Tailgating Ideas For This Season!

This season, loyal fans and tailgaters are taking to the parking lots and outskirts of college and NFL stadiums across the country. The smell of grilled burgers and baked brownies extends east to west, proving that tailgating traditions are rooted in American culture. A few of these tips from avid tailgaters include:

Get to the game early. It’s important to arrive early to secure the location where you’d like to set up and begin unpacking your food/ utensils/ decorations, etc.

Study a map to beforehand to pinpoint which location you want. A map of the stadium and the surrounding area will inform you of the best areas to set up your tailgate. Most likely, you’ll choose a spot based on where you need to enter the stadium or where there’s room left for parking. Hopefully not somewhere too faraway!

Stick to the essentials. Avoid overpacking, but to make sure you need the necessities to ensure a great tailgating experience for all.

Keep track of your supplies (label them if need be). With many tailgaters in the same place, supplies can get lost or misplaced. Make sure to keep track of what you bring with you. Resort to labeling the supplies if you need to.

Bring a variety of food options for guests. Ensure your guests have an assortment of foods in case some have allergies or preferences.

Fore additional tips check out this presentation:

Why Kevin Love Must Be A Warrior

The Warriors have now reportedly added guard Klay Thompson to a package including forward David Lee for 3-time All-Star forward Kevin Love. My initial reaction? Hell yes! Hurry up and do it before the Timberwolves change their minds.


Love is a double-double machine with a deft passing touch, a sweet stroke from the outside and a nose for rebounds. He was in the top 10 for scoring this past season. Love would be the perfect compliment for Steph Curry as the faces of the franchise. The Warriors don’t lose anything with Lee, who is being grossly overpaid for his production. He’s due $30 million over the next 2 years, so Love would take his spot. He would play next to a defensive-minded center in Andrew Bogut, who when healthy, can be productive guarding the paint.

Draymond Green is the kind of player that hustles and manages to get under the skin of opposing players. Andre Iguodala is a terrific scorer, not to mention an effective perimeter defender. In other words, the Warriors have the pieces to get Love to the postseason for the first time in his career.

This is not too say that it will be easy to unload a young player like Thompson who has the potential to be a consistent. He was in charge of defending Clippers guard Chris Paul and did a fairly good job of it in the playoffs. His 3-point range seemingly has no limit as evidenced by his 41% shooting percentage. Knowing the luck of the Warriors from past trades, Thompson will likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer with a street named after him. Still, the Warriors need to make this happen. Will it get them past the first round of the Western Conference? That’s tough to do, especially with the Thunder, Clippers, Blazers, Rockets and Spurs standing in the way, but this is at least a viable step toward making a deep run a possibility.

Machado Deserves MLB Wrath

Bat-tossing may become an obscure Olympic sport sometime, but it’s frowned upon in baseball, especially if there’s intent to do harm, which brings us to Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and what he did Sunday versus the A’s. One gander at the video and you can clearly see the bat didn’t just slip out of his hands. He flung the piece of lumber in the hopes that it landed on a player’s dome.


Immediately after the game, Machado, who was ejected said the “bat slipped out of my hands. I was trying to make contact.” Yeah, riiiight. I don’t think so and you can bet Major League Baseball will agree with me. He deserves a hefty fine and a long unpaid vacation for pulling that off. There’s no place in baseball for it. He’s 21 going on 12. It appears Machado took severe umbradge with getting pitched inside by Fernando Abad because, ya know, that never happens in the sport.

He also didn’t like the routine tag A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson placed on him Friday night. That’s right, FRIDAY NIGHT. With the latter point, Machado never really said why the tag was a problem: “Donaldson made the right play, but I just didn’t agree on the tag that he made on me, and I just had to get up and confront him.” Uh, so explain to me why you are angry again? Manager Buck Showalter wasn’t sure what set off Machado but added, “Until you’ve walked a mile in a man’s shoes, you really don’t know what goes on, but it’s a pretty easy call for me what side of the fence I’m going to sit on.” C’mon, really? It was dangerous. It was dumb. There must be something about the name Manny that brings out this kind of kooky, head-scratching behavior because I don’t know how else you can explain away what Machado did on Sunday.

California Chrome Riding Into History

Since Affirmed won the Triple Crown 36 years ago, we’ve witnessed exactly a dozen horses snag the first two legs only to see the pursuit of the sport’s most elusive prize evaporate over the Belmont’s punishing one and a half mile stretch.

Let’s put this in a greater historical perspective. Only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown since 1919. 11! The most obvious reason for this protracted drought may have to do with the fact that these horses must run three grueling races in five weeks when they normally compete in one race a month.

There’s hope that California Chrome will reverse the same fate that befell others before him like Smarty Jones and Big Brown. Physical ailments forced I’ll Have Another to withdraw from the Belmont in 2012. California Chrome is the first horse to win the Preakness from the Number 3 position in 21 years, deftly navigating through the field at every turn. The horse’s trainer, Art Sherman, lamented the fact that racing in 14 days is pushing the envelope. Sherman says it’s all about the recovery, which typically takes about eleven days. California Chrome seems to have the speed to pull off what, up to this point, has been the unthinkable. It would be nice to finally see the penultimate achievement realized in the sport of kings.

Warriors Take Leap of Faith With Kerr

As a longtime observer of Warriors basketball and even covering it for a short period of time, my initial reaction about the Steve Kerr hiring by the Warriors was ‘meh.’ Don’t get me wrong now, Golden State was able to land the top name candidate out there, one that equally captivated Phil Jackson, who’s running things in Gotham, so he must be good, right? Listen, the Warriors in years past would never, ever be able to woo a high-profile head coaching candidate. It shows just how far the Warriors have come when a coach spurns the Knicks.


The Warriors take on a new coach.

Kerr has the championship pedigree as a player, has strong ties to the team brain-trust, experienced with personnel decisions as a former GM himself, but we have no idea how he will be as a coach. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. The same was said about Jackson when he was hired, but he eventually learned to motivate the team and instilled the need to play tough on defense. The players bought into it. His short-comings came out with his in-game strategy. Stephen Curry needed an offensive scheme that truly utilizes his talents more. Perhaps Kerr will provide that to him. From all the All-Stars being shipped off over the years from Golden State to the long playoff droughts, Warriors fans have endured a lot with an unwavering loyalty to this franchise.

It’s nice to have an ownership group declaring the goal to be the NBA Finals or bust, but on the other hand, expectations need to be somewhat tempered and realistic here. The Warriors have more or less really burst onto the scene as a force only over the last 2 years. It’s not like the Celtics with a long tradition of winning titles. Golden State is building something meaningful, but now they want it built at warp-speed with everyone living inside. We’ll never know if Mark Jackson would’ve been the answer. Golden State is now a pressure-cooker situation. Yeah, I never thought I would write that last sentence either, but that’s the new reality Kerr is walking into. Let’s hope, for his sake, he realizes what he’s walking into.


Owners Mostly Silent on Sterling

Donald Sterling’s name is now a fixture on Twitter with more days of trending sure to come. In the days and hours since the alleged explosive audio between Sterling and his girlfriend was released by TMZ, we’ve heard from all corners of the basketball and sports world. Hell, President Obama was asked about it on his trip to Malaysia, so you know it’s escalated to a global level. The one group we haven’t heard from is Sterling’s fellow owners.


The only one to respond was Michael Jordan, who says he was ‘outraged’ by the audio. Unless you personally share Sterling’s unappetizing views, who wouldn’t be? Heat owner Mickey Arison called the comments “offensive, appalling and very sad.” Outside of Arison and MJ, there’s been mostly silence from the rest of the owners. Zippo. Nada. Zero. Perhaps the most vocal and bombastic one of them all, Mark Cuban, has kept his mouth shut during this stinky mess, which must’ve taken every ounce of willpower to do.

There should be more owners sharing their disgust with Sterling, but their fraternity is clearly sticking together on this one. Maybe they’re petrified that some of their own foibles or inequities will be out examined and picked apart in the open. If anything, this needs to serve as a shining example of why there needs to be more minority owners not only in the NBA, but all sports leagues. Former commissioner David Stern deserves some of the blame here as well. Sterling, by all reports and or lawsuits, had a disturbing point-of-view about minorities and continued to do whatever he wanted so long as he kept lining everybody’s pockets. Stern was a forward thinker in many ways, but he whiffed on this one. He should’ve dealt with Sterling a long time ago.

Now Adam Silver must act swiftly and decisively to boot Sterling out of the league for good, although he’s not instilling a lot of confidence. Why does he need an investigation? Why not just ask Sterling straight up – Is this your voice? There isn’t a precedent for Silver to go on, but if Ron Artest was punished 86 games for going into the stands in Detroit, Sterling deserves the absolute harshest and stiffest penalty ever given.

Final Days of Fernando Torres

The final, loose grains of salt are mercifully trickling down the hourglass that is the Fernando Torres’ era at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho metaphorically tipped the timepiece over after the Champions League quarterfinal first leg tie at PSG, when he gave a blistering rebuke on his striking options, namely Torres. The Blues boss said he wanted real strikers, but days later, Mourinho struck a more restrained, almost regretful tone saying the 30 year-old Spaniard did indeed have a future with Chelsea. He’s fooling absolutely no one. Just look back at tape of the 3-0 victory over Stoke.


When Torres’ shot went wide, the cutaway of Mourinho showed a face almost framed with lines of contempt. He could barely contain his true feelings. Chelsea has spent the past 3 years desperately trying to make it work with Torres. Whether its the system or his teammates, he has not found the form that made him the best striker in the world when he left Liverpool and there was hardly any trust that he ever would find it. Mourinho’s scathing criticism at the Parc des Princes may very well have been an indictment on Roman Abramovich for originally writing the $82 million check made out to the name of Torres. However, the Special One is partly to blame.

He had a chance to rectify his striker quandary way back in June when he took over the club. He pushed hard to get Wayne Rooney, but Rooney decided to stay at Manchester United, thus forcing Chelsea to sign Samuel Eto’o and allowing young Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku to go out on loan to Everton. It’s a shame what happened to Torres. Maybe it was the enormity of the 82 million that felt like an albatross to him. Any move Chelsea makes this summer to unload Torres would have potentially steep financial ramifications. A nice landing spot for Torres, if it worked out, would be Atletico Madrid. The man once dubbed El Nino would undoubtedly feel at home there, a sensation he never really felt at Chelsea, where the last remaining grains of salt continue to drop slowly on his tenure.

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Puig Conundrum

A tweet earlier this week stated that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was 5 minutes early for a workout. Baby steps, right? Ahhh, such is la vida loca in Puigland where every nuance, move and look is now scrutinized more than the CBS cutaways of crying kids during the NCAA Tournament.


The latest Puig news bulletin pertains to a team meeting, one that did not involve sitting around a campfire, but rather a frank “clear the air” skull session about the young Cuban that was supposedly productive and sorely needed. In reality, it was a lot closer to an intervention than anything else.

The Aussie experience clearly showed that his act was wearing thin with his teammates and manager on not just one continent, but two. Think about if they had started the season 0 and 2? Quite frankly, they had to nip this early. He’s already grated on opponents’ nerves with his bat-flipping on routine pop-ups. His other perceived showboating antics could inevitably make him an easy target for pitchers trying to make a point. He needs the clubhouse support. The first two boxscores of the season encapsulated the maddening dichotomy that exists within Puig’s very nature: Either budding star possessing unbridled potential or volatile headcase prone to head-scratching mistakes. He was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts in the opener, but then followed that up with a 3 for 5, 2 RBI performance. You never quite know what you’re going to get. We’ll see if the stern message delivered by his teammates is actually received or whether he’ll be nothing more than Raul Mondesi dressed in a 66 jersey. It’s all about baby steps.


Bracing For Bonds

One of the last times Barry Bonds caused any kind of noteworthy spring training fuss was back in 2005 when he arrived fresh off knee surgery with the vortex of baseball’s steroid scandal swirling around him. Flanked by his son, a dejected Bonds told the assembled media, “You finally brought me and my family down.”

Bonds was playing the role in a Shakespearean tragedy that was moving to the third and final act, but there WAS that other time he sparked a ruckus in the desert that I almost forgot. Almost. You remember. I mean, how could you forget? He dressed as American Idol judge Paula Abdul. Some people gleefully point out that we hadn’t seen much of him or Abdul for that matter since then.


Barry Bonds

Well, Bonds is back as a guest hitting instructor and with it will come a tsunami of suffocating round-the-clock processing. The organization is treating this experience as they would with any other former star that visits the spring training facility, whether its J.T. Snow, Will Clark or Jeff Kent. Now if it was Kent AND Bonds together, two people that like each other about as much as Obama likes Putin at the moment, then we would really have something to look forward to, but this is merely one week and one week only for both sides.

Love him or loathe him and there are plenty of people on both sides, Bonds had one of the keenest eyes ever at the plate. Seeing maybe four or five good pitches to hit a game. That requires superior hand-eye coordination and supreme discipline. How this acumen translates to fertile hitting minds remains to be seen, but he’ll have an eager audience hanging on his every word. During his playing days, Bonds typically wore a metaphorical suit of armor, clanking around in a surley mood, rarely letting others peak at what was underneath. In one way, he’s actually being transparent. Granted, it’s about his hitting secrets, but the transparency can’t just be within the confines of the batters box. The real issue is his long-term viability in the sport he lorded over for several years and if he wants to be a permanent fixture and not just a guest hitting instructor, he will need to come clean about absolutely everything.

Harbaugh Saga in S.F.

The unfolding Jim Harbaugh saga in San Francisco is a bizarre one considering its timing and its scope. First, let’s start with the timing of it. This story is nearly overshadowing the most captivating football theater at the present moment for those of us starved to satisfy our voracious pigskin appetites: The NFL Scouting Combine.

We’ve been treated to Jadeveon Clowney’s freakishness, Johnny Manziel’s scaled-back bravado, and Michael Sam’s inspiring self-awareness, but in between the 40 times and pressers, it’s been all Harbaugh, all the time. 49ers CEO Jed York denied the initial report over the weekend, then finally admitted to SI’s Peter King that the team had conversations involving Harbaugh with the Browns. When the Browns released the statement on the report, they didn’t exactly go out of their way to deny it. Owner Jimmy Haslam then confirmed it, all the while the thick tension between Jim Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke only continues to germinate at 49ers headquarters.


Jim Harbaugh is the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh wants a new contract and he wants it right now. This is just another power play in what could be a protracted tug-of-war over the head coach’s worth. Although Harbaugh wore down Stanford during his time there, he’s the one that made the Cardinal a power. Remember Stanford before he got there? Yeah, me neither. I do remember what it was like before the 49ers landed Harbaugh and it wasn’t pretty.

San Francisco was so far removed from the glory years and it’s model organization distinction. It resorted to hiring the likes of Mike Nolan, Dennis Erickson and Mike Singletary to restore the winning and, well, we all know how that went. The 49ers are getting spoiled with the recent winning under Harbaugh. While I don’t believe he’ll be there long-term given the tenor of the relationship between Harbaugh and Baalke, I do think the team risks alienating it’s best asset. They are moving into a shiny new stadium and having any uncertainty over the head coach’s status is the last PR landmine you want to deal with. Who’s got it better than the 49ers? Nooooobody.