Family poses in front of favorite 49ers

Dog day afternoon in NFL

Getting after it in New England

Football is religion in Green Bay

Bengals fans ready to pounce

Broncos father and son share NFL moment

Cardinals fans playing spikeball

College fans playing game of Jenga outside Beaver Stadium

Bengals family dog wears stripes

Father and son pose in Oakland

Nothing like a game day grilling

Bears fans ready at Soldier Field

It’s not a tailgate without cornhole

Musicians play while their fans tailgate

Newlyweds in their Bills attire

Packers fans spreads caution at tailgate

Packers’ fans always having fun at Lambeau field

Rain or shine, fans love their Raiders

Service members ready for the game

These kids are the future of NFL

Fans don’t mess around with pre-game meal

Fans put rivalries aside to enjoy tailgate

Patriots fans love their football with lobster

Fans pose in tricked out truck at Heinz field

86-year-old fan eating at tailgate

Family can’t get enough of Saints pride

Fans getting after it at Gillette Stadium

Utah fans sporting spirit on their sleeves

Winners of DICK’s Sporting Goods’ bean bag toss

Tailgating Done Right

Although a tailgate is technically the end part of a vehicle, the word has since taken on a much deeper meaning, especially in the world of sports. Originating in the US, a tailgate party is a social event in sports where fans gather around the stadium’s parking lot to grill, play games and share their pride and love for their teams. The first tailgate took place at the Battle of Bull Run in 1861. Although these fans were gearing up to watch a Civil War battle, the pre-game event quickly became an essential ritual for sporting events across the nation. Tailgating builds community and support for sports programs, as well as a healthy rivalry between fan bases. Today, these events have become a part of mainstream sports media, allowing for a tailgating culture to emerge and prosper.