Whether it's a simple picnic or an extravagant affair with a candelabra and linen tablecloth, many people say tailgating is the best part of the game.
Step 1: Get a car Secure a car with enough cargo space to carry the food, beverages and whatever else you want to bring -- cooking equipment, a table, folding chairs, a keg. An SUV, pick-up truck or van is ideal.
Step 2: Invite friends Invite your friends, making sure beforehand that everyone will be able to get tickets to the game. Try to show up at the venue together.
TIP: If it's too late to go to the game, you can still throw your party; just bring along a radio or a TV and a power converter that plugs into the car's cigarette lighter.
Step 3: Plan the menu Plan your menu. Good tailgating foods include salads, chicken, nacho layer dip, and ribs.
TIP: Football season can be cold! So serve something hot that can be made the night before, like chili or mac and cheese. And bring a special hot drink, like mulled cider or hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps.
Step 4: List non-food items Compile a list of all the non-food items you need so you won't forget anything. Frequently forgotten items include a corkscrew, water, garbage bags, sunscreen, and sealable plastic bags for leftovers.
Step 5: Chill the beverages Start chilling the beverages you plan to bring. Freeze some bottled water to throw in the cooler. If you have a large crowd, consider bringing a keg.
TIP: Check the stadium's rules on alcohol; kegs and glass bottle rules vary from venue to venue.
Step 6: Prep food The night before the game, prepare any food that you're not planning to cook on site.
TIP: To prevent food poisoning, use a cooler and/or a thermal tray to transport food.
Step 7: Arrive early Show up at the stadium early! You'll need time to set up everything and do the grilling. Turn on the tunes!
Step 8: Party Enjoy yourself. Eat, drink, relax in folding chairs, toss a football around, sing fight songs-- do whatever gets you prepped for the big game. Just don't get so drunk before the game that you make an ass of yourself.
Step 9: Clean up Clean up after yourself, then cheer your team on to victory.
FACT: The NFL banned tailgating at Super Bowl XLI in 2007, citing security concerns, making it the first Super Bowl without tailgate parties.