As summer slips away and the oppressive heat subsides, fall’s gentle breezes usher in the excitement of our favorite time of year: football season! Every Southern soul has their own special way to savor game day — whether it’s tailgating with friends and family on campus, hosting a comfy football-viewing party at home, getting gussied up in your team’s colors, watching the band warm up the fans before a stampede of passionate players take the field or high-fiving friends after a touchdown. And we’ve got the best football-inspired FINDS, from tailgating supplies and stadium staples to clothing and accessories. So, you can spend your weeks not only savoring last weekend’s sweet win but also getting ready for the next weekend of football fun — made complete with some of these 20 awesome football-inspired FINDS!
Canvas football-themed bags
Maybe you’re from a “house divided,” or perhaps you’re attending high school, college and pro games and you need to cut back on team-specific football accessories. These adorable canvas bags, in a pigskin and football field theme, are perfect for packing up all your snacks, accessories and sunscreen and heading to the tailgating party! Find them for $21.95 at The Blue Willow.
Cookbook and cup
The on-the-go street food from roaming food trucks are the perfect easy-to-eat cuisine for tailgate parties, whether they are get-togethers at home or on campus. And the Southern Food Truck Cookbook has all of the best recipes for your next football party. And if you’re visiting multiple friends’ tailgating parties before the game, come prepared with your own beverage to leisurely sip on during your tailgate crawl. Find the cookbook, $24.99, and the cup with your favorite team’s logo, $14.95, at Lamb’s Ears.
Sovaro cork cooler
These sharp coolers marry fashion-forward design with high-tech insulation. This cooler has four layers of protection and uses cork — a natural insulator that is impermeable to gas or liquid — doesn’t attract mold or mildew and doesn’t break down over time. This cork-lined cooler also offers a charming woodsy look. Each cooler comes with a removable divider for keeping the contents organized. They come in different sizes, models and colors with varying accessories, such as prep trays and dividers. Find them, ranging from $495 to $595, at Alabama Outdoors.
For a sleek and stylish cocktail hour, stock your bar with these shiny copper tumblers. Whether or not a refreshing Moscow Mule is the specialty drink of your party, these copper drinking vessels are naturally insulated and antimicrobial, so you can enjoy your cool cocktail of choice for hours! Either allow their gorgeous natural patina to develop over time or keep them sleek and shiny with a simple polish of lemon juice. Find them for $21 each at Winslet & Rhys.
Auburn & Alabama cookies
There’s always a sweet tooth or two roaming about any tailgate, and what better way to infuse some team spirit into your party than with Auburn and Alabama decorated cookies. Kids of all ages will delight in the sight and taste of these delicious cookies! Find the Alabama elephant cookies for $1.75 each or $21 per dozen; Auburn cookies for $1.90 each or $22.80 per dozen at Savage’s Bakery & Deli.
Melamine serving ware
These melamine serving pieces by TAG are not only lightweight, they also are nearly indestructible. Having the appearance of fragile, vintage farm-table ware, they are perfect for elevating the look and charm of your tailgate party while eliminating the stress of bringing breakable pieces into the mix. Find the TAG tray, $35, and bowls, $30 for a set of four, at The Cook Store.
Team-themed gum balls
After the tailgate is over and it’s time to head to the game, you might need a little gum to help chew away the nervous jitters as you anxiously watch your team take some hits and move the chains. So, instead of biting your nails at a nail-biting game, preserve your well-manicured phalanges and chew on these gum balls. Find them in adorable miniature packages in your team’s colors for $4.50 a bag at Weezie’s Candy Emporium.
GAME DAY CLOTHES & ACCESSORIES
Football season starts with scorching hot weather and slowly morphs into frigid temps, so layers are key for the majority of the season. These scarves, ranging from lightweight and breathable to plush and warm, are a functional and fashionable style staple for that tricky football weather. Find them in a variety of styles and colors, ranging from $14 to $28, at Second Hand Rose.
Barrington “Stadium Crossbody”
The “Stadium Crossbody” by Barrington is small enough to meet most new stadium size restrictions yet it still will fit your phone, keys, lip gloss and wallet. You won’t be weighed down with these college-themed beauties and you’ll have full freedom to roam the campus and cheer your heart out in the stands! Find them for $85 at Bromberg’s.
Needlepoint leather key chains
These durable leather key chains with needlepoint detail by Smathers & Branson are a great way to show your team pride everywhere you go. Seeing your team’s flying colors as you rev up your engine each day will keep you pumped up and focused on the national championship. Find them in many SEC team logos and other designs for $28.50 at Harrison Limited.
Striped bow ties
For guys, getting gussied up for the game can range from body paint and flip-flops to team-colored overalls and seersucker suits. For the Dapper Dans who lean more toward the formal end of the spectrum, there is nothing more Southern and charming than a bow tie in his team’s colors. Find these striped Bruno Piatelli bow ties for $55 at Remon’s.
Crazy fun socks
These soft and snug socks by Freaker are a mashup of whimsical fashion and hardcore team pride. Whether you are watching the game from the cozy comfort of your couch or simply bedazzling your calves for your campus exploits, these statement socks in your college colors — or featuring your favorite smiling quarterback — couldn’t be more fun. The Wilmington, North Carolina-based makers of Freaker products, which started through a crowdfunding campaign, even starred in a feature length, critically acclaimed documentary about the crowdfunding revolution called Capital C! Don these socks and get ready to talk because these bad boys are a conversation starter, for sure! We found these Auburn, America and Cam Newton socks for $19.95 at Auburn Art while we were on location for our story on Auburn vs. Alabama college campuses. To find other Freaker socks and koozies in Auburn, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, check out Freaker’s store locator to find a retailer convenient to you!
Flask and shot glass
These cute canvas flasks come with a one-ounce aluminum shot glass cap, perfect for a nip of whiskey to warm you up on a cold game day. With fun designs and messages like “Love Potion No. 9,” “Rx,” “Hair of the Dog,” “Bottoms Up” and “Whiskey Frisky,” your spirits — and the flask it came in — will bring a warm smile to the scene. Find them for $16 at At Home Furnishings.
LILY and LAURA bracelets
Handmade with Matsuno glass beads by the women of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, LILY and LAURA bracelets not only pay the women above fair-trade wages but the company also gives over one-third of its income back to the makers — significantly enhancing the quality of life of these women and their families. In beautiful colors as well as our beloved Auburn and Alabama color combos, they are a fabulous eye-catching accessory. Find them for $12 each or three for $30 at Wrapsody.
Team pride mugs
Greet the day with a piping hot cuppa joe and a healthy dose of team pride with these hand-painted Auburn and Alabama mugs. The Auburn mug features the legendary oak trees festooned with celebratory toilet paper, and the Alabama mug features a snippet of the “Rammer Jammer” victory chant. Find them for $20 each at The Dandé Lion.
We know that fall has barely begun but the Christmas whirlwind is notorious for sneaking up and leaving us dizzy and confused in its aftermath! Be prepared this year. Grab some timeless needlepoint-on-canvas ornaments as lovely gifts to add to any holiday decor. Go for the traditional Christmas-themed variety or keep the fan pride alive with your team’s mascot or logo. Make your own design of choice at Needleworks, where the price varies depending on thread and design, or purchase one of these finished models. Find the Bama mitten, $39; mini stocking with elephant, $52; and Aubie the Auburn mascot, $39, at Needleworks, LLC.
This print featuring a “Sweet 16” Alabama graphic exudes a vintage charm that stirs our nostalgia for football seasons past. Frame this puppy and proudly hang it in the “man cave” where your family and friends gather to cheer on your team! Find this print for $15 at Painted Shovel.
This year marks an important shift in stadium bag rules that will most likely call for a clear bag purchase on your part. The new rules mirror that of the NFL with their Department of Homeland Security-certified safety measures. But don’t fret! Whether you need to comply with Auburn’s clear bag policy or Alabama’s clear bag policy, Birmingham’s boutiques are stepping up and doing the legwork for you, offering fantastic clear bags that will serve you well as you root for your team from the stands!
This chic boutique offers an array of stadium-compliant clear bags that feature genuine leather handles for a look that will translate from SEC to NFL games without a hitch! Find them, ranging in price from $80 to $90, at Manhattan South.
The Blue Willow
Among The Blue Willow’s collegiate and tailgate party FINDS, they also carry the new must-have clear bags. These have durable straps in fun team colors. Find them for $61.95, and personalize them with a monogram in vinyl, starting at $6, at The Blue Willow.
These logo-clad straps simply add an extra dash of team flair to your game-day look. And, let’s be honest, you can never have too much team spirit when it comes to football fashion. So, grab a college-colored shaker, shirt and hat while you’re at it. Go big, or go home! Find the caps, $29; tops, ranging from $20 to $38; and the clear bags, ranging from $70 to $90, at Wrapsody.
As they say, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you tailgate.” So, get ready to celebrate the football season in style by shopping local for all the best football-related FINDS — It’s going to be a great year, football fans!