I decided to forgo the sanctioned definition of tailgating for a more fitting set of words to accurately describe the storied event. Many people think that tailgating is only outside, in a parking lot, and just hours before a game is about to begin. It’s considered the pre-party to the game, and sometimes is the highlight of your day/evening (if done right).
Well that’s false, as Tailgate Fan has shown many many times. Case in point: Late in the afternoon a couple Saturdays ago I tweeted a picture with my best friend and I wearing our garnet and gold with shots in our hands. The caption read, “We tailgate early. #FSU.”
I was swiftly condemned because people were quick to point out that 4pm is not early. But what those boneheads failed to realize is that we were tailgating two entire days before our big Monday night game versus Pitt at Heinz Field. I don’t know what time your watch is set on, but mine’s set to badass.
This weekend I headed to the beautifully and mild-mannered temperatures of San Diego to check out Qualcomm Stadium for the first time. Heading into the prime time match-up, the Texans had never beaten the Chargers (the all-time series now sits at 1-4). Texans fans traveled in masses, as they always do (ever heard of “Traveling Texans?”), set for a good time and hopefully for a good game.
Traveling Texans schedule their ritually posed shot, this time at the USS Midway in San Diego (Photo Credit: Jayme Lamm)
These thousands of bulls and babes on parade have all the traveling details figured down to the very last nittiest grittiest one — what color to wear on the airplane, the preferred shots of the weekend, and the right hasthtag fit for social media. And they always have a beer in hand.
The tailgate scene outside of Qualcomm, unfortunately, really wasn’t noteworthy, unless you count the sparkly clad Charger Girls parading through the parking lot promoting their new calendar. Other than that, the fan outfits were pretty tame and the beer was consumed in moderation. Everyone was friendly and in a sharing mood. But I didn’t see any shotgunning or ice-luges. I didn’t even notice too many footballs being thrown around. This is Monday Night Football, I thought? I think Joe Buck would have even been disappointed.
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When one gets hurt at a tailgate, ice cold Bud Lights do in fact come in handy. (Photo Credit: Jayme Lamm)
I did however see Chris Berman pull up behind us in his chariot, before going through the private tunnel. After sitting through an hour of traffic, he looked just as unhappy through a windshield glass as he does on a television screen.
However, the tailgates must have been a bit more happening than I was able to witness (tear). In the third quarter, we noticed EIGHT Texans fans get escorted out of the stadium by more than 10 security guards. Three JJ Watts, an Arian Foster, an Andre Johnson and two Owen Daniels were sent bye-bye before ever seeing Brian Cushing’s pick six and the final end. That part made it all worth it.
Chargers fans, thank you for hosting us, treating us kindly and putting up with the loss. But when it comes to tailgating, we cordially invite you to Reliant Stadium to show you how it’s really done.
Party with Tailgate Fan at the game.
Stop in at the Man Cave Daily, where the women are hot and the beer is cold.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sport’s column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.