I'm taking you through some incredibly important tailgate tips over the next few days to make sure that your lacrosse/barbecue seasons are maximized to the point where you send me thank you cards and your first-born child.
This is the moment, people. If you screw up your lacrosse game tailgate this weekend and going forward, you're going to regret it for about nine months. Plus, there aren't enough rosaries that you can say that will absolve you of the sin you have committed against the rarely disclosed Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shall Not Screw the Pooch in the Parking Lot.
You really don't want fiery condemnation upon eternal judgment, right? Good. I'm here to keep you in the clear.
VITALLY IMPORTANT TAILGATING TIP NUMBER THREE: Grizzly bear attendees are a no-no.
I'm serious about this, guys. Inviting a grizzly bear to your tailgate is a really bad idea. Sure, they look totally adorable on a little soap box, spinning a hula hoop around their grizzly bear waist while wearing a fez, but grizzly bears are really bad ideas at tailgates for a simple reason: The grizzly bear is eventually going to kill you, your friends, and pretty much everyone else in the parking lot. Do you really want a class action suit filed by surviving family members against your former living self for gross negligence relating to bringing a violent killing machine to a lacrosse tailgate? I don't think so. That's not something that you want on your dead conscience.
It's really basic tailgating theory: An animal that weighs a ton, has killing claws, flesh-demolishing teeth, and an angry streak that actually exceeds that of Duke's Mike Manley just isn't the best supplement to a first-rate tailgate.
Now, a baby monkey wearing a diaper, sitting in the back of your pick-up truck, attempting to type out Shakespeare while chomping on a cigar is pretty much the best kind of supplement to a first-rate tailgate. Think about it, boys and girls.
VITALLY IMPORTANT TAILGATING TIP NUMBER FOUR: A local beer for a local team.
If you tell your friend Jim to pick up a case of Bud Light for your tailgate, you've:
- pretty much implied that you have little respect for Jim as a human being living on planet Earth; and
- told your body that it is not a temple and is, in fact, a waste transfer station.
Part of being a college lacrosse fan is that you have a relationship with the local community and that you, inherently, would like to see the game grow. Why wouldn't you also want to explore the tastes the local community and grow the local brewing scene? There are all kinds of small-ish breweries across the country that are pumping out great brews and your tailgate this weekend is a great place to start getting the flavor of the region into your bellies. Here are some recommendations:
- Canisius-Loyola and Stony Brook-Johns Hopkins: Flying Dog Brewery out of Frederick is quickly establishing itself as a major player in the Mid-Atlantic region. If you're going to be knocking around Baltimore, hopefully keeping your body in its natural un-stabbed state, you should probably get your hands on one of these beauties.
- Syracuse-Duke and Denver-North Carolina: Pisgah Brewing out of Black Mountain is a quiet gem of organic wonder. If you can find it, you need need to experience it.
- Yale-Notre Dame: Beats me. I only learned that Indiana was a state three weeks ago. Good luck.
- Princeton-Virginia: All I hear is good things (and not good things like, "Oh, it has a nice personality!") about Mad Fox Brewing Company out of Falls Church. Make the magic happen, folks.
- Colgate-Massachusetts: Screw Massachusetts; just get your hands on anything from Vermont at this point. The maple syrup is nice but Vermont is doing crazy amazing things with barley and hops and such. It's really making New Hampshire look like a bum.
- Maryland-Lehigh: Victory Brewing Company is really coming into its own and has a huge set list to play with. The distribution is pretty good, so you shouldn't have to berate the store clerk about why they're lazy and have a 45-case inventory of Corona and not stuff that isn't miserable.