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+ ROUTE 66


Fall 2019






Spiked Seltzer Sparks Transformation


emember Zima? If you’re a Gen-Xer like my sister and me, you had to try one. If you were a man who regularly drank one of these “carbonated coolers,” you were forced to hang with other “Girly Men” who enjoyed wine coolers. Zima had a quick rise and slow death in the 90s—a great brand marketing case study. Had it been originally launched as “spiked seltzer” and now, would it have had a completely different fate? Who knows, but the explosion of spiked seltzers is transforming alcohol consumption as we know it. The social acceptance and adoption by all ages and genders immediately establishes it as a category with longevity. I tried to make fun of my nephew at a recent event by launching my Zima jabs from the 90s and failed miserably. I transformed by joining him, my sister and others crushing White Claw provided by the brand at a recent American Cornhole League (ACL) event. Over the past six months, my sister has probably felt like I’ve been hurling full cans of spiked seltzer at her without warning. She has embraced what comes her way and transformed Inside Tailgating. She revamped the Inside Tailgating Lounge on the ACL Tour, redesigned the Inside Tailgating website, created a new content calendar and committed to making Inside Tailgating magazine a quarterly publication. Elizabeth Moore, my sister and now Chief Tailgating Officer for Inside Tailgating, will be the first to admit she is not a “traditional tailgater” like I am. That’s great because the roadmap for traditional tailgating content I started with is boring now. She likes to have fun, and that will show up in the wide array of entertaining content you see like the spiked seltzer craze. Please enjoy this fall edition of Inside Tailgating created by Elizabeth and Carroll Walton, our Content Editor. It features hard seltzers our staff thinks you should try and share in the lots this fall. It gives you some of the best new food, products and gear for tailgating. It takes a deep dive into on-campus issues like the recent alcohol policy changes at some of the biggest southern schools and how colleges like powerhouse Clemson address game day security. And check out the rundown of ACL Charity Day, when we mixed cornhole and cancer-fundraising with celebrities like Olympic softball stud Jennie Finch and country music star Craig Campbell. I hope you get an opportunity to share a spiked seltzer with Elizabeth soon! It will be a memorable transformation. Tailgate Better, Tailgate Forever!

10 Tellum + Chop A New Fashion Line

Built for Tailgating


5 5 QB54 Football Tossing Game

a Touchdown for Tailgates


15 Spiked Seltzer Craze Hits Tailgating Scene 18 Game Changer In Stadium Alcohol Sales

Catches on in College


21 American Cornhole League Stands Up To Cancer 26 Grassroots Baseball Goes to the Masses

on Route 66 Journey

32 Eye On Tailgating Clemson, Like Many Schools, is Beefing Up Game-day Security


W. Stacey Moore Founder and Publisher, Inside Tailgating



DESIGN & PRODUCTION BY Fiddlehead Studio & Press:

W. STACEY MOORE III: Managing Director 704-595-7603

ELIZABETH MOORE: Creative Director

JOANNA BUONO: Art Director

ELIZABETH MOORE: Creative Director CARROLL R. WALTON: Content Director

MICHAEL KEAN: Business Development RYAN ALESSIO: Chief Tailgator

For information about distribution, newsstand sales or investment and franchise opportunities, please contact Stacey Moore at Inside Tailgating Fall 2019, Copyright© 2019 by Tailgating Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. Inside Tailgating™ is the trademark of Tailgating Ventures, LLC. Printed in the United States of America.

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By Carroll R. Walton,

QB54: F


Tossing Game a Touchdown

ootball season is upon us, and fans don’t have to just sit back and watch the game anymore. They can play their own version! The game is called QB54 and it was made for tailgating in the fall, especially for fans who are tired of just tossing a football around behind the car or canopy tent. This game gives everybody at your tailgate, of all ages, a reason to jump up and get into some competitive action.

for Tailgates

And it’s easy. All you need are two chairs and a football. The makers of QB54 have created a standard canvas tailgating chair that converts into an “end zone,” complete with a basketball goal-like net to catch touchdown passes and bright yellow uprights for extra points. After the game is over, all you have to do is take down the uprights, fold down two flaps and the chairs are

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GRILLS&GEAR ready for sitting, eating, and basking in a QB54 victory. As creators Mike and Frank Silva say in their You Tube video (in so many words) either a 7-year-old or an over-served 45year-old can put it together. “The cool thing is we’re the only football game on the market,” Mike Silva, 46 of South Brunswick, N.J. told Inside Tailgating. “What I tell people is ‘When you go to a football tailgate why throw a bean bag or a frisbee, when you can a throw a football?’ And they’re like, ‘Genius.’ And the fact that they’re chairs, they’re dual purpose. It’s a game and when you’re done, you can form it into two chairs, and you can sit down and tailgate.” If it sounds like the kind of thing two brothers might sit around and do for hours, it’s because it is. Mike and Frank Silva, who grew up in Manalapan, N.J., created QB54 in 2016 based on a game they’ve been playing their whole lives. The two 40-somethings first came up with the idea when Mike was 9 and Frank was 12.

Back then, they called it “The QB Thanksgiving Classic” because they made it up to get out of helping with the holiday dishes. Football wasn’t an option because so many of their neighborhood friends were out of town for the holiday. The next best thing was a game they created with two garbage cans and a football. The CB antenna on the back of their father’s pickup truck served as the goal posts. Frank and Christina Silva became their sons’ first investors for QB54. “My parents helped us with some seed money in the beginning,” Mike Silva said. “I think they absolutely love what we’re doing and how my brother and I are working with each other, and it’s bringing us closer together than ever before. As a parent how could you want anything more?” A QB54 game set comes with two foldable vinyl canvas chairs, two sets of goalposts, a carrying bag and a football. One set is $99.99 or a package of three goes for $299.99. They come in eight colors, including

team-friendly navy blue, orange, green, silver, and black. The basic rules are that the chairs are set 40 feet apart (or closer depending on skill level.) Players take turn making throws. If you throw the ball into the basket, it’s a touchdown and six points. Hitting any part of the chair on the fly is three points. After a touchdown, kicking the ball through the uprights gets you an extra point. If your kick goes into the hole, you automatically win the game then and


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GRILLS&GEAR there. Otherwise the first team to 54 points wins. The game can be played one-on-one or in teams of two. Mike and Frank have also incorporated rules for safeties and interceptions. For full details, go to www.playqb54. com. They’re not the only rule-makers though, apparently. Mike said he’s constantly hearing from fans who have modified the game with their own rules. One fan wrote in about the “pick six.” Under the regular rules, if a ball hits the chair, bounces up and you catch it before it hits the ground, that’s an interception and good for three points. For one customer, that was just the start. The player could then either take a knee for three points or take off running toward the other team’s chair. If the player decides to run, the opponent can then chase the

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GRILLS&GEAR ball carrier and stop him or her with two-hand touch. From that spot, the ball carrier gets a chance to throw at the opponent’s chair. Make it and it’s six points. Miss and his or her team gets nothing. “Now it’s turning into this real football game where people are lateraling and doing all this stuff and it’s becoming active,” Silva said. “It’s great.” Another customer came up with the Hail Mary pass, where the losing team has one last shot to win the game. The player has to take 20 paces away from his or her chair and can then turn and heave the ball toward the opponent’s chair. Silva said he saw a guy actually make one at a New York Jets preseason game this year. “They went nuts,” he said. “It was amazing. I was like ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I didn’t get this on film.’” Seeing how people have responded to the game has been a big part of the


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GRILLS&GEAR “It’s a non-threatening way to introduce the sport of football to students,” Silva said. “It’s getting amazing interaction with them. Students that don’t normally participate in gym find the game fun, and now you have girls that don’t normally participate or boys that don’t normally participate because they’re nervous or whatever having a blast. It breaks down the barrier.” To purchase your own QB54 game, go to To receive a 20 percent discount use promo code: tailgate20.

fun for the Silva brothers, Silva said, and rewarding too. Mike said one of their customers is David Lionheart, the founder of an organization called that helps veterans returning from combat overseas. He travels to VA hospitals encouraging veterans to play touch football as he helps them acclimate back to civilian life. When he heard about QB54, he wanted to try it with veterans in their adaptive program, who were amputees or otherwise limited in their mobility. “Those people had to sit on the sidelines and watch them play,” Silva said. “Now we have veterans that are using our game to help them cope with all the things that they are dealing with being a wartime vet, and it’s just been unbelievable.” Silva said another surprise has been seeing their game take off in a Florida school system. He got the idea to approach schools from another gameproducer at a toy fair in New York City. Now 200 schools in the Duval County system in Jacksonville, Fla.—from elementary through high school—have QB54 games in PE class. Check out more Grills & Gear at



By Carroll R. Walton,

TELLUM + CHOP A New Fashion Line Built for Tailgating


hris White, CEO of (pictured right), has made a name for himself creating outrageous event and party clothes. This fall he has expanded into collegiate apparel with a brand dubbed Tellum + Chop. That means tailgaters across the country are about to up their game. We’re not talking about school logos slapped on T-shirts and hats. This new line outfits fans in bright Tennessee orange overalls with checkerboard print, Oklahoma State Hawaiian shirts with graphic “Pistol Petes” all over them, and Crimsoncolored sport coat and pant suits dotted in Alabama script “As.” This is fun, high quality clothing made with the traditions of each school in mind. And they are show-stoppers. “This is a huge statement piece at a game,” White said. “It’s literally built for tailgating. It’s why we did it.” White caught up with Inside Tailgating just before the launch of Tellum + Chop. With personality as colorful as the clothing he creates, White detailed how his personal quest for great party wear as a college student laid the groundwork for building a successful apparel business. They are based in Boulder, Colo.

Q. Is it inappropriate to ask what you’re wearing? A. (Laughs) Today I’m wearing a pretty pedestrian pair of normal gray pants and just a normal shirt because I’m in Jackson Hole for a friend’s wedding. But normally you’d catch me in some sort of strange pair of overalls, a kimono perhaps. My underwear is always Shinesty. I never stray from that, so I always have some sort of animal in an inappropriate place. Q. From what I understand, the idea to make outlandish party clothes dates back to your time at DePauw (Ind.) University and your own search for what to wear to a party?


A. That’s the original impetus for the brand. What was say is we exist to force the world to take itself less seriously. That’s our driving cultural value that we use internally. It informs everything we do, from marketing, even writing copy, taking pictures for the website. We try to do it in a way, even if you’re not in the market for that specific product, it still gives you something and that thing it’s giving to you is humor. So as long as you’re someone who doesn’t take everything super seriously, you’ll laugh. Q. Give me an ensemble you wore to a college party that knocked everybody’s socks off? A. One time we decided to dress up as the two figure skaters from that Will Ferrell movie “Blades of Glory.” We were able to find male dance costumes and then bedazzle them so they looked like skater suits, and we wore roller blades around. We went full in. Q. Was that a Halloween party or something? A. That was just a normal Tuesday.

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GRILLS&GEAR Q. Did you recognize a void in the market when you were shopping for clothes? A. When you’re in college, you have time to go to thrift shops and estate sales. You have time to scour the surrounding area for a unique and fun outfit. What we realized when we moved to Denver and started working: you have a job and you have money for first time in your life, but you don’t have time. With that in mind (we thought) “Why is there not a curated awesome brand for this type of product?” That was the initial jumping off point for the brand. Q. I read that you put yourself through college. How did you do it? A. Selling basically anything I could sell. I sold Cutko knives. I sold vacation packages, and I sold T-shirts that I designed, a lot of them. I would design T-shirts for fraternities and sororities and church groups or sports teams. What I found early on was If I took what they wanted me to design and I injected

some sort of irreverent humor into it, I would sell a lot more, so I got good at that voice and creating those jokes that were sarcastic or sometimes inappropriate, sometimes silly. That’s what helped us form and craft the original voice. It was an inspiration for the way the voice talks to customers. Q. What’s one of your favorite T-shirt creations? A. That we can say publicly? There were so many inappropriate ones. There was an Army shirt I made one time that was making a joke about privates. It was a picture of two cartoon army men and it said “Taking our privates into battle.” You get the double meaning there. Q. I’ll never forget a T-shirt my friend’s fraternity put out that was a play on the Latin phrase: “We came. We saw. We came again.” A. Yes, I did that joke as well. We had one that was for a fraternity, it was the famous picture of Marilyn

Monroe screaming. It said “the louder you scream, the louder we come to the rescue.” The “to the rescue” part was in smaller font. Q. So are some of your college buddies now working with you in Colorado? A. There are five people who work for us now who are friends from DePauw, including my little brother. Three other guys I was friends with in school were some of my first employees and are still with the company. Q. When did Shinesty really take off? A. The end of 2014. We’ve been growing fast. I’d say the fastest we’ve been growing is now. We have about 40 employees, which is about double from last year. This brand, the Tellum + Chop brand, is definitely a little bit different from Shinesty. It’s a fun brand for the college lifestyle (but) when it comes to collegiate licensing, you have to be a little more appropriate. We separated the two brands so we could keep Shinesty the way it is, which is that irreverent, sometimes R-rated humor, and then be able to dive deep into the collegiate market and still make

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GRILLS&GEAR really fun clothes. Obviously they’re still loud and pretty outlandish and very unique. Most sports license apparel is hats and T-shirts and basic things and we’re producing overalls and kimonos and suits, loud product, but we give people the ability to still rep their team in a fun way. Q. How many schools are you incorporating so far? A. We’re launching with about 30 schools. We should have about 60 that will launch by the end of the year. It’s everything from Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, to Michigan. We’ve got schools in the SEC—Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn—to a couple in the northeast. We’ve even added some small schools like DePauw and Indiana State that we had relationships with. We put in for as many as we could. It’s a process to go through the licensing system, it takes a little bit of time, so as we keep growing, we’ll keep adding schools to hopefully have as many as we possibly can. Q. When you started Shinesty did you always envision adding college sports? A. Yeah. The overarching vibe of the whole company—creating a brand around life’s social moments—to us is anything from really obvious stuff like Christmas and Fourth of July to less obvious stuff like music festivals and

sporting events. We always knew that we wanted to move that way, and we’ve done some other sublicensing deals with NFL products. It just took a little bit of time to go through the licensing process and to have the infrastructure in place for us operationally, to be able to execute. When you get to sports it’s hard because there’s a lot of different teams, so you have to make a lot of different prints. Unlike Christmas where you make four or five prints, and you apply to everyone who celebrates Christmas, this gets very complex very fast. Q. Do you guys design and produce the clothes yourselves? A. We do everything in house. We have our own full design and art team. We try to design into the local market thinking

about what is some insider knowledge that only a real fan would know and try to incorporate that into some of the designs. When you look at a lot of sports merchandise out there, it is designed in a pretty lazy way, which is like “Hey we’re going to slap on a logo” and that’s it. We try to take a much more wholistic approach No. 1 because we think it’s better for the customer, and No. 2 just because it’s more interesting and fun for us to design. Q. What are a couple of examples? A. For Arizona, we took a hand-painted mountain desert scene and tacked that into the back of the Arizona print, which looks like that vibe that you get when you’re in Arizona vs. just taking the same Hawaiian print and pasting a logo in. We did another really cool one for Oklahoma State where we took hand-drawn western motifs. We did have to remove the six-shooter, which is cool, but we drew a “Wanted” poster of Pistol Pete, and we injected some tumbleweed-looking drawings and put that together. Q. So do you tailgate much? A. Oh yeah. We’re in Boulder, so we tailgate for all of CU’s (the University of Colorado) football games. There was a


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GRILLS&GEAR time there where it was pretty hard to watch, but we’ve gotten much better. We tailgate and it’s a blast. CU sets up a nice grassy area; it’s an old practice field that’s next to the stadium, and they set that up with tents. It’s a very scaled back version of The Grove (at Ole Miss) and it’s a blast. It’s a beautiful place to watch a football game. We tailgate quite a bit. Q. Do all the Shinesty employees come in full garb? A. Oh yeah. You can’t not, right? We have to. Because we all have access to the product, we’re like “How do we one-up each other?” You have to add in some vintage finds to complete the look. We can’t all be wearing the same product. People have made customizations so they can stand out among the Shinesty employees. Q. What’s the best one you’ve seen lately? A. Probably got to be some overalls. We make an American flag overall product. We have a big party, a fundraiser for a cancer charity, that’s Americana-themed called Hog Fest. We have above-ground pools and bands play and a big hog roast. And one of our marketing guys took his overalls—it was a hot day—he cut out the crotch area of the overalls and replaced it with mesh, so that it would breathe and so that he could swim in them. It was pretty funny. I was like, “That’s pretty good, man.” Q. You guys have some celebrity clients right? A. We do, yeah. Joe Maddon, the manager of the Chicago Cubs is a big Shinesty customer and fan, and we’re a fan of him obviously after that. In 2016 when the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 100 years, that was the first year Joe Maddon found Shinesty, and they wore Shinesty on multiple trips. He does it to keep it loose in the middle of a long season. During the World Series, they were down three games to one and Halloween was one of the off days in between games. We sent them

A. Yeah we’ve worked with the Broncos for a long time. McManus (picutred above) is one of our friends. He always gives all the Broncos players some sort of Shinesty item for Christmas every year. He calls himself McManuclaus, and he brings them 100 boxes of Shinesty gear for Christmas.

all a bunch of Halloween costumes and suits and they wore them on the plane on the way to Cleveland going in for Game 5 and people were criticizing, “He’s down 3-1, not taking anything seriously.” The rest is history, down 3-1, they won the series, broke the curse and all that. We were like “Oh, Cubs wore Shinesty. Cubs won the World Series, coincidence? I don’t know!” Q. Broncos kicker Brandon McManus is another big client, right?

Q. That’s awesome. Now that you’re venturing into college gear too, is the goal to turn on an Alabama football game and see crowd shots of fans wearing your overalls? A. Exactly. We’ve seen it from some stuff we did for the NFL. We collaborate with a brand called Little Earth, who has an NFL license. We’ll do some exclusive designs, and they manufacture and license for us. They’re now exclusive to Tellum + Chop. I went to the Super Bowl last year with them as a guest and got to see tons of our Patriots suits all over the place which was awesome. Check out Tellum + Chop at

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By Carroll R. Walton,



s it just us or was 2019 the summer of seltzers? The bubbly beverages, spiked with liquor, are all the rage these days, and we get it. They’re light, refreshing, flavorful and cool, not to mention low on carbs and calories—around 100 calories, the same as a light beer—and with less alcohol content than wine.

Bon & Viv just landed the NFL’s first ever hard seltzer sponsorship. That means not only will you be seeing hard seltzer popped open at tailgates everywhere but Bon & Viv will be sold in 16-ounce cans in 27 NFL stadiums across the country. For those still trying to catch up on the craze, read on for a breakdown of what’s going on in the hard seltzer industry.

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FOOD&DRINK Spiked seltzers first appeared on the scene three years ago, in 2016. Now all sorts of beverage-makers are getting in on the act—beer brewers, liquor companies, seltzer makers—adding that much more fizz to the fire. That’s winwin for the consumer, not to mention the tailgater, because the selection is huge and growing by the minute, both nationally and locally. We’ll take you through some of the big national brands. White Claw, a spin-off from the makers of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, is a wildly popular brand that already has a clear foothold in the market. It’s made with gluten-free malt beverage and a splash of fruit flavor. White Claw comes in six flavors including Black Cherry, Ruby Grapefruit, Natural Lime and Raspberry. Truly is another heavy hitter in the hard seltzer industry, made by the Boston Beer company. It features the widest variety of flavors among the top brands and divides them into three categories: berry, citrus and tropical. Truly is made


with all-natural flavors and sweeteners and comes in flavors like Blueberry & Acai, Orange, Lemon and Passion Fruit. Bon & Viv just made the boldest marketing move yet, taking advantage of the inroads made by its producer Anheiser-Busch. (Bud Light is already the NFL’s official beer.) Bon & Viv boasts gluten-free ingredients, zero grams of sugar, and natural fruit flavor. Their selection of flavors includes Black Cherry Rosemary, Grapefruit and Pear Elderflower. Among the liquor producers who are in on the act are Vodka specialists Smirnoff, which created flavors like Pina Colada, Berry Lemonade and Pink Apple Rose. Sauza created a hard seltzer made with its signature tequila called Sauza Agua Fuerte, with flavors ranging from pineapple and grapefruit to lime. Polar Seltzer, the second largest producer of seltzer water in the U.S. behind LaCroix, finally got in on the act too. They joined forces with Harpoon Brewery to create a hard seltzer called

Arctic Summer. Their spiked seltzers are made from the already-popular Polar flavors like Pineapple Pomelo and Ruby Red Grapefruit. Among other beer producers, Natural Light jumped on the seltzer train, creating its own hard seltzer with flavors like Catalina Lime featuring cherry and lime and a Mango and Peach called Aloha Beaches. Many of these companies joined some local seltzer-makers at the first ever hard seltzer festival called Fizz Fight, held in Denver, Colo. on Sept. 14. White Claw, Truly and Smirnoff were among the 20 hard seltzers served up at the three-hour tasting event. Each company offered twoounce samples of three flavors, giving attendees a total of 60 favors to try. Another Fizz Fight festival is scheduled for Los Angeles in November, and six other cities are expected to follow suit: Austin, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, San Diego, and Tucson. For tailgaters heading out to the lots this fall, we’ve got five cocktail recipes compliments of Truly Hard Seltzers to add some sparkle to your pre-game spread.

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FOOD&DRINK Strawberry Basil

Blueberry Mini

In a mixing glass, add stevia syrup, lemon juice, two basil leaves, two strawberries cut into small pieces and muddle. Then cover with ice and shake. Next, add Truly Hard SeltzerT Wild Berry to the mixing tin. Pour over 14oz. cooler glass. Garnish with more strawberries and fresh basil leaves. Serve cocktail with remainder of can. Optional: Add 1 oz. vodka.

In a mixing glass, add mint leaves, lime juice, blueberries and simple syrup. Muddle then cover with ice and shake. Then add Truly Hard Seltzer Wild Berryto mixing tin. Strain into an iced highball glass. Garnish with 2 blueberries and mint top. Serve cocktail with remainder of can. Optional: Add 1 oz. white rum.

6 oz. Truly Hard Seltzer Wild Berry .5 oz. Stevia Simple Syrup .25 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice 4 Strawberries 4 Basil Leaves

6 oz. Truly Hard Seltzer Wild Berry .5 oz. Stevia Simple Syrup .25 oz. Fresh Lime Juice 6 Blueberries 6 Mint Leaves

Truly Mule

4 oz. Truly Hard Seltzer Wild Berry or Colima Lime 2 oz. Pomegranate Juice Pomegranate Seeds .5 oz. Stevia Simple Syrup 1 Lemon Wedge 1 tsp Ginger Paste In a mixing glass, add ginger, pomegranate juice, squeezed lemon wedge, and stevia simple syrup. Cover with ice and shake. Add Truly Hard Seltzer Wild Berry to mixing tin and strain over crushed ice in a copper mug. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve cocktail with remainder of can. Optional: Add 1 oz. vodka or gin.

Cucumber Cooler

Mango Diablo

4 oz. Truly Hard Seltzer Lime .5 oz. Light Agave Nectar 1 Lime Wedge Cubed Fresh Mango 1.5 oz. Ceres Mango Juice 5 Thin JalapeĂąo Wheels 1 pinch of Chili Lime Salt In a mixing glass, add jalapeĂąos, squeezed lime wedge, and agave nectar. Muddle gently, then add fresh mango juice. Cover with ice and shake. Then, add Truly Hard Seltzer Lime to mixing tin. Strain over a 12oz. double rocks glass and garnish with sliced fresh mango dusted with chili lime salt. Serve cocktail with remainder of can. Optional: Add 1 oz. blanco tequila.

6 oz. Truly Hard Seltzer Lime .75 oz. Light Agave Nectar .75 oz. Aloe Vera Water 1 Lime Wedge 5 Mint Leaves 4 Cucumber Wheels 1 pinch Sea Salt In a mixing glass, add sea salt, cucumber, lime, mint, and agave. Muddle gently, then add aloe vera water. Cover with ice and shake. Then add Truly Hard Seltzer Lime. Strain into an iced 14 oz. cooler glass. Garnish with cucumber and mint. Serve cocktail with remainder of can. Optional: Add 1 oz. vodka or gin.

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GAME CHANGER In-Stadium Alcohol Sales Catches on in College By Emma-Blake Byrum and Carroll R. Walton,


ublic universities in the state of North Carolina, as well as schools throughout the Southeastern Conference, have been given the opportunity to start selling alcohol in their stadiums and arenas this fall due to recent policy and law changes.


Those changes will add at least nine schools to the growing list of 55 Football Bowl Subdivision programs who were already selling alcohol in their general seating areas before this season, according to Sports Illustrated. North Carolina, N.C. State and East Carolina joined that list shortly after N.C. governor Roy Cooper signed a bill in June legalizing the sale of beer and wine in general seating at stadiums in the UNC system. By July, the Board of Trustees at all three schools had elected to go forward with alcohol sales.

The North Carolina legislation came on the heels of a decision by the SEC in May to lift a ban on general alcohol sales at its sporting events. So far only six of the 14 SEC schools have

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FOOD&DRINK announced plans to sell beer and wine in 2019: Arkansas, LSU, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt. Some find it telling that the SEC is making a change to its alcohol policy after hitting a 16-year-low in football attendance. Proponents to alcohol sales believe not only will it help generate revenue, but improve attendance because fans who had been staying at their tailgates (or at home) to drink will come. “A lot of people have tickets in their pockets in the tailgating area, and they don’t come in,” Illinois assistant AD Marty Kaufmann told Sports Illustrated after the Illini announced plans to sell alcohol. “Maybe now they say, ‘Let’s go in and get a beer.’” How alcohol sales affect attendance, tailgating, and the overall atmosphere both inside the stadium and out is something not only that fans and alumni will keep an eye on but other schools who are continuing to review their policies. Defending national champion Clemson is one ACC school that has no plans to change its current policy on no alcohol sales in general seating. Clemson has a legendary

tailgating tradition and still allows fans “pass-outs” to go to tailgating lots during games. “It’s not something that we’re particularly interested in doing right now,” Clemson associate athletic director for strategic communications Jeff Kalin said. “It’s not even something that we’re considering.” Some fans worry the new alcohol policy might have a negative effect on the culture of football crowds inside the stadiums. Though others argue that by regulating alcohol

sales with a strict set of guidelines, schools can reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents at games. Statistics from alcohol-selling schools like West Virginia and Maryland back that up, according to the online publication “Saturday Down South.” Louisiana State was one of the SEC schools leading the cry for a policy change. LSU graduate Paul McGoey of New Orleans, can see why. “The real truth is there is plenty of alcohol consumption inside an SEC stadium that is done through illegal means,” said McGoey, LSU Class of 1987. “Allowing alcohol in specified sections of the stadium will make it less of a hassle for the drinkers to drink. It just might make it easier for the school to police and control.” With fans having less reason to binge drink before games, McGoey also points out that the atmosphere at pre-game tailgates might actually improve. “Tailgating will not suffer,” he said. “I think it potentially brings more people to the game and to campus. It will actually improve, given the fact that the average tailgater will not have to cram all of their pregame drinking into a short period of time.” 

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By Carroll R. Walton,




hat happens when you pair professional cornhole players and celebrities like Olympic softball player Jennie Finch, country music star Craig Campbell and stand-up comedian Jeff Dye? Good times and good money. That’s what the American Cornhole League generated at its first annual Charity Day event to raise money and awareness benefitting Stand Up 2 Cancer.

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FANS&THRILLS The headlining event was held on July 21 in Los Angeles, where celebrities were on hand to bag toss with the best of them. Eight teams, each featuring one celebrity and one ACL player, squared off in a single elimination bracket, had some fun and developed a healthy respect for each other a long the way. “When I first heard about cornhole I thought it was some inappropriately named frat game played by goons who sniff their own farts,” Dye said. “But once I actually played and met the people of ACL, I quickly realized I was wrong. And admitting you’re wrong is the secret to growing. So being able to grow and raise money for charity in the same day was a treat.” “Also,” Dye added. “I’m drunk.” Maybe so. But Dye was speaking his truth. And he wasn’t the only celebrity to have a memorable time in the name of a good cause. Craig Campbell not only opened the day with an acoustic

Top: MMA Hall of Famer, Tito Ortiz with Elizabeth and Stacey Moore. Above left: Craig Campbell performed a 20 minute set leading into the broadcast. Right: Stacey Moore with Olympic Softball Pro Jennie Finch. Below: Tito Ortiz and ACL Pro Eric Ryder discuss strategy.


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Above left: Stacey Moore with Comedian Jeff Dye. Above right: ACL Pros ready to compete: Eric Ryder, Larry Felix, Eric Anderson, Allan Rockwell, Wade Whitted, Seto Soto, Leslie Adcock, Dawn Rodgers. Below: Cheers! Craig Campbell toasts with ACL Pros Leslie Adcock and her husband before the competition. Below Right: Craig Campbell.

rendition of “All My Friends Drink Beer” but finished it up by winning the tournament. He was paired up with ACL pro Allan Rockwell, who is a cancer survivor himself. Check out more Fans & Thrills at



“When I got the call to join everyone at the ACL Charity event, I knew it was going to be awesome,” Campbell said. “I was honored to be a part of it and can’t wait to defend my title at the next one.” Players like Rockwell, Leslie Adcock, and Dawn Rodgers had more than their mad cornhole skills on display. They relished a chance to share personal stories about their own battles with cancer. Rogers was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012 before undergoing surgery and radiation therapy. “It was the first time I felt comfortable enough to share my story,” Rodgers said. “I just felt so much love and support from my cornhole family. It’s nice to know we stand together. I enjoyed so much about the event. The celebrities


were all so nice and made us feel so comfortable. We raised money for such a great cause that can help so many people.” In addition to the signature event in Los Angeles, regional directors from the ACL hosted corresponding

tournaments in 10 different locations across the country. That number will grow next year. The inaugural Charity Day event was near and dear to ACL founder and commissioner Stacey Moore, who lost his father to cancer and whose mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor. “This was a personal mission for me,” Moore said. “And I learned just

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FANS&THRILLS how personal it is for so many of our pros as well. I had no idea that we had so many pros who had been impacted by cancer when I created this event. That’s been very touching for me to learn about that.” Moore got to know stories like Eric Anderson’s, an ACL pro who lost both of his parents to cancer at a young age, and to see what the event meant for him. “Being able to be there to help raise money for something that hits home to me means the world,” Anderson said. The same can be said for ACL Pro Seto Soto, whose sister-in-law is battling cancer for the fourth time. He walked away from the event feeling a new sense of camaraderie with both his fellow ACL pros as well as the celebrities on hand. Soto was paired with actor Jonathan Lipnicki, of “Jerry Maguire” fame. Among the other celebrities playing were former Miss USA Susie Castillo, UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz and actor Michael Campion from “Fuller House.” “The celebrities treated us like we were already family,” Soto said. “The fact that they friended us on social media and tagged us in photos allowed us to be a part of their family, which was really cool. The event was amazing.” For more information about Charity Day and the American Cornhole League, visit

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Goes to Masses on Route 66 Journey


dedicated baseball photographer and the outgoing president of the Baseball Hall of Fame have created a new organization called Grassroots Baseball, which honors and celebrates amateur baseball. Together they launched their initiative by channeling their inner tailgater: they drove an RV across the U.S. along historic Route 66.


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by Carroll R. Walton,

After 25 years of rubbing elbows with the game’s greats, Jeff Idelson hung up his coat and tie to get behind the wheel of a Coachmen Galleria RV draped in the bright blue “Grassroots” logo and loaded down with baseball gear. Over the course of 2,500 miles and 10 designated stops, Idelson’s primary purpose was to mingle with amateur baseball people, deliver baseball gear to the underprivileged and tote the talented Jean Fruth—who is as much a baseball historian as she is photographer—from one ballpark to another to document the trip for a book called Grassroots Baseball: Route 66.

They pulled their RV up to Little League parks, Boys and Girls Clubs, minor league ballparks, and the like, shooting photos, talking to people, eating ballpark fare—including both a burger with a glazed donut for a bun as well as frozen pickle juice—while celebrating something as American as baseball in a way that is too: on the go. “Even if we’re done for the day, and we’re at a local restaurant, sitting at the bar having a meal and somebody overhears us talking about baseball and Route 66, a new conversation starts,” said Fruth, by phone during a periodic break from the road. “People are really interested in what we’re doing. It’s hard to miss us in this RV. We’re getting a great reception about the message and the program that we’re doing.” Their concept originated as a follow-up to Fruth’s book “Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin,” a

collection of photographs from 15 baseball hotbeds with corresponding essays from Hall of Famers who grew up in those places. This time Fruth and Idelson, who helped connect her with Hall of Fame players for her first book, wanted to do more than pay tribute to baseball’s roots—this time in towns along Route 66. They wanted to give back to the game with a charitable element as well. “We talked about the concept of making Grassroots baseball more than just a book,” Idelson said. “That’s how it all came together. We developed this program. It’s about celebrating the amateur game. It’s about elevating the game and about giving back to underprivileged communities.” The San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to sponsor Grassroots and keep them loaded down with Rawlings baseball gloves

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FANS&THRILLS and balls to give away. Big League Chew stocked their RV with bubble gum. They plotted a course of 10 stops along what was historically known as Route 66. They invited Hall of Famers who grew up at each of those points to meet up in their hometowns to preach and teach the game, players like Jim Thome, Johnny Bench, Trevor Hoffman and their national spokesman Goose Gossage. The Grassroots tour launched in May in Chicago, where the historical


highway begins. They finished in September in Santa Monica, Calif., where it ends. They weren’t even out of Chicago before getting the first dose of validation that they were onto something special. One of their first stops was at the Jackie Robinson West Little League fields, where Fruth met a volunteer named John Talbert. He umpired back-to-back games, which impressed them enough. Then he invited them to tag along to another game he was

volunteering for that night. He was coaching a team of 8-and-unders. “You couldn’t get the smile off this guy’s face,” Fruth said. “You just meet these terrific people.” Idelson pointed to a moment at the Chicago Boys and Girls Club, where he watched Gossage connect with a kid who had never played baseball before over a game of catch. The boy walked away with a new ball, a new glove and a new sport. “He was kind of a shy kid,” Idelson said. “And not only did Goose get this kid out of his shell, he put a massive smile on his face and instilled the confidence in this kid to say that he

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FANS&THRILLS wanted to go out and play summer baseball. This kid’s brother came over and told him how meaningful it was. That was a pretty sweet moment.” One of Fruth’s favorite moments from the tour happened in Oklahoma City, birthplace of Johnny Bench, who grew up in nearby Binger, Okla. She had a little fun with a young boy and his parents, who came out to the Triple-A stadium called Bricktown Ballpark for a clinic Bench was giving at a Grassroots Baseball event. The boy was standing in full uniform, next to a statue of Bench, staring up at it, when Bench got out of the Grassroots RV. “I walk Johnny over and say, ‘Oh here’s your statue coming alive,’” Fruth said. “The family just couldn’t believe it. There was Johnny Bench, standing next to the Johnny Bench statue. It was just a terrific moment. And the kid asked Johnny to sign his cap, so Johnny signed it for him.” Amid all the poignant moments, Idelson and Fruth had some fun too.

The health-conscious Idelson got talked into eating “Baseball’s Best Burger” by the Gateway Grizzlies organization of the Independent Frontier League in a suburb of St. Louis. It was a hamburger patty, two pieces of bacon and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese inside a sliced Krispy Kreme donut. “As a guy who basically lives on hummus most of the time, it was a shock to the system,” Idelson said. “But it was tasty.” Idelson tried another baseball “delicacy” at a Twin City Little League game in Festus, MO: frozen pickle juice. Check out more Fans & Thrills at


FANS&THRILLS “They’re in these little Dixie cups and the kids are all licking them,” Idelson said. “I’m like geez, I have to try that and I tried it.” And? “It was kind of like eating the side dish to a burger,” Idelson said. “Except it was drinking the side dish to a burger.” Idelson faced his biggest culinary challenge on the trip home. After an appearance with George Brett in Santa Monica, Idelson and Fruth were set to turn the RV around to make the 2,500mile trek back to Chicago. This time they were making stops along Route 66 to shoot sites that capture the overall Americana feel, like the world’s largest catsup bottle, a 170-foot tall water tower in Collinsville, Ind., and the Cadillac Ranch art installation in Amarillo, Tex. While in Amarillo, Fruth planned to talk Idelson into take the Big Texan Challenge, a chance to eat a 72-ounce steak dinner free—a $72 value—by eating it all within an hour. “It comes with salad and a roll,” Idelson said. “I’ll eat the salad,” Fruth said. The trip home also gave them a chance to savor all that had happened on the trip out west, and how connected they felt to baseball-loving people they met through Grassroots, people, Idelson said, who felt “like kindred spirits.” “What I’m finding really heartwarming is the outpouring of gratitude


that Jean and I have when we roll up in this RV to a Little League field, an American Legion field, Pony League, you name it, even a 19th century recreation…” Idelson said during the tour. “And just the desire to talk about what’s going on with youth sports and youth baseball. No matter where we go, whether it’s umpires, groundskeepers, parents, coaches—all of them are very grateful for our promotion of the game and the give-back part as well. They don’t want us to leave, and they want to know when we’re coming back.” The answer is next summer, when Fruth and Idelson will be traveling

across the country again—this time without the RV—to shoot the remainder of the book. Grassroots Baseball: Route 66 is due out in the spring of 2021.

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By Carroll R. Walton,



Clemson, like many schools, is beefing up game-day security



hen three people were shot and killed in a mass shooting at the Garlic Food Festival in Gilroy, Calif. this past July, it felt like a wake-up call to the entire tailgating community. To have tragedy strike at an outdoor venue where thousands of people gather to enjoy great food, beverage and hospitality, it hit close to home.


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Tailgating Safety Tips


he best way to tailgate is safely, so you can spend your time focusing on fun. The Clemson University Police Department shared some tips they recommend to Clemson’s faculty, staff, students and visitors to stay safe and smart on game day. The Clemson P.D. calls the following 6 tips good security habits. They are something all tailgaters can practice regularly to both help safeguard property and to avoid becoming victims of crime.

We can’t help but be reminded of our own vulnerability as we head out to parking lots across college football and the NFL this fall. And we aren’t the only ones. Teams are taking a closer look at their security practices. In the case of national football powerhouse Clemson, a school with a legendary tailgating tradition, gameday security has been beefed up both inside the stadium and out. The preseason No. 1 and defending national champion Clemson has implemented a comprehensive metal detector policy this fall, for starters. There are now metal detectors at each gate at Memorial Stadium, the 80,000-seat venue better known as Death Valley. “The safety and security of our fans is absolutely the top priority for what we do,” said Jeff Kallin, Clemson associate athletic director for communications

1. Secure your valuables. Keep all valuable possessions—such as phones, wallets and purses—with you at all times or lock them in your car. Don’t leave them visible. 2. Do not leave valuables unattended. If you set up televisions, radios, grills, coolers, games, etc… PLEASE, leave someone with these items if you are planning to attend the football game.

and strategic initiatives. “Not only just our fans but our coaches, our staff, our student-athletes—anybody that’s in that stadium or anywhere around Clemson.” Clemson still allows “pass-outs” which means fans can leave the stadium to go back to the parking lots during the game and still get back into the stadium. That’s on top of the 10,000 to 20,000 people estimated to arrive on campus to tailgate without having tickets to the game. “We’ve seen a number of incredibly tragic events over the course of the last 10 to 15 years,” Kallin said. “Even here in the last year, it’s something that we’re constantly reminded of, of making sure that the response of ‘that can’t happen here’ is no longer an acceptable response. (Your security policy) has got to be proactive. We need to do everything that we can in as many ways as we can to make sure that people are safe.”

3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher and First Aid Kit on Hand. The university has first responders on campus but having these items handy can make a difference in possibly saving a life or preventing further damage. 4. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to report suspicious activities, packages or people, such as: • A person or persons you see going from tailgate to tailgate. • A person or persons standing around for a long period of time and is not with a tailgate or group. • If you see something, say something. 5. Don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver with your tailgating party. 6. While having fun in the sun, please monitor alcohol intake. Too much alcohol in the heat can cause dehydration, heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Alcohol combined with high temperatures means your body may not be able to regulate its own temperature effectively. Make sure you are also drinking plenty of water.

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FANS&THRILLS Clemson is taking big steps to do just that, not only by implementing the use of metal detectors, but also by increasing their efforts to protect fans both at the stadium and beyond it. Leading the effort is new Clemson police chief and associate vice president for public safety Greg Mullen. Mullen spent 11 years as chief of police in Charleston, S.C. including 2015 when a mass shooter killed nine people at a bible study at the Emanuel AME Church. “It could be a terrorist attack or some sort of incident that we hopefully never have, but we’ve got to be prepared,” Mullen said in a press release. Under Mullen’s direction, Clemson has removed 140 parking spaces from the north end of the stadium that he believed posed security risks. Clemson has also installed four video boards on the outside of the stadium—one at each corner, facing the parking lots—to help inform fans of safety concerns, whether they’re weather-related, traffic-related or regarding criminal activity. Mullen is also the point man at the helm of Clemson’s Incident Command Center. That’s a new off-site facility where representatives from a dozen organizations ranging from campus


police, fire, EMS and S.C. Highway Patrol gather to monitor game day security. They utilize a series of video cameras and radio communications with officers stationed around campus to monitor activity in and around the parking lots. Under Mullen’s direction last year, the Incident Command Center was moved off site from inside Memorial Stadium, in part so it wouldn’t be threatened by an incident at the stadium. “I think it’s really important for people to know there are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes to make these events as safe and secure as they are,” Mullen said. “It takes a lot of people, a lot of planning, and a lot of training. I’m really proud of all the effort and hard work this team puts in. Game days are exactly what they should be because of them.” Clemson also recently announced that it would begin using a team of faculty and students from its communications department to help monitor social media before, during and after home football games this fall. Working large-scale events in Charleston like the Cooper River Bridge Run convinced Mullen how essential it is to monitor social media.

He cited a recent report from the U.S. Secret Service which found that 79 percent of those who perpetrated mass attacks in 2017 did so after engaging in threatening or concerning communications, much of which occurred over social media. “Our team in the Incident Command Center is tasked with looking at the big picture of game day security,” Mullen said. “And social media monitoring is a great way to help bring that picture into focus.” Another advantage Clemson has in terms of game day security is the sheer volume of police on campus, there in large measure to help control traffic. “For football game days there is a significant police presence all around,” Kallin said. “Hopefully that’s part of what goes into making people feel secure.”

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Profile for Inside Tailgating Magazine

Inside Tailgating Magazine: Fall 2019