In 1996, Joe Cahn gave up his cooking school for life in the parking lot. In '97, he declared himself commissioner of tailgating. The gameday sociologist gathers data at every stop by sampling local fare, chatting up hometown fans and appraising each team's accommodations. Who better, then, to offer a starting point for our Smokin' Sixteen bracket—the best of football tailgating. SI TAILGATE NATION asked Cahn to seed his eight favorite NFL tailgate scenes and eight favorite college spots. From there, it's up to you to vote as teams advance tournament-style to one ultimate champion.
Happy Valley, Penn State
Final Vote Count: 30565
Incredible space. One of the few colleges that lets RVs in on Thursdays. Go to the meat market for steaks and sausages, and visit the Creamery for some Peachy Paterno on game day. Wonderful Pennsylvanian hospitality, and as many as 50,000 people in the lot four hours before the game.
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