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NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Championship Weekend Tailgating Recommendations

Here are some ideas for what to make during your Final Four tailgate in Philadelphia.


I know what you and your pals and gal pals are thinking: Get some burgers and dogs, some charcoal, and a six-dollar hibachi grill and tailgating preparation is done. That's unacceptable. This is Championship Weekend, you guys. It's the biggest moment of the college lacrosse season. This requires a heightened level of tailgating. You need to do it right because this comes only once a year.

Instead of tired, pedantic food offerings at your tailgate this year, try something special. To help you along with your preparations, I've put together an exceptional menu for the Final Four, pulling in distinctive flavors for each of the four teams that will play in the national semifinals. With a little effort and attention to detail, you'll have the best tailgate in the lot if you serve what I have provided. Let's go!

Item: Lightning Sandwiches

Lacrosse-Dish Relationship: Cornell's offense -- 1.21 gigawatts of energized destruction -- requires an item that adequately reflects its force. Rather than kidnapping Rob Pannell, sedating him, and putting him through a woodchipper in order to grind up the generating properties of the Red's electrostatic discharge (Fargo-style food preparation is generally frowned about in the parking lots of Lincoln Financial Field), it's probably best to avoid overtly criminal activity just to impress your knucklehead friends.

Preparation: Harness a lightning strike -- this may require putting your life on the line while standing outside during a thunderstorm while holding a golf club in one hand (pointed toward the angry sky, of course) and other on a food processor that is modified to handle deadly bolts of lightning. Once you've (hopefully) returned from the hospital, treated for electric burns and having your insides turned into mush, it's just a simple task of making lightning patties -- wear rubber gloves, dummy! -- with the appropriate seasonings: thunder root and the smoke still emanation from your burnt skin.

Preparation Time: This all depends on where you live and the particular weather pattern your town is experiencing. If you don't harness the lightning correctly, though, preparation time is basically an eternity as making lightning sandwiches while dead is difficult.

Flavor Rating: Hot cha-cha!

Item: Concentrated Intensity

Lacrosse-Dish Relationship: Duh.

Preparation: Run some wind sprints until you puke; watch six straight episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine and realize that we're raising children wrong and that they should be busy smashing concrete blocks instead of believing that dumb trains can talk; run more wind sprints; make a life decision that anything with a whistle is trying to steal your soul; erase the existence of enemies with only a determined mind.

Preparation Time: That depends on how much of a wimp you are, you soft pile of nothingness.

Flavor Rating: It tastes like victory.

Item: Dino Ribs

Lacrosse-Dish Relationship: John "Dino" Danowski is the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils. He's also one of the most interesting cats in Division I lacrosse. The prism that is his mind requires a dish as complex and fulfilling as his coaching style and success.

Preparation: You've already figured out how to harness lightning -- assuming that you're not, you know, dead or something -- so the next logical step shouldn't be shocking: Build a time machine and run some of that excess lightning through the flux capacitor that's just sitting in your garage collecting dust. Travel through time -- make sure to wave to 1955 and everyone there trying to commit rape or incest or any of the other horrific themes that dominated Back to the Future -- to hunt and kill a dinosaur. This could be kind of difficult, so make sure that you pack a really big knife with you before you travel through time; a Tyrannosaurus rex isn't going to just let you kill it, college boy. Pack all the meat in salt, travel back through time, and throw those ribs into the smoker to make them delicious. Serve to your friends sitting in their Flintstone cars that require them to run really fast to propel the vehicle. Laugh as the car tips over because dinosaur ribs are humungous and cartoons are real life.

Preparation Time: You own a time machine -- time is liquid.

Flavor Rating: I have no idea. Loss of taste buds is a sad residue of traveling through time.

Item: 12-Egg Omelet

Lacrosse-Dish Relationship: Syracuse is pursuing its record 12th national championship this season. Also: Eggs are stinky, kind of like Syracuse's faceoff play for most of this season.

Preparation: Buy a dozen eggs. Crack them open, throw them into a huge pan, add some milk and cheese and stuff, fold 'em over to look like an omelet, point out that nobody is making a nine-egg omelet because Johns Hopkins wasn't invited to The Big Tailgate, and serve under the assumption that college lacrosse didn't exist before 1983 (or, at a worst, 1971).

Preparation Time: This omelet has been 30 years in the making.

Flavor Rating: Tastes like vanity or pride depending on the color of the chef's shirt.