The saying "the game is played between the lines" is a remarkably obvious cliche when it comes to football. All of the drama, tackles, runbacks and final-second touchdowns are indeed performed between white painted lines on a field. But arguably the ultimate draw of football is not the sheer adrenaline of a rush play, but the bloating beneath your meat-stained jersey and the shouts of approval and high-fives with other adults wearing similar jerseys with likely similar meat stains.
In other words, the reason why football has become the new national pastime to many is the camaraderie with other fans, which takes place nowhere near the lines; normally on a couch, sometimes at a bar but many, many times in a $5 folding chair on a parking lot around dawn.
The tailgate party is as American as everything it encompasses: big cars, grilled meat, cheap beer, obsession with football and a lack of concern about what's healthy or normal, as long as it's fun.
It's also American to reach the boundary of what's considered reasonable in size or cost and then decide boundaries are for the losers wearing the other colors. With that in mind, here are a few ways to ensure you likely will have the most expensive, if not most ridiculous, tailgate party of the lot.