Football season is finally back upon us. As training camp competitions heat up, final rosters spots are secured, and people continue to try to talk themselves into getting excited about preseason games, they’re all just passing mile markers until we’re at the true destination: The regular season. It’s the ultimate excuse to call up friends, crack open some adult beverages, and fire up the grill. There’s no better place to hold said event than right in the parking lot of your favorite team’s home. Tailgating is a time-honored tradition that every fan must take part in, at least once. We’ve got some apps that will enhance the experience. Sadly, much like your friends, none of these apps will help you paint your stomach.
Stadium Finder (iPhone)
The tailgating can’t begin until you’ve arrived at your destination. The experience would be especially bad if you showed up at the home of your bitter rival. Prevent fan-on-fan crime and reach your stadium safely with the Sports Venue Finder. All you have to do is type in the team you’re hoping to see and it’ll tell you where to go. If you’re planning on heading into the stadium after your pre-game routine or you scored some tickets from scalpers, you’ll want to see where you’ll be seated. This app also has seating charts so you can scope out your spot.
Sports Bar Finder (Android, iPhone)
Drinking outside the stadium is your goal but if you’re rooting for a team in an uncomfortable climate, it’s not always possible. Sure, you can brave the weather and sit out in lawn chairs while the snow piles up over your football-shaped hat. Alternatively, you can take a seat at your local drinking establishment with other, warmer fans. Sports Bar Finder will pick up on your location and deliver you to the nearest plate of hot wings and bottle of cold beer.
Tailgating (iOS) and Tailgating Planner (Android)
Tailgating isn’t an event for the weak hearted or ill-prepared; It’s one that requires time, patience, and planning — in the most manly way possible, of course. This app is for the professional tailgaters among us. They know these trips are to be taken seriously. Lay out everything you may possibly need to make sure you don’t forget any of the essentials, from ground chuck to a football to chuck around. Save time on the planning and spend more on the partying with these intuitive checklists of tailgate essentials.
Grill-It! (Android, iPhone, iPad)
The grill is where a tailgate can be made or broken. Having an expert at the helm of the spatula can flip away any troubles, even a season-ending loss, with the charcoal cooked excellence of perfectly cooked meat. Be that master of the flame with the help of Grill-It! This is the ultimate app for any cook-out experience, with new recipes and ideas added weekly. Tailgaters be warned: you may miss out on the first half of the game from a food coma if you choose to use this app.
Tailgate Cornhole (iOS) Cornhole (Android)
If you’re at a sporting event, it’s hard to prevent the overcoming feelings of competition. Even among friends, there’s a struggle to want to be the best. There’s no better way to solve those difference with a game as old as time itself. Cornhole is the ultimate proving ground in personal excellence at a tailgate. If you don’t have bean bags and plywood with you, take the competition virtual with these apps. Find out who is the best cornholer, a title that any tailgater would be proud to hold.
NFL ’12 (iOS, Android)
The NFL is a league full of daily drama, excitement, turmoil, and successes. It’s the ultimate soap opera for sports lovers. Until recently, we only saw those moments play out on the field on Sundays. Now, with NFL ’12, you can live with that drama in your life every day of the week. With updating stats, news feeds, and show streams available, you’ll never miss a moment of the off-the-field action. Once you finally get to Sunday, the holy day, you can watch or listen to games from your device of choice with an in-app purchase.
ESPN ScoreCenter (Free, iPad, iPhone, and Android)
You might be at your favorite team’s game, but you know that there are other games going on as well. Sometimes, those games mean just as much as the one going on right in front of you. Keep up with all the results from around the league with the ESPN ScoreCenter app. Live updates come in as games are happening, meaning you’ll never miss a touchdown or turnover from any game. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching your team march down for a game-winning drive, then checking the ScoreCenter and see that their division rival lost as well. It makes victory that much sweeter.
Beer Wizard (iPad)
Sitting outside and braving the elements before a game requires the companionship of some very special company. No, not your friends. Beer! What else would possess you to do something so seemingly foolish? Make sure you’ve got the best of the best when it comes to your booze with Beer Wizard. Search for beer by food pairings to find the perfect compliment to your burger and chips or organize by percentage of alcohol by volume to help swallow that particularly tough loss. This app will find you the best beer for any situation.