The wait is finally over. Football tailgating season is finally back! Also of note: Miami Hurricanes football is back! This Saturday, the Hurricanes will host Florida A&M in the season opener for both teams. Half the fun of going to a Canes game happens in the parking lot well before the ball is kicked off. Hurricanes tailgates present a chance to not only blow off some steam from the work
Memories — both good and bad — will be made just outside Hard Rock Stadium this weekend. It's up to you to make your tailgate the best it can be. Here are a few tips that will help you not only stay on your feet the entire
1. Gather your tailgating supplies the previous night.
Rookies stop at Publix on their way to the game, but veterans do their homework days in advance. The last thing you'll want to do an hour before game time is stand in line behind families doing their shopping for the entire week, in no particular rush to be anywhere. Also, beer isn't going to get cold by itself. Your beer needs to be in ice water well before you're on your way to the game.
2. Trust us: Take a picture of the landmarks near your parking spot.
Don't be another person with that horrific saga of hours wandering the stadium's endless plains of asphalt. Use technology to your advantage. Whether it be jotting down where you parked in the notes section of
3. Remember things that won't go into your mouth.
Believe it or not, you'll eventually need supplies other than a 12-pack of IPAs and a bakery box full of pastelitos. We're talking an emergency change of clothes that will come in handy after John pukes jelly shots all over you 20 minutes before you're supposed to head inside. We're talking about aspirin and Pepto-Bismol. We're talking about portable cell-phone chargers that fit in your purse or pocket. Think this thing through, because there will be hiccups.
4. Visit "Canes Fam" at the W-12 CREW tailgate.
Want to get the full experience of a Miami Hurricanes tailgate? Canes superfan @CutlerRidgeLAZ and his ever-growing group of fellow fan friends congregate in the area between West-12 and West-13. This is the sort of group that will
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5. Learn the fight songs.
You should know this by now, but if you don't, study up. Don't be the kid in recorder class pretending to play; be a part of the fun. If you're new to things, here is a nice little beginner's guide to learning all the Hurricanes songs and cheers. Print it out, take a picture, do whatever you gotta do.
6. Head into the stadium with plenty of time before kickoff.
This is usually good advice before any football game, but it's even more important for Canes fans this season. The first few home games tend to be busier anyway, but because of the stadium improvements, there should be a solid uptick in attendance this season. Though the exits and entrances have remained the same, the stadium itself might not look familiar inside. It's a good idea to get a head start to acclimate yourself and tour the new digs to check out all the cool new features Hard Rock Stadium offers.
7. You went through all the trouble to attend the game, so don't worry about leaving early.
Heat fans will remember this lesson for the rest of eternity: Never leave a game early unless you have a valid reason. If you're even thinking about beating the traffic, just stop. It's not that important. One thing few people consider is tailgating postgame. It's a Saturday, you're probably hungry, and it's as good a time as any to drink with a bunch of other sauced-up fans. If the Canes win, that's an even better reason to tailgate after the game. Let everyone else struggle to leave first while you grill a burger and drink a beer that's been marinating in the cooler for four hours. Football season comes and goes, so enjoy it while it's here.