Cheer on Your Favorite Team

Cheer on Your Favorite Team

- in 2014 Editions, Magazine, Parenting, September 2014
Tailgating Family
The McNamara family.

Get the play-by-play on tailgating weekend fun.

Is your team playing in the big weekend game? Watching the game can be lots of fun with these simple tips.

But, first, do you want to meet true tailgate warriors? We’d like to introduce you to Fairview Park’s McNamara family.

Jackie and Kevin McNamara have five kids ages 5 to 19 and have lots of experience tailgating during football season.

Their oldest son, Colin, a senior, is Fairview High School’s quarterback. Tommy, 14, is on the middle school team and Sean, 10, plays in the local youth league (he is also a water boy for the ­varsity football team). Ryan, 5, is waiting his turn to take the field and Brittney, 19, has been on the sidelines cheering on her ­siblings.

“We tailgate for the high school games home and away,” Jackie McNamara says.

One of their go-to menu items is Tailgate Sausage, compliments of Jackie McNamara’s brother-in-law, Bob Spies of Rocky River. Chunks of kielbasa soak in a marinade of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. A few minutes on the grill turn the kielbasa into crispy bites; it’s a family ­favorite.

Get Creative and Organized

For families such as the McNamaras, tailgating is an event. With a bit of preparation anyone can create memories for their kids and turn football season into the best season of the year.

American Tailgater Association offers the following tips for a family’s tailgating experience:

• Prepare for the weather. A canopy, rain gear and plenty of warm clothing can make all the difference;

• Have enough food;

• Provide a variety of drinks, such as juice boxes and water bottles, and even coffee and hot chocolate;

• Remember the essentials: bottled water, sippy cups, disposable hand wipes, insect repellant and first-aid kit;

• Don’t forget the music. Rally with the team fight song; and

• Bring games (or at least a football or Frisbee).

Ideas for tailgate recipes abound on websites such as Pinterest. One dessert possibility (and why not, if the grill is hot anyway?) is whole strawberries dipped in marshmallow cream and toasted over the coals.

“It really is our best time of year,” McNamara says. “The family keeps things simple. Everyone is encouraged to wear their favorite team gear and to bring a dish to pass.”


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