feature. One thing all Saints fans have in common is the disdain for the national coverage of the team. Do not even bother at the homegate. Turning on Saints legend Deuce McCallister and new lead Mike Hoss would be a welcome addition to any homegate.
Win or Lose, Everyone is Happy
After a full day of homegating, everyone will surely be happy at the end of the day. Win or lose, the Saints fanbase know how to keep spirits high. Send everyone off with safety, a smile, and maybe a bag. Offer to call a ride-share for party members who might have enjoyed the ice a little too much. Put some sealable bags next to the food; those with leftovers will be glad to have the easy transportation. After a pat on the back, volunteer someone else to have the next homegate for a laugh. The people in the Gulf Coast region do not know how to have a bad time. Making the tailgate into a homegate will likely be a success for all involved.
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