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Tailgating in your own backyard

Sep. 9, 2013
 
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In December of 2005 I was home on R&R enjoying a brief stint in the Northwoods while in the midst of a deployment to Iraq. There was only one item on my list of things to do that absolutely had to get done. Tailgating at Lambeau Field on game day was a must. Tell me, is there a grander Northwoods tradition?

Luckily for me, the Detroit Lions played a Sunday night game in Green Bay while I was home. A group of eight of us went over and in the shadow of the greatest stadium in all of professional football, we tailgated our hearts out.

Our cooler was stocked and the football-shaped crock pot was full of three-bean chili. We had potato chips, potato skins and potato salad. If someone put down a deviled egg, it was only to pick up some cheese and sausage. And, of course, there were three grills going with venison, hamburgers and brats.

The meat was actually cooking on just one grill. The other two were for warmth. Tailgating at Lambeau Field in December is not for the faint of heart. Of course, it beats the heck out of the Iraqi desert, though camels and sandstorms would certainly add a unique element to the game ... but I digress.

Today, the Packers play their first home game of the year, welcoming the Washington Redskins to the hallowed tundra of Lambeau Field, as well as thousands of tailgaters to its parking lots. For those of us unable to make our way to Green Bay, fear not. We still can tailgate right here at home.

Set up your picnic tables and card tables and invite the neighbors over. Get the baked beans to cooking on the stove and the corn to boiling. Fire up the charcoal and set the burgers and brats to grilling. Turn on the radio for some pregame or run the extension cords and lug the television right outside. It promises to be an exciting season here in the land of cheeseheads and you wonít want to miss a thing.

While you enjoy the great food and wait for kick-off, perhaps pass some time throwing a football around or playing some bean bag toss. Sadly, that was one activity missing from my tailgating adventure during that long-ago December, though that was by design. Nobody would have taken their gloves off in December for the sake of playing bean bag toss. In Wisconsin, in December, you donít stick anything outside unless youíre sure youíre going to get it back in again. Go Pack, go!

Doug Berdan is a columnist and outdoor humorist who also writes under the pseudonym Remington J. Crockett.

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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