Bulldogs fans can take their own high-tech tailgating style to this week’s matchup against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. From over the top coolers to high-definition TV coverage, bring your own advanced game to the Bobby Dodd parking lot this weekend with these state-of-the-art tips.
Keep your beverages the “coolest:” Touted as a “portable party disguised as a cooler,” the “Coolest”, is a 55-quart cooler on wheels with built-in blender, outdoor Bluetooth speaker, USB charger, built-in bottle opener and LED lighting inside the lid. For $500 you can be sure to have the coolest cooler at the game.
Consider a keg cooler: Ice-cold beer is a tailgate essential. Make sure you have enough beer on hand and keep it cool with a keg beer dispenser. The Danby ½ Keg Beer Dispenser is basically a refrigerator perfect for both full- or pony-sized kegs. About $450 at various retailers.
Grill to perfection: Fans can find grills to attach directly to the tailgate and ones built into a trailer for hauling to and from the game. To ensure perfectly grilled burgers, the iDevices iGrill2 Bluetooth thermometer has four probes to easily track more than one temperature at once, including two meat probes. It alerts a user’s mobile device via the iGrill app when the meat reaches the desired temperature. The cost is about $80.
Bring the music: Listen to the pre-game or play your favorite music with solar-powered speakers. The Eton Rugged Rukus is Bluetooth ready and will charge your smartphone. Fully charged, it provides users eight hours of playback and can be recharged in five hours with direct sunlight. It’s compatible with Apple’s iPhone and iPod and can be controlled via remote. Various models range in price from about $50 to $200. Other solar-powered speakers are available, as well as battery-operated Bluetooth speakers.
Keep track of the competition: No need to miss any action on game day. The same technology that makes it easy for RV owners to follow the game can help make it easy to catch all the SEC and ACC televised games. Satellite providers, including DIRECTV and Dish Network, as well as third-party providers, offer mobile satellite antennas, roof mounted satellite antennas and local broadcast HDTV antennas to make it easy. Prices start around $75 and climb into the thousands for systems that track with you as you drive to and from the game.
Watch the game in style: Consider a weatherproof outdoor television to pair with your satellite system. Many are designed to operate in temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus these TVs are made to be protect against rain, dust, insects, humidity and salt air. Prices start around $1,500.
Don’t forget the power: Portable power generators are essential with this much high-tech gear. Smaller oil/gas powered ones can operate for up to five hours and start at around $120. For about $350 you can easily find generators to last up to 10 hours or more. Look for quieter models with easy-to-start and surge protection features. Be sure to calculate the total electrical load needed for all your gadgets. With these high-tech toys fans will be “buzzing” about your tailgate. Include a crockpot, or two, and keep this hearty recipe piping hot to share with all the fans this weekend.
Tackle Tech Chicken Taco Soup
1 Rotisserie Chicken, cut into small pieces, bones removed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 packet McCormick’s Taco Seasoning
1 packet Ranch dressing powder
2 cans black beans
2 cans black-eyed peas
2 cans shoepeg corn
2 cans Rotel original tomatoes
1 large can crushed tomatoes
For garnish: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions
Saute’ onion in oil, then combine all ingredients in crockpot. Do not drain cans. Cook on low for
3-4 hours. Serve with sour cream, cheese and green onions.
— By Karen Huppertz, Special for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution