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Ten Observations from a Rangers Tailgate

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If you weren't there for Opening Day on Friday, I'm sorry. But there's a lot more to come, including tonight's Opening Yu.

We went Friday, and are here now with 10 tips, reminders and observations.

1. Tailgating at Rangers Ballpark on Friday was everything it was supposed to be. The crowd was bigger and better than ever, and I say that with confidence even after seeing the crowds when both the Cowboys and Rangers played simultaneously (October 2010). In terms of number of grills and tarps, Friday was off the charts.

2. A winning team changes everything.

3. Don't arrive an hour before first pitch (on Opening Day, mind you) and expect to get a good parking spot (that's how baseball go!). Additionally, honking at cops directing traffic will get you nowhere.

4. After a few hours of people watching, there's an obvious new (or maybe old, I just didn't notice) look among young ladies: Snookie Texas. You'll know it when you see it.

5. There should some kind of warning for people outside the ballpark prior to bombers blowing over the stadium during the flyover for the National Anthem. (Are there not FAA restrictions on how low they can fly? Huh? What?) Still, flyovers are badass.

6. Consider approaching the ballpark from Division on the south side. The cash lots with good tailgating spots on the north side (near I-30) go first. Likewise, if you want one of those spots, go early (a minimum of three hours prior to first pitch).

7. The smell of brats grilling outside a ballpark in April might be the best part of being an American. If there's not already a national smell, that should be it.

8. Hydrate. Often. It's a rookie mistake to whimper out before the game even starts.

9. If you don't have tickets to the game, there's always a party in the parking lot. I call it "staygating." And there was plenty of it going on Friday.

10. Bring your A-game in terms of food. Tailgating isn't just hot dogs and chips anymore.

Bonus: Remember, sometimes it rains.

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