Last week Tailgate Fan caught up with Joe Cahn, the Commissioner of Tailgating, to talk about, well, tailgating. Who better to weigh in on America’s favorite pastime than the man who’s logged over 800,000 miles living the dream? Of course, the Commish had so much to say that we had to break the interview into two parts.
Here’s the rest of Tailgate Fan’s conversation with Joe.
You may not even be able to answer this next one but where is the one place you would want to tailgate that you haven’t yet been to?
Tour De France. If you watch the Tour De France you would notice all those RVs on the side of the road, and they are partying all day. The race goes by in less than one minute and then they party again. You can’t move. Obviously the traffic in that area is stopped until well after the race, and you can’t really move anywhere, so you have to party. Then you go to the next party, which I imagine is every other day because you really can’t get to the to the stage, which is the next day, because other people are already lined up. I want to say the Tour De France would be a great tailgate. I love to go to Jimmy Buffet concerts, I love going to NASCAR. But football is something that is very, very special because there is a home team and people have their jerseys on, and you’re a part of this wonderful group collective.
So, I think you just answered this but what is your favorite sport to tailgate for?
I would have to say football. It’s more community oriented. In NASCAR you have 43 teams, so it’s very difficult with 43 teams to yell and cheer for Dodge or Chevy. I mean, you do, but you don’t have as much vested interest as you do in a team sport and feeling that you know the players and are a part of it. I think that’s the most fun and the most enjoyable.
Would you highlight some of the best food you have had at tailgates? I know you don’t like to call out any one of your particular children as a favorite. Who does? But would you highlight some of the best?
Brats in Chicago or Green Bay. There is something about a brat, that is, a beer brat, grilled nice and crispy with good mustard. I love BBQ. Some ribs. Amazing flavors, good BBQ. In Southern Louisiana, whether or not it’s boiled shrimp or crawfish. Crabs and crab cakes in Baltimore are incredible. Pulled Smoked Salmon in Seattle. But here are so many dishes and so many wonderful traditions that people have, it’s really amazing. It is the covered dish dinner parties of the world. Everybody brings their best dishes. Stuffed jalapenos are incredible. Fresh fried fish down in Jacksonville and some great whole pigs in Miami in Cuban food. …Even the lonely hotdog, shared with people who are friends, is one of the greatest meals you could have. I’m getting hungry.
Yeah, I know. So am I. I just ate my lunch and I’m getting hungry again. What cities and schools have you visited so far this season?
This season I started off at the Chick-fil-A Game, which Clemson played Auburn. So I could walk around going, “Go Tigers,” and I was safe. That was a Saturday game, then on Sunday I went to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for a Sprint race. On that Wednesday I went to the opening NFL game… Giants on Wednesday, Rutgers on Saturday, Jets on Sunday and Baltimore on Monday night. Then I went up to Maine to practice eating lobster. Then I went to New England where I did pretty good eating lobster, and went to the game on Sunday. Then I dropped down and did Charlotte on Thursday, Virginia Tech in the morning, University of Tennessee At Chattanooga Saturday afternoon and Titans on Sunday. This week was SMU on Saturday, Houston on Sunday and now I’m at the Dallas game.
What’s your plan for the rest of the season?
Every stadium in the NFL I will visit, along with about 14 colleges and if I can fit in some high school games, some high school games.
Wow. And you’re going to take this all the way through the Super Bowl?
All the way through the Super Bowl. Hopefully, people will be inviting people down to New Orleans anytime.
Is there an offseason for tailgating?
No, because then there is NASCAR and Jimmy Buffet which is non-adversarial tailgating, which is incredible. Then you have Steeplechase which is another great venue for tailgating. Opera, tailgating opera. I tailgated a Dallas Opera this year. Multi-tasked because it was actually at the Cowboys Stadium. But next year I’d like to tailgate the Santa Fe Opera which is a very big wonderful time. So again, there is no offseason. It’s practice, practice, practice.