The Phillies home opener is finally here, and it is a little later than usual as this is the first season the Phillies have opened on the road since dropping two out of three in Pittsburgh (uhhh.. I hate Pittsburgh) to the Pirates.  Cole Hamels toes the slab against Washington Nationals right-hander Jason Marquis, just as they did in the second game of the 2010 season.  Even with Citizens Bank Park packed with 45,000 plus fans, many people will get left out in the "cold" (even though it is supposed to be sunny and 68 degrees).  What is their remedy? Tailgating.  More after the jump.

You can bet your bottom dollar, and your top one too, that there will be in excess of 10,000 more crazed Phillies fans down there at the various parking lots scattered around Pattison Avenue.  Tailgating has become somewhat of an event all in itself down at the ballpark, even rivaling that of the Philadelphia Eagles tailgating frenzies.  With all the different things to do down at the ballpark before and during the game, here is my version of a tailgating checklist (of course you should all be twenty-one):

1) The beer.  Filling up a cooler or two with your favorite brew can make any event that much more memorable (depending on how much you drink).  For all you college kids out there, Natural Ice/Light, Keystone and Rolling Rock are cheap ways to get your game face on, but here are three more beer selections for those who have a little extra coin to spend: Molson Ice, Bud Light Golden Wheat and of course… the Yuenglings!

2) The whiffleball.  Whiffleball is the essential and this needs no further explanation.  If you don't bring the whiffleball stuff, shame on you and if you forgot a chair (see checklist item number 7), use the back of your car.

3) The grill.  Hatfield quality meats don't have to be served inside the ballpark only.  Just go to your neighborhood grocery store, pick up some burgers and dogs and throw them on the portable grill to avoid spending $37 on a hot dog and fries inside the park.

4) The game of cronholes.  A lot of you know this game as "bean bags," but cornholes has become almost as popular in the parking lot as whiffleball.  For a complete set of rules visit http://www.playcornhole.org/ or for an even cheaper route…

5) The "hick shoes."  Also known as "washers," they might easily get lost, but hey, its better than throwing an actual horseshoe around a bunch of strangers' cars.

6) The football.  Much safer than a baseball and if your spiral is tight enough, people will think you're cool. You don't want to be a "noob" do you?

7) The folding chair with the built-in cup holder.  It's 2010, get with it!

8) The radio.  Sure Alanis Morissette is cool before the game, but once the first pitch is thrown, you better have your AM radio dials set to 1210 for Scott Fanzke and Larry Andersen's call of the game!

Now go out there, have fun and be safe!