Posted on: October 6th, 2010 by Jen Mueller

My grandmother has had the same wedding ring for 58 years.  It’s just one of the tidbits that I discovered during a dinner conversation with my grandparents.  I see them about once a year, so it’s a treat to get a chance to talk with them. I took them out to dinner at an Italian restaurant and they instantly started reminiscing about a trip to Italy several years ago.  Somewhere along the line they mentioned how long they’ve been married.  That’s when I found out about the ring.  That’s the power of good food and good conversation.  Food makes us feel good, and brings us together.  It’s one of the reasons sports fans tailgate before games.  I met Guy Fieri recently while he was in Seattle taping Tailgate Warriors before a Seahawks game.  We had a chance to talk, and guess what we talked about?  Food and sports of course. 

Looking for an idea on how to plan the perfect tailgate?  Just go with the flow according to Fieri, that’s what he does.

“I change the menu based on time of day.  Did I get up on odd minute or even minute?  When you go to Seattle for instance, it’s one of the best food cities in the country. Tell me how you’re not going to do some fish or some crab or mussels, whatever you find at the market when you’re down there. A lot of times I show up with a couple staples that I know everyone wants and about 3-4 other items just to round it out.”

For Guy and many others, food is part of the experience on game day.  The stats, the numbers the win-loss record that’s part of game day too but to be honest, it’s the part of you are most likely to forget.  You will however remember the people you spent the day with, the laughs you shared the food you ate and the relationships that were formed.  If you’re not a huge sports fan, that’s okay, you can be a fan of hanging out, of making new friends or hanging out with old ones.  Try enjoying the game day experience instead of the action on the field.   For Guy, tailgating allows him to eat good food and spend time with friends.

“I’m a raider fan so I think going to my home town team and seeing the Raiders play and tailgating close to home with all my buddies is my ultimate tailgate. I’ve tailgated at NASCAR. I’ve tailgated at Def Leppard concerts.   What makes tailgating so special is you’re there for the event, typically a pretty big event, and if you’re going to do it you have to be there for the event. Then why don’t you really experience it and get the most of the event and capitalize on all the event has going and not just have the moment be a 3 hour game?”

I’ve previously offered suggestions on ways to get started and become interested in sports, this is just another idea.  Go for the social aspect, make friends, have a party, eat good food and talk a little sports.  Remember – it’s about the experience, not the stats.  Get out and enjoy!

Guy Fieri is the host of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives as well as Minute to Win It and Tailgate Warriors.  I have never talked to a more humble, gracious, energetic celebrity.  I highly recommend you become a fan of his.  For more on his projects and shows check out http://www.guyfieri.com/