Game Bibs Tailgating Hierarchy of Needs

24th May 2024

Whether you're a college freshman or a weekend warrior superfan, when you come to the tailgate, you need to be prepared. There's an art to doing the tailgate right, so we put together Game Bibs' Tailgating Hierarchy of Needs.

This guide is designed to make sure that all of your and your guests' needs are met at every tailgating event. From basics like protection from the elements to key items that will take the 'gate to the next level, come prepared every time by following our guide. The Game Bibs Tailgating Hierarchy of Needs

game bibs tailgating hierarchy of needs

The same way that we have Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which categorizes and ranks the psychological needs for people to be happy, every tailgate has a set of needs or requirements to be the best it can be. Here they are below:

  1. Shelter, Comfort, Cleanliness
  2. Liquid Sustenance
  3. Food, Food, Food
  4. Entertainment
  5. Superfan Gear

Tailgating Hierarchy of Needs #1: Shelter, Comfort & Cleanliness

tailgate comfort in football game

While you can tailgate at pretty much any sport, for most of us, we're talking about football. When football season rolls around, it marks the beginning of fall. Cooler weather, shorter days, the sting of a laser beam on a pair of cold hands in parking lot E - it's all part of the appeal.

When you're at the tailgate, you need to make sure that you have adequate protection from the elements. Depending on where you live and what team you support, you'll need appropriate shelter.

If you don't come prepared for a full-on tailgate, it can ruin your day and maybe even the game. Come prepared for any tailgate situation by stocking the items below.

  • Popup tent or canopy - Protect yourself from the sun and the rain
  • Tent/canopy weights - Don't be that unprepared guy. What - is this your first tailgate?
  • Portable heating/cooling - Maintain your own microclimate no matter the weather; other ill-prepared fans will be jealous.
  • Appropriate seating - Typical camping chairs just aren't enough, so make sure you can accommodate your guests and blow their minds with features.
  • Adequate clothing for warm or cold climates - Don't ruin the tailgate for yourself by not dressing to ensure comfort.
  • Waste bin for food waste & containers - No one likes a messy superfan, so show respect to the team and others around you by responsibly handling your trash.
  • Portable camping tables for food and drinks - Table real estate is at a premium in any tailgating situation; he with the most room wins.

Tailgating Hierarchy of Needs #2: Liquid Sustenance

tailgating drinks in football game

With tailgating comes the various drinks and liquid concoctions that fans across the country consume. Sure, there's a cold can of beer for those of age, but to have a truly superior tailgate experience, you need to cater to all the different wants and needs of your guests.

By all means, pack a cooler full of your favorite domestic (if that's something you're into), but make sure you've got the necessities and the proper delivery method to boot. No, we're not talking about a beer helmet. Here are some liquid-based necessities that no tailgate is complete without:

  • A great cooler - Bring one of those super-insulated ones that keep ice for three days; extra points if it rolls and has a drain at the bottom.
  • Bottled water - Carry lots of it, as hydration is important for an all-day event.
  • Coffee/tea - These beverages are easy to brew ahead of time and great to drink on a cold morning or if you need a little pick-me-up before heading into the stadium.
  • Thermos - Come prepared to keep your liquids warm all day long.
  • Something for the kiddos - Kids need to have fun things to drink too, so pack a sixer of Yoo-hoo for little Timmy.
  • Recyclable drinkware - Glass is messy and is scientifically proven to make drinks taste sour (don't fact-check that), so bring something cheap, reusable and recyclable.
  • An appropriate amount of the adult beverage of your choice - Whether it's can, bag or bottle, have fun but always be responsible.

Tailgating Hierarchy of Needs #3: Food, Food, Food

tailgating hierarchy of food

There's an art to cooking a smorgasbord at the tailgate. Not only do you need to have the proper gear, but you need to be organized. Ever heard of "mis en place"? Well, things can get out of hand pretty quick if you don't have places to put cooked food, proper sanitation for raw proteins, recyclable plates, cups, etc., condiments and more. Come prepared to wow by stocking up on the list below:

  • Grill (gas or charcoal) - Charcoal grills are for the purists; gas grills are for those who want consistency and ease.
  • Quality charcoal - Again, this is only for the purists.
  • Gas fuel - Never run out mid-brat.
  • Long-reach lighter - Don't burn those hands.
  • Charcoal starter - Lighter fluid makes things easy, but the purists will opt for newspaper.
  • Recyclable plates and silverware - Unless you're only doing meat-in-tube form, you'll want to give your attendees recyclable, reusable plates, cutlery and more.
  • Napkins, lots of them - It gets messy, so use a napkin.
  • Sides & condiments - It's all in the details, so wow folks with options.
  • Game-day protein - Choose wisely! Are you a brat guy? A burger guy? Elotes? Tacos? Steaks? Just don't be the fish guy.
  • Veggies - Not everyone is into meat, so make sure all feel welcome.
  • Grilling utensils - Pack mitts, tongs, spatulas, skewers and a spray water bottle.
  • Cutting board - Don't cut on the table or on the truck bed; bring a cutting board and stay civilized.
  • Plastic bags/Tupperware - You'll need a place for the leftovers when it's kickoff time.
  • Extra cooler to keep food warm - If you're entertaining a big group, an extra cooler to keep hot food warm will make sure people can come and go as they please.
  • Foil bakeware - If you don't want to carry around an extra cooler, pick up some foil bakeware at the packy.

Tailgating Hierarchy of Needs #4: Entertainment

tailgating entertainment including a tv

Along with the food, drinks and general camaraderie, you'll need to bring the extra stuff that people use when they're hosting a successful and memorable tailgate. Since you're sequestered to a parking lot (most likely), there's not going to be wifi, big screens or power ready. If you really want to be a legend at the 'gate, come packing these tailgate upgrades.

  • Bluetooth speaker - Blast your favorite version of "When the Saints Go Marching In" or "Shout" or the T-Pain rendition of the Dolphins Fight Song.
  • Portable TV - So much crucial life-changing info is discussed during the pregame; not having a TV at the 'gate is the football equivalent of a book burning.
  • Satellite feed receiver - This a pro-level add-on, but having any channel anywhere takes things to the next level.
  • Phone jump charger - The last thing you want is for you or your guests to run out of juice.
  • Wi-Fi hotspot - The Wi-Fi hotspot will help you stream without eating up precious, precious data.
  • Cornhole - The game is like a bulkier version of fat horseshoes.
  • KanJam - This is probably the most fun you'll ever have with a frisbee.
  • Beer Pong table - A game that's very popular everywhere else.
  • Football - It's tradition to take out the pigskin and do a few drills on the asphalt.

Tailgating Hierarchy of Needs #5: Superfan Gear

superfan in black and white game bibs

Be the fan you want to see in the world. For some, simply showing up to the game is adequate support. But not you; you want to scream your love for your team from the top of the world. You want to stand out, shake things up, maybe even make it onto ESPN's Not Top 10 - in a good way.

No one said being a superfan would be easy, so you need a suite of specialized tools designed to take your tailgate to the next level. Be sure to bust these items out right as your tailgate becomes a full-on blowout.

This is the last on the list because even if you don't utilize anything on the list below, you're still going to have a killer tailgate. HOWEVER, if you're the type who isn't satisfied with "just good enough" and you want to take it to the next level, you can employ one OR ALL of the ideas below. Prepare for accolades, admiration and awe.

  • Game Bib in your team color - Be an instant legend and show your team's true colors in a pair of the most stylish and envy-inducing adult bib overalls in the country.
  • Body paint - If you want to go there, ridiculous body paint is a phenomenal go-to for superfans and always catches a few eyes.
  • Giant foam appendage - This goes without saying.
  • Noisemaker - There are lots to choose from here: clappers, ratchets, cowbells, giant plastic horns (or vuvuzelas) or inflatable clappers. Or you can just twirl your team towel around your head fast enough to break the sound barrier.
  • Lucky jersey - Don't be caught at the game without it - your team needs you to wear it in order to win.

Good luck at the game, and may the best team win! Also, don't be a Bills fan.