First, there was the pretzel necklace.

The idea was simple: a piece of string, laced through a few dozen pretzels and worn like a necklace at a tailgate. Pretty cute, right?


But football, friends, is not about being cute. And in the spirit of the overly competitive culture that brings us to these events, we've decided to one-up this adorable snack strand with something we'll pretty sure will annihilate it on the field of play:

The meat necklace.

That's right — same brilliant idea, highly superior materials.

Listen, we're not just operating off our own biases here — we all know it's a proven fact that everything can be improved by adding bacon. (Chicken sandwich? Add bacon. Bloody Mary? Add bacon. Bar of chocolate? Add bacon. In-law sleepovers? Add bacon. Etc.) And this jewelry item also includes brats and wienies. When compared with cold, dry pretzels? It appears we're headed for a blowout.

Think of the convenience of having your entire meal accompany you wherever you go. Think of the envy you'll command — nothing says you're the king or queen of your castle quite like a shimmering bib of cured meat strung around your neck like a glorious Egyptian collar.

And think of all the things you can do at your tailgate now that you have your hands free, and are untethered from the grill. You can tweak your fantasy lineup. You can double fist beer (yours and the one you just stole from that Packer jerk). You can dominate at beanbags and flip cup SIMULTANEOUSLY. (OK that seems hard, but maybe with practice.) You can parade around the parking lot with two foam fingers, chanting "LET'S-GO-[insert uninjured Vikings quarterback here]."

All while satisfying every sausage craving, the very moment it strikes.

Wow, yep, the world just got a whole lot bigger, and we'll probably never be the same.

Here's how to make your own mind-bending meat necklace and be the hero of your next tailgate:

1. Buy some meat. Good meat, but not necessarily that snobby-good meat. Just some meat that will make you happy when you eat it. We suggest thick-cut bacon (it's easier to string), bratwursts or other sausages, and wienies. Chunks of steak, if you're feeling ritzy, are also on the table.

2. Assemble your tools. You'll need some string — thick enough that you could tie your kids up with it if you wanted to, but you definitely haven't used it for that because who ties up their kids? Also scissors and a skewer of some sort to use as a "needle."

3. Cook your meat. We're not going to stand over you and tell you what to do with your meat products because we're pretty sure you've got your methods already, OK? I mean if you're reading a story about tailgating and you don't know how to make a sausage, we're just too embarrassed for you to go any further. So grill 'em or boil 'em or roast 'em or whatever you want to do and go ahead and cook that bacon in a pan in the oven (400 degrees for about 20 minutes) OR on the stovetop, even though we all know that is incredibly inefficient and will have you smelling like pork for 3 days.

4. String that goodness. Tie one end of your string to the sharp tip of a skewer. The disposable wooden skewers work nicely, or anything that is of uniform thickness all the way down. Piece by piece, pierce your meat items with the skewer and pull the skewer all the way through so they are hanging side-by-side on the string. Make your hole at the top of one of the long ends of meat so as to maximize the meat space. Perhaps you've been secretly artistic your entire life and you'll seize the opportunity to make this really special. Maybe this meat bead design will open up your life to creativity in new ways. Or maybe you'll just put it on the string and eat it. Whatever, we're not judging you.

5. Put on a poncho or something. For Pete's sake, you're making an insane mess. Those jerseys aren't cheap. Now parade yourself around the parking lot. You're the king/queen of your castle now, and you'll never be hungry again — for at least the next 35 minutes or so.