Vander Sanden's Top 5 - Tailgating Musts

This week I focus on tailgating musts at an Iowa State Football game. From my year of experience with tailgating at Iowa State, I have had an awesome time. I also have had time to reflect what makes tailgating so special at Iowa State. Here are my top five "Iowa State Football Tailgating Musts."

1. Burgers and Brats


First on the list, you can't tailgate at an Iowa State football game without burgers and brats.  With this comes casseroles that your mom, wife, girlfriend, etc. makes.  You may be even lucky enough to pair up with some Cyclone fans and use their grill.  I know we were able to grill on some ISU fans' pull-behind-truck grill!  What else goes with burgers and brats?  Well, you can't go wrong with Lays or Doritos! 


2.  Cornhole AND/OR Ladder Golf, and a Pigskin


Next on the list, is a form of entertainment.  The first is a very fun, and competitive game called cornhole or bags.  I saw several tailgate camps with their game of cornhole!  May I add, a buddy of mine and me took of Mr. Jamie Pollard and one of his assistants.  It was a heated game, and I will give Mr. Pollard some props.  He sure knows how to toss the bags!  By the way, what athletic director goes around to fans' tailgates to greet them and converse with fans?  I am sure glad we have the guy for that.  Also, you will see a lot of Ladder Golf setups in Cyclone tailgates.  For those of you that are unsure of what this game is...well, I have never played it, and it looks as if it requires some skill...meaning I would probably kick butt at it...ok maybe not.  Anyway, this game has a target that looks like a clothes-drying rack.  You have these two balls connected by a string.  The goal is to toss it at the target, and have it wrap around.  As far as scoring points...I can't tell you the regulations.  I am sure they change as the day wears on; as more adult beverages get emptied! Just ask your loyal ISU fan how it works.  I know I would like it, because with a few adult beverages, this game could become a competitive one.  Don't forget the old pigskin from the garage to bring along!  Every tailgate must have the football to throw around.


3. Booze


What's an Iowa State Football tailgate without booze?  Come on, let's be honest.  From the mouths of many, they say ISU has one of the best tailgate atmospheres.  Now you can't tell me this would be the same without booze.  All of us Cyclone alums with tell you, Iowa State students know how to have a great time.  From beer bongs in the student section to a casual rum and coke or cold one in the parking lot, Cyclone fans sure know how to escalate the tailgating fun!


4. Tailgating Crew


Next on the list of musts for an Iowa State Football tailgate is having the "crew."  What does this mean?  Well, usually good tailgating material involves a unit of people that are used to having fun with each other.  I know our tailgate consists of former players, as well as close friends from the college days.  We have had many years of fun together, and welcome others to join our tailgate.  Do I need to say anymore than look for the BIG BLUE FLATHEAD BUS?!  We had so much fun tailgating last year that some friends decided a bus was needed.  I encourage fans to form a tight knit group for their "tailgate crew" to ensure some consistency.  Go out and have a cold one with other fans.  Go out and recruit people for your tailgate. The more people tailgating means more fun, and means more noise for the boys!


5. TIME                 


Last on the list is time.  You are probably thinking what the heck is this?  Well this is a very meaningful attribute to a successful Cyclone tailgate.  A true tailgate has its members present hours, and I mean hours before kickoff!  The atmosphere would be absolutely hideous without tailgaters in their spots hours before kickoff!  Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get to Jack Trice, as well as plenty of time to make the atmosphere of ISU tailgating.  After all, we the Cyclone fans are the ones that are the difference between a sub-par atmosphere or an unforgettable one!  Leave on time, and allow plenty of time to tailgate and get primed up or jacked up to rock Jack Trice!



Honorable mentions that did not make the list:




-Extra Clothes

-Rain Gear

-Blaring Stereo

-Cyclone Flag to fly high

-I am sure I left out plenty of other honorable mentions



Let's get jacked up!  Kickoff is near!  Get off work, get out of the house, get into your tailgates, and let's get the boys started off to a great, memorable Cyclone season!

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