Football season is here, and the equally important tailgate parties are too. While you might not be able to control who wins, outside the stadium you have what it takes to throw a winning tailgate party.

Create the Perfect Atmosphere

In order to create the perfect atmosphere at the tailgate party, plan around the energetic environment that will surround the game. In the hours before the actual game starts, lawn games are a fun way to occupy time and create an upbeat atmosphere. Bring outdoor games that are fun and portable such as cornhole, washers or ladderball, or just bring a football to throw around! Be sure to invest in a canopy to use on game day. This will create a shady shelter from the afternoon sun and help you stay cool.

Are you just there for the tailgating? If so, hook your TV up to a generator and watch the game from your cozy tailgate station. Others are sure to join, making your area a prime spot for watching the game.

Wear Your Team’s Colors With Pride

Wear your team’s colors, jerseys, paint your face or wave some pom-poms. Be sure to show support for your team in every way possible. Some over-the-top fans will also decorate their cars with magnets, bumper stickers and window paint all baring their team's name. To add even more flare, hang streamers or show off a cooler decorated with team pride.

Transform the Parking Lot Into Home

True tailgaters know the party is a chance to create the most elaborate setting possible in order to outdo the neighbors. This may mean bringing half of your home’s living room to the parking lot or packing an overabundance of lawn furniture. Combine the comforts of home with support for the team in your outdoor party den.

The Food Makes the Party

Food is the most important factor of any tailgate party. Bring a grill and cook up party favorites such as burgers, hot dogs, chicken, pork chops or ribs. The night before the game, cook the ribs and pork chops at home beforehand. If you keep them on ice and grill them immediately on site, they'll still taste great.

Now that you've decided on the main meal for your tailgate party, don’t forget about bringing snacks too. Nachos, a tailgate tradition, are simple to prepare. Pack all the necessary ingredients (chips, salsa, guacamole, cheese, etc.) into containers and then lay them all out when it’s time to eat.

Small sandwiches and wings are a great addition to the snack area too. For the sandwiches, prepare them the night before and cut them into fours. For the wings, make them as spicy as you want and smother them with a great sauce, like honey-mustard.

As you can see, you’ll need a few days to prepare for the perfect tailgate party, but once game day comes, it'll all be worth it. The combination of great company, food, football and the outdoors is the perfect match, and one that everyone needs to experience at least once.