For some people, no party is complete without a cold brew (and we don't mean iced tea). But bringing a 15-gallon (56-liter) drum of beer to a tailgate party is trouble. Many colleges ban kegs from campus, which includes the tailgating confines of the stadium parking lot. The same goes for beer bongs and other items that encourage rapid alcohol imbibing. Some NFL teams have followed suit.
Plus, unless you card every friend of a friend who asks for a beer, you risk serving an underage drinker, which is punishable by fines or jail time, depending on state law. Even if everyone is of legal age, another figure should give you pause: 11,773. That's the number of fatalities in the United States in 2008 that involved a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you think losing a football game is hard -- enough said.
If you decide to bring alcohol, make it single-serving cans or bottles. Pack a selection of nonalcoholic drinks, too. Some people prefer them -- especially, say, hot coffee or cocoa at a Northern Michigan University game in late November.
Another strategy: Bring a killer dish that makes beer an afterthought. The rest of this article will help you pick winning tailgating munchies.