With the world mostly returning to normal, and social distancing mostly an idea of the past, sports fans can now return to hosting their closest friends for sports watch parties. With the football season just ramping up, and some of the best matchups in front of us, there will be plenty of opportunities to host your own ‘homegating’ experience, and tailgate from the comforts of your own home for a fraction of the cost of going to a game.
Whether you plan on holding this experience outdoors and bringing the TV/projector outside during the sunny weather, or indoors during the inclement/cold weather of the late season, there are a wide variety of ideas for fanbases to uncover. In this article, we will be covering five great calls you can make to improve your at-home tailgating events (AKA homegating).
Tip 1: Go against the grain and make foods of your choice
One of the beauties of having an event at home rather than tailgating is you have little to no worries of food spoiling on the way there, never mind packing up or figuring out how to cook when you get there. This allows you to go as far as using your at-home smoker to make ribs, the grill to make wings or even homemade food like taco dip platters or pretzels with beer & cheese dip. The possibilities are endless when you have the ability to make it at home; feel free to get creative and either stick with your comfort foods, or go above and beyond and go outside your boundaries!
Even better, stick to the New Orleans classics! Hold a crawfish boil if you so desire! If the afternoon or evening games are a little chilly, set yourself up with some warm jambalaya or, if you prefer it warm, even some gumbo! For dessert/extra options, whip up some homemade beignets or grab a king cake for the event.
Tip 2: Stock up on your favorite beverages
Drinks are an essential part of any homegating experience, whether you prefer alcohol or not. Our very own Chris Dunnells has his own recommendation, saying you should keep it simple and get your favorite beer, stating it is, “cheap, easy to buy, (and you) don’t have to mix”. As much as you want to get creative with your food options, making sure you have your favorite drinks on hand is essential.
Even for those who choose not to drink alcohol or are not of age yet, lining up your favorite soda or even looking around for some mocktail recipes is always a great go-to. There’s a mocktail version of just about any drink you can think of, so just choose a flavor type you like and go find a recipe for that type!
Tip 3: You’re at home, so get comfortable!
The beauty of at-home watch parties is you have the ability to avoid the elements, regardless of what they may be. If the humidity of the Louisiana region is getting too unbearable, you obviously have the option of going inside and throwing on the A/C. If the weather is more favorable and you are able to watch the game outside on your lawn with an outdoor projector, you can do that as well! The main key is making sure you and your guests are comfortable, as that is the whole idea of holding one of these get-togethers!
Tip 4: Invite your closest friends to watch the game
Obviously, you want as many people as possible to watch the game with you, who you can root for the black and gold with through the ups and downs. Inviting a solid group of close friends to your home and cheering on the home team is always a recipe for a great at-home event. Who knows, maybe when the Saints take on the Bengals later this season you could even invite some Bengals fans over to make things interesting and reminisce about the days of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase at LSU. Falcons or Buccaneers fans though...maybe not so much.
Tip 5: Place some friendly bets
For those fans who enjoy taking their pride in the team to the next level, you can even place some friendly bets against other family and friends who show up. Whether you place your bets on an online sportsbook (provided you are eligible to) or just place some face-to-face bets, it always adds a little bit of competition to your game day events and makes things that much more interesting for everyone involved.
Even if you don’t want to bet cash, you can make some dare-type bets, and have the loser eat the ghost pepper you picked up this morning, or whatever other fun ideas you can come up with. This is all subjective, which makes it that much more fun, and it allows you to be as creative as you like when it comes down to it.