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Don't make it a failgate

December 14, 2011|By Ryan Smith | For RedEye

Bears tailgates are casual, fun affairs, but there's still a right way to do them. Here are a few simple rules to make sure you're rocking the tailgate like a pro.

DO … BRING YOUR TICKET

Try tailgating after kickoff and you're likely to get kicked out of almost every Soldier Field lot faster than Charlie Sheen leaves an AA meeting. Few people like this, but rules are rules, so make sure you bring a ticket.

DO … CHECK THE FORECAST

Dressing for a tailgate in December is much different than in September. Going in body paint and a pair of shorts won't feel so good when you're standing outside in 20-degree weather for four hours.

DO … SCOUT THE BATHROOM SITUATION

Peeing in empty cups is so not cool. If there aren't enough portable bathrooms to go around, the lines can be incredibly long. Plan accordingly.

DON'T … OVERDO THE COOKING

Even if your cooking is good enough to make Rick Bayless jealous, everyone will be too drunk to truly appreciate your foie gras. Stick to burgers, brats and the basics and leave your chef's hat at home.

DON'T … BRING THE LIQUOR

Tailgates are more of a marathon than a sprint. There's no reason to go crazy on tequila shots and be a blubbering, drunken fool by 8 a.m.

DON'T … LITTER

A Soldier Field parking lot doesn't have the natural splendor of the Grand Canyon, but it doesn't mean you can toss your Old Style cans and food wrappers on the ground. Didn't your mom teach you to clean up after yourself?

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