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10 tips for a tailgating touchdown

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(BPT) - If there's one thing fans look forward to more than the game itself it's tailgating. This pregame ritual is essential, but it can also involve a lot of planning and organization. This season, if you're looking for less stress and more fun at your tailgate, it's time to bring in a fresh playbook.

With a few smart hacks, you can streamline your tailgating experience to earn rave reviews without breaking a sweat. To be tailgate MVP, consider these winning plays:

1st play: Know the rules

Every tailgate location has rules. Know what's allowed so you're not caught off guard. Info on food, drink, music, even electronics and generators is available on stadium websites.

2nd play: Plan the menu

Create a burger-building extravaganza with Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews' new Gourmet Burger Bar. The hassle-free burger bar is complete with 10 (or more) individually wrapped and made-to-order beef, turkey, chicken breast and veggie burgers, Yukon kettle chips, fresh toppings and signature condiments to create customized burgers to everyone's tastes. To order, call your local Red Robin restaurant or visit www.redrobin.com/catering.

3rd: Hydrate

Just like your team needs stamina to win, you'll need it to last an entire day of tailgating. In addition to your favorite drinks, freeze water bottles to use as ice. As they melt, you're left with chilled water to stay hydrated.

4th play: Keep organized

When your team is flustered, it can cost them the game. Similarly, when you're disorganized, it can cause your tailgate to fumble. Pack essentials like bottle openers, sunscreen, duct tape, permanent markers and first-aid supplies in a toolbox or craft container.

5th play: Magnets are magical

Heavy-duty or industrial magnets are a lifesaver when surface area is scarce. Stock up so you can adhere banners and garbage bags to your car or nearby light posts.

6th play: Stand out

Your tailgate buddies will have a tough time finding you in a sea of vehicles. To stand out, go high. Fly a flag or inflate helium balloons with long strings to help direct friends to your location.

7th play: Stay connected

The modern tailgater needs to stay connected. Bring a car phone charger so you don't drain your battery checking the out-of-town scoreboard. Bring multiple extension cords to keep your entire crew charged up.

8th play: Game on

As you get closer to kickoff, why not have some friendly competition of your own? Classic tailgate games like cornhole, ring toss and ladder ball will get everyone in the mood to cheer their favorite team to victory.

9th play: Keep clean

To make sure a win is the only thing you bring home from the stadium, create a portable hand-washing station. Fill an empty laundry detergent dispenser with water, place a bottle of hand soap beside it and hang paper towels with a bungee cord. You'll keep hands clean for cheering and keep cold and flu bugs at bay.

10th play: Pack the night before

If you're packing in the morning, you're wasting valuable time while someone else is taking the best tailgating spot. Pack as much as you can the evening prior, leaving only last-minute essentials for game day.