The Great American Tailgate

Tailgating at football games has always been a fun family activity for us.

27hs6we84mzwthm5rpg3For nearly twenty years, we’ve enjoyed the festivities at my alma mater, the University of Idaho, on sunny fall weekends in the perfect little college town of Moscow, Idaho. I’ve heard that the NFL version of tailgating is a tad more serious and mature, but I’m content hanging out with my fellow family-friendly alumni in the parking lot outside the Kibbie Dome.

Most of America agrees with me, according to a new tailgate survey commissioned by Lee Jeans. Their poll found that almost 60% of Americans say the college atmosphere just can’t be beat. Hanging out on a tradition-rich college campus sure beats some stale NFL eyesore stadium. And there’s something cool about seeing all the alumni returning to school, happy to relive a part of their youth at a place that helped them transition to adulthood.

So, yeah, college tailgating wins, hands down. We all know that.

Looking through the Lee Jeans survey, I was struck by the question of how fans dress for a day of tailgating. Americans seem to want to look good, while at the same time dressing for comfort. The people surveyed were obviously confused by this question. There is no “looking good” for a tailgating football fan. You simply wear the colors of your team. End of story. Everyone looks good when they’re on the same side. It’s the fans of the other team who need to worry how they look.


College fans are usually a forgiving bunch. We good-naturedly chide and tease the opposing fans as they wander through the tailgate area decked out in the colors of their team. It’s all good.

But in the NFL? I’m not sure I’d feel entirely comfortable wandering among tailgating Jets fans while wearing a Patriots jersey.

One thing I do know about comfort, however, is I’m going to be wearing a pair of jeans with my team gear. The Lee Jeans survey revealed that jeans are the uniform of choice for 72% of tailgaters. Of course, during the course of a football game you’re going to be jumping to high-five each other, sitting and standing with each big play, and even getting down on your knees to pray for victory. No wonder that a pair of jeans beats most everything else for tailgating comfort.

It’s a good thing Lee Jeans has been keeping people comfortable since 1889, and their Modern Series and Premium Select jeans feature an innovative fabric called Active Comfort Denim that moves with you in a full range of motion. It’s a better fit, with more comfort, and that’s just what you want when you’re tailgating.

Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, from ESPN’s Mike and Mike Show, have even gone so far as to declare Lee Jeans the official apparel of tailgating. As Golic said, “They make Greeny look good and make sure I’m comfortable. It’s the best of both worlds.”


One last word about tailgating comfort. You know there’s no getting out of the parking lot without sampling the traditional tailgate foods, like hot dogs, burgers, BBQ, and your beverage of choice. And you know there’s no getting out of the parking lot without a little of any or all of those foods ending up on your clothes. I mean, who eats wings or ribs without a little sauce smeared on a sleeve or pant leg? So, maybe it’s a waste of time to worry about how you look. Drip that sauce, splash that beer, fling that cheese dip. Be comfy in your jeans and jersey! You’re tailgating to have fun, not to model in a fashion show.

If you really want to impress your friends, wear a funny hat.

Like I said before, my family loves spending the Saturday afternoon before a big game hanging out with like-minded fans, soaking up the sun, playing games, and cooking up some BBQ. It’s almost become a bigger event than the game itself, sometimes starting the night before and lasting for hours after. It’s a great tradition, for college or pro games, and Americans are increasingly participating in it. Don’t hesitate to include the whole family.

Before you head out to the game this weekend, check out the latest looks from Lee Jeans at Kohl’s, JCPenney, or Sears. Lee Jeans are the perfect combination of comfort and good looks.


Mike and Mike stylin’ in their new Lee Jeans

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Lee Jeans for this promotion. I have received compensation for my participation, but my thoughts are my own.


Let Your Kids Get Dirty

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Maytag. All opinions are 100% mine.

Muddy miles

Kids are filthy.

There’s just no getting around that fact. From toddlers to teens, your kids are going to find all sorts of different ways to dirty themselves up. Parents should be patient and remember that a little bit of dirt, or maybe a lot of it, isn’t going to hurt. In fact, getting dirty can be quite fun.

Encouraging your kids to get dirty is a great way to get them off the couch and away from the video games. How big a smile will your child have when you tell them to go make mud pies? Coming up with old school ways for your kids to play in the dirt is easier than you think.

Your kids can:

  • Build a mud castle
  • Pretend to be a farmer
  • Dig for worms
  • Roll down a hill
  • Make a pond
  • Splash in a mud puddle
  • Create dirt art
  • Dig tunnels
  • Pretend to be an archaeologist
  • Dig for dinosaur bones

These are some tried and true dirty activities. Kids have a knack for coming up with new and unique ways to cover their clothes, and themselves, in mud, grass, leaves, and bugs. Sometimes all you need to do is give them permission to get dirty and their imaginations will take care of the rest. The worst thing you can say is, “Don’t get your clothes dirty!”

Because that puts a stop to all the fun.


Last year, my daughter entered one of those “Muddy Miles” races with a friend. The goal of these events is usually to raise money. The other goal is, of course, to have fun getting dirty. And did they ever. The girls ran, jumped, crawled, rolled, and splashed through the filthiest obstacle course I’ve ever seen. Mud was everywhere, piled up high and hidden in pools. There were barrels of mud and showers of mud. It was ridiculously dirty.

I cringed when they emerged at the finish line covered head to toe in mud. But then I thought, “What am I worried about? A little dirt?” Well, it was a lot of dirt, to be honest. Very quickly, I realized that a high-powered hose would take care of my daughter’s hair and skin, while my washing machine would handle her clothes. That’s one of the nice things about owning a Maytag washer and dryer. They’re designed to handle any level of filth, especially a caked-on muddy mess. Maytag’s newest Top Load Washer and Dryer pair is better built because they are designed, engineered, and assembled in America and have the power to clean big league stains. There’s really no other appliance I’d hate to give up more than my washer and dryer. I’d be willing to wash dishes by hand, but not my kids’ clothing!

Maytag Washer Dryer

So, let your kids get dirty. Let them run through the mud, dig in the dirt, and roll through the sand. The memories will be worth whatever mess you need to clean up.

Before you clean up, however, make sure you take a few pictures to preserve those memories. If you have kids who play baseball, those pictures could win you a trip to this year’s World Series! Maytag is the official washer and dryer of Major League Baseball, and they are currently running a very cool contest called #MyFilthiestPlay. All you have to do is upload a photo or video of your kids sliding or diving in the dirt onto Instagram or Twitter. Use the hashtag #MyFilthiestPlay and you’ll be eligible to win weekly prizes, as well as a shot at the big grand prize of a trip to the World Series.

Read all the contest rules at the Filthiest Plays of the Week MLB page.


Thanks to Maytag laundry, you could be turning your kids’ dirty summer into one very exciting fall classic.


Visit Sponsors Site

Modarri Toy Cars Review & Giveaway


There’s a new car in town.

A toy car, as a matter of fact.

The award-winning Modarri, from Thoughtfull Toys, is the toy car reinvented, and the days of Matchbox and Hot Wheels may just be numbered.

The beauty of a Modarri car is that it feels real. It drives like a real one, with realistic suspension, tight turning radius, and finger sized bucket seat that has you feeling the road. Continue reading

Jellyfish Attack

When I was a kid, probably 7 or 8, my family spent a day at a Southern California beach, building sand castles, playing in the surf, and eating slightly sandy hot dogs.

I remember that day because I was viciously attacked by a jellyfish!

Okay, so it was a mild sting. Very mild, in fact. But I was at that age where everything is amplified tenfold because it’s new and strange. In my mind, the ocean was suddenly filled with millions of horrible little jellyfish reaching out with their long, poisonous tentacles.

If only I had known that jellyfish are beautiful creatures. They’re even kind of cute and cuddly. Most of all, they are quite useful. Continue reading

Intense In Tents – A Review and Giveaway


I’ve always loved tents.

One of my very earliest memories of childhood was draping a large table cloth over a folding card table and crawling underneath with a pile of pillows and a shoebox filled with toy cars and plastic soldiers.

It was my space. Mine. Everyone else had to stay out. Except for the occasional imaginary friend or an unsuspecting curious cat. Continue reading

Calling Dr Cocoa


“I can’t wait to get sick again!”

That’s what I expected my kids to say once I showed them Dr. Cocoa, a new children’s cough and cold medicine made with real chocolate.

I grew up with the usual cherry-flavored cough syrup. To this day, anything with a strong cherry flavoring brings back unpleasant memories of childhood illness. Cherry Coke is the worst. It might as well be a glass full of Robitussin in my mind.

So, I was immediately intrigued by Dr. Cocoa when they sent me a few samples. Who doesn’t like chocolate? And why was it never added to cough medicine before?! Continue reading

A Dad’s Real Strength

Dove Men+Care has a cool new ad lined up for this year’s Super Bowl. It’s refreshing to see the message that caring for your children can make you stronger as a man.

Well done, Dove!

By the way, I’m a loyal user of Dove Men+Care products, especially their Fresh Awake Body Wash. Aside from the smooth, cleansing feeling of the body wash, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the design of their bottles. The product doesn’t squeeze out in huge, wasteful amounts as other body washes do, so it ends up lasting longer, saving you money in the long run.

Be Good To Your Feet

feet-002Five years ago I was getting ready for my first long-distance walk, an 84-mile excursion in England.

And it was scaring me, because I knew something was wrong with my feet. I had broken in my new boots, but they still didn’t feel right.

This wasn’t new to me. As a kid, many decades ago, I hiked monthly with my Scout troop. My boots back then were stiff and unforgivable, with soles that felt and weighed like concrete. Every nail, eyelet, and grommet would stab into my feet with each tortuous step on the trail. We wore thin cotton socks that soaked up sweat like a sponge. It wasn’t a matter of getting blisters, but how bad they would be.

Back to five years ago, it was clear to me that boot-making materials and technology had changed dramatically since the 70s. My new Merrell boots were light and flexible, and I had the best synthetic moisture-wicking socks you could buy. But something was still wrong. Continue reading

The Electric Shave

My first experience with shaving was trimming a few chin hairs with a pair of dull safety scissors. I was 14 or 15, and my cheeks were slow to start growing any kind of facial hair. The scissors sufficed for a few months, but eventually the 5 or 6 stray hairs turned into dozens, and then hundreds. I found my brother’s old electric shaver in a bathroom drawer and started using that to groom myself. 30 years later, I still value the speed and efficiency of an electric shaver.

Now, my son has signaled that he’s ready to join the long line of electricians in his family with a request for a shaver of his own. Luckily, Philips Norelco was willing to set him up with their new Click & Style. It’s an all-in-one shaving and grooming tool and, quite frankly, it’s the best shaver I’ve ever seen.

Norelco Click and Style

The beauty of the Click & Style are the three separate attachments. First, a shaver attachment, with rotary blades. Second, a beard trimmer. And third, a foil style shaver/trimmer. That really covers all the bases for whatever body hair needs to be groomed. All three attachments give you ultimate control and precision for a clean, smooth shave.

My son is finding it much easier to “manscape” with the Click & Style. So easy, in fact, that he can even multi-task while using it. Apparently, this is a thing. People don’t just stand at the mirror and shave anymore. They eat, brush their teeth, read, text, and play video games while grooming themselves. Continue reading

You Little Punk! SOL REPUBLIC Review & Giveaway

It’s that time of the year. Only a few more weeks until Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping season. Coming up with good gift ideas for friends and family isn’t always easy. Well, I’m here to help!

Sol Republic products have a great reputation in our house, so when they sent me a Punk, one of their new wireless speakers, to review as a holiday gift idea, I knew it would be good. Continue reading