SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 07: Fans tailgate before the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers NFL game on September 7, 2008 at Monster Park in San Francisco, California.Photo Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Brace yourselves, sports fans. Football season is finally upon us again. And we’re about to embark on another season full of ingesting 50,000-calories each weekend as we pull for our favorite teams to bring home a trophy.
But before the bedlam begins, we’d like to take a moment to honor the truest, grittiest, most passionate fans out there.
While players come and go with every trade and free agency signing, you, tailgating fans, have been there for every lousy season, blizzard, heat wave and more.
Tom Brady (Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
You were there for Brady’s stupid haircut. No, not that one. The other one. Not that one either. Ok, you know what? You were there for every stupid Brady haircut.
You were there for RichRod. You were there for QBForce.com (click that at your own risk).
You were there for the Tuck Rule, for the last 15 years of Al Davis, for the JaMarcus Russell debacle and for two tenures of Art Shell. You were there for Lane Kiffin.
And Tennessee, you were there for Lane Kiffin.
And USC, you’re there now for, wow, Lane Kiffin again? Geez.
You were there when Nick Saban quit to go coach the pros, except — hey! Just kidding! Now he’s coaching a team in your conference!
You were there when Lawrence Taylor went all “Beast Mode” on your quarterback.
You’re there right now, when there’s a quarterback race between John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, the Domino’s Noid and a plate of coldcuts.
Every year, depending on your sport of choice, your league hosts either 31 or 119 non-champions. Meaning that your chances of seeing your boys bring home a trophy is pretty small, all things considered. Still, every year, you brave inclement weather, bone-headed coaching moves, lousy traffic, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver and huge crowds — all just to show your support.
And so, in preparation of a season that’s sure to be full of stories glorifying the players — today, tailgate fans, we salute you. Thank you for your dedication. Thank you for making game day awesome.
Sadly, there is no rest for the weary. And so, we normal fans of nebulous resolve must ask you to take up your flags and grills once again and forever more: for our sake, and for the sake of your team we implore you — show us how to be fans.