The men and women that cram their gullets full of meaty goodness every weekend are more than mere mortals. They are demigods of the parking lot and superheroes of the stadium. And more than a creed and a code, above all every superhero needs a cool car.
That’s why today we’re taking a look at the most badass battle jitneys and vittle vans that have ever graced a tailgate. And if that last sentence doesn’t make you want to fist pump like a Terry Tate commercial, then you might be beyond the hope of even modern science.
Tom and Tim Gibbons, who are not the Bushwhackers, purchased an ambulance in 2005 and decked it out in all purple. That includes flashing purple lights and the words “FEAR THE FROG” written backwards on the grill. Not only does the Frogmobile hit the road all season, but it’s presided over three weddings. Probably as the officiant. This thing is a Transformer, right?
LSU’s Unsupervised Bus is the trademark vehicle of the nearly 20-year-old Unsupervised Tailgating group. These guys keep their hooch in an ice chest fashioned like a coffin, and they spend every game cooking and eating their opponent’s namesake (for instance, roasted pig during Arkansas games and gator for Florida games). Also, this one time, they probably murdered and ate an endangered Bengal Tiger before an Auburn game.
Nothing like a nice, short name that just rolls off the tongue, hm? The Korner Krewe, who occupy the Who Dat Nation Tailgating Headquarter Bus (which parks in the Brees Lot of Football Supremacy near the Peyton Interstate of Louisiana Joy, etc. etc.) spends every weekend whipping up a Cajun feast, including smoked alligator ribs. Yeah, you can abandon ship here. I saved you the trouble.
While technically not football specific, the Steelers are proud to be one of the hosts of Pittsburgh’s Mobile Tailgating Unit, which also visits Pirates and Penguins games. Obviously, this converted ambulance cooks up all the usual goodies, but, you guys, their bathroom has mints and cologne and stuff, so you can toss your cookies in style after one too many Iron City beers.
The Toledo Jambulance is not a WNBA team, white funk band, P.F. Chang’s knock off, or D-list Ohio fundraiser. Instead it’s a converted ambulance that fans use to cheer on the (*Googling*) Rockets? Here fans can enjoy leather seats, LCD TVs and just an awesome season of competitive Toledo Rockets football.
I- Michigan? I have to- okay. Fine. So, say what you will about Michigan, but this idea is pretty cool. The Bus is passed down from MBA student to MBA student every so often, and they even sell season passes so you can enjoy an open bar for every home game. Plus, they’re Michigan fans, so the company is probably exquisite.
Let the other schools deck out kooky RVs and ambulances with overblown gear and decorations. The barbeque aficionados of Austin are happy enough to show up with a trailer smoker, so they can make authentic barbeque right there in the parking lot. Who needs a fancy ride with grub that good?
Oh my God I’m just kidding. Look at this thing! How cool is that? All burnt orange and murder-y. Unfortunately, rather than ice cold beers and smoked brisket, it just holds the remains of Cedric Benson’s potential (ba-ZING!)
Okay, this is impressive. After getting ousted from their previous parking lot, Magic Bus organizers found a new parking lot, complete with three acres of land (two for parking), a shuttle bus to the stadium and a sponsorship from Kraft foods. Think about all that effort the next time you can’t be bothered to wake up before noon on Saturday.
Look, I know I’ve talked about the Red Pinto before. But Ken “Pinto Ron” Johnson (not a wrestler) has been cooking food off of saw blades, filing cabinets, army helmets and more for years now. Plus, he serves cherry liquor out of a bowling ball. Hey, if you’re going to make the trip to Ralph Wilson stadium, you should at least come home with a good story, right?
The lesson here, kiddies, is that if you’re going to make the effort to tailgate, you may as well go whole hog. In other words, go big, and then go home… in your awesome, custom-made tailgating Batmobile.
This article was written with the assistance of tailgating wunderkind and all-around gentleman Jamin Hemenway. Check out his blog at The Pigskin Pursuit.