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Tailgate Face-Off: The Battle For New York (Part 2)

By Brian Cullen
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Photo Credit: Brian Cullen

Photo Credit: Brian Cullen

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Welcome back sports fans! And we’d especially like to welcome our viewers from the Oakland-San Francisco Tailgate Throwdown who are just joining us now, who of course got to see that competition end in a spectacular fashion over on the west coast. Welcome, fans.

Check out Part 1 of The Battle For New York.

To get you all caught up, we had a thrilling first half between the Jets and the Giants, with the score tied at 3-3. The second half promises to be just as exciting, To review, we’re pitting the Jets and Giants of New York against each other across multiple of tailgating categories. Without any further delay, let’s jump head first into:

THE BATTLE FOR NEW YORK, PART 2!

Round 6: Treatment Of Other Fans!

Admittedly, this was a surprising category. As a longtime supporter of the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots, I’ve gotten used to a less than cordial reception from the New York faithful. But at least one of these teams surprised me with their hospitality.

And that team is the New York Giants. At two different tailgates, I heard chefs talking about how they altered their menu every single week according to the team they were playing. Without a doubt, the crown jewel of this tradition was when one hungry tailgater told me about his plan to cook a “Pigsburgh Squeeler,” which one can only hope is some kind of hog.

giants tailgating 121 Tailgate Face Off: The Battle For New York (Part 2)

Photo Credit: Brian Cullen

In contrast — and unfortunately this is my only basis of comparison here — when I attended the Jets-Colts game, I saw three Colts fans walking towards the stadium. That’s when I saw a guy in a Darrelle Revis jersey do this:

“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

(deep breath)

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

(deep breath)

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And so on. This went on for, no exaggeration, a solid five minutes.

So, you know. If you’re an opposing fan, come see a Giants game and enjoy some grub representative of your team. Or, go to a Jets game and get heckled by that breathless jerk.

JETS 3, GIANTS 4

See more New York Giants tailgating pics.

jets tailgating 91 Tailgate Face Off: The Battle For New York (Part 2)

Photo Credit: Brian Cullen

Round 7: Atmosphere

And of course, by atmosphere, I’m talking about that intangible feeling in the air. Which felt more like an event? Where was the air more “electric”?

The Giants tailgate felt, in some ways, almost like attending a parade. There were tons and tons of people, but everyone was quiet and respectful, and everyone just happened to be wearing the same color jersey. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by missing this game. I hate to say it, but it just felt like another football game.

The Jets game, on the other hand, felt like an event. I know this is counterintuitive. I know my first picture showed an empty parking lot. But that’s exactly the point. While the numbers were fewer, the energy was more frenetic. There was an anxiety in the air. Like, this game mattered. And I got the feeling that this didn’t have to do with the win-loss record. This was just sort of how Jets games are. I felt that energy from the moment I stepped on the train at Penn Station (where I heard a guy with a thick, Jersey accent talking about how he met “Shooter McGavin and that guy from The Sopranos”) all the way to the train ride back, where tailgaters lamented their lack of tickets. To wit, the Jets fans created an atmosphere that was just more memorable.

Jets take the round!

JETS 4, GIANTS 4

Party at a New York Jets tailgate.

jets tailgating 151 Tailgate Face Off: The Battle For New York (Part 2)

Photo Credit: Brian Cullen

Round 8: The Food

This is a big one, gang. Food is one of the quintessential, ahem, ingredients necessary to make any tailgate worthwhile. So who took home the big metaphorical-but-also-literal enchilada?

The Giants fans brought some impressive grub, most notably the barbeque spread I saw at Wrong Fork Productions. Sadly, I didn’t get to sample any, but having spent a few years living in Texas, I have a soft spot for barbeque (even… ugh… northern barbeque). Plus, like I said before, the Big Blue faithful seemed to have some cool ideas for cooking foods on behalf of opposing teams.

The Jets, on the other hand? Well. Here’s the menu that one intrepid tailgater brings to every game. Please note that this was all scribbled in my notebook, so there’s a chance these numbers are off:

jets tailgating 181 Tailgate Face Off: The Battle For New York (Part 2)

Photo Credit: Brian Cullen

100 burgers and hotdogs

10 filets

15 rib eyes

20 hot sausages

20 sweet sausages

2 trays of ribs

2 trays of fried eggplant

10 chicken cutlets

100 cannolis

They bring that every game. They bring that. TO. EVERY. GAME.

And finally, the sausage and pepper sandwich I got at Carmine’s tailgate (the fella that stuffed me full of Jager bombs) was one of the best examples of tailgating grub I’ve ever had. Could be the booze talking, but who cares?

Jets take it.

JETS 5, GIANTS 4

See more New York Jets tailgating pics.

And now, here we are folks. The final round. If the Jets take home this one, they’ll notch a rare victory. If the Giants come from behind at the last minute, like they’ve done so many times in the last few years, they can tie it up. So what’s our final category?

Round 9: The Pink Jersey Test

Let’s get one thing straight. I loathe pink jerseys. To me, they say “I’m rooting for this team, but only under my terms.” Look, you can’t just change colors willy-nilly. I can’t just march into the Notre Dame bookstore and say “blue and gold is cool, but do you have black and red? That’d be awesome!” This is the kind of thinking that got us into the Cold War in the first place* (*probably not true).

Furthermore, tailgating is about camaraderie and innovation, but it’s also about authenticity. And I can’t in good judgement hand over a point to a team that fosters people who wear pink jerseys.

So guess what, lady that was wearing a pink Victor Cruz jersey? Not only did you glorify a guy with the most irritating touchdown dance in the game, but you just cost the Giants the championship.

Jets (…ugggggh…) win 6-4. And they are forevermore the true kings of New York tailgating.

So hang your head high, Gang Green. Today you’ve shown the world that you’re good at eating, drinking and partying outdoors. Cheers to you!

PS – This decision had everything to do nothing to do with the David Tyree helmet catch.

Read more about the tailgating fan.

Stop in at the Man Cave, where the women are hot and the beer is cold.

Brian Cullen is proud of you, Jets fans. Remember today, because that’s literally the last time he’ll help you celebrate a victory. You can follow Brian on twitter @bucketcullen or follow his tumblr at briancullendotgeocitiesdotfart.tumblr.com.

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