A Professional Tailgater? Jeff Dockeray On Best Tailgaiting Products and How Florida Can Up Its Game | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


A Professional Tailgater? Jeff Dockeray On Best Tailgaiting Products and How Florida Can Up Its Game

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South Florida doesn't have anything that makes us stand out during pre-game celebrations. How can we change that?

Thirty-seven percent of the country tailgates in the Southeast. It falls off in Orlando. The University of Miami is a big school, but not a big tailgating school. When you get up to Gainesville, it's a top Five traveling destination for RVs. When you get into the Panhandle, Georgia, Louisiana, there's a core barbecue culture there. South Florida doesn't have that. You need more room. And you need to enhance and encourage culture. South Florida is very vibrant and diverse in ethnicity. I'd be more encouraged to see ceviche than hot dogs.

What are your three absolute bare essentials for tailgating?

I'm a chef, so I need comfort. I tend to tailgate for a long time, a minimum of six hours. So Strongback chairs are great - they go everywhere with me. For cooking utensils, Enviro-Log Firestarters burn perfect. The Gatemate toolbox is like a large fish and tackle box for all the grilling utensils. It's a great space-saving measure.

Wait you tailgate for a minimum of six hours?! The gates at Sun Life Stadium only open four hours before games.

Some places are worried tailgating will take away from the game. People get into the camaraderie and the culture of it that when 12:30 comes around, they're like 'We gotta get into the game!' But it doesn't take away from it. It enhances it. I like to take my time cooking and preparing the meals.

Where is the best tailgating place you've visited?

The NCAA has the most vibrant tailgating culture and it's the most decentralized. There are 32 teams in the NFL, but hundreds of colleges and universities. The best place I've ever been is Penn State. There's a broad range of students, alumni, and community members. You get a real cross-culture there. Saturday morning tailgating is a tradition.

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Dori Zinn

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