SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22: Fans of the New York Giants from New Jersey tailgate in the parking lot outside the stadium prior to the Giants playing against the San Francisco 49ersduring the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on January 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California. Photo Credit: Thearon Henderson/Getty Images
Sure, athletes might be stronger, faster, and better looking than you. But are they richer? Yes. Without a doubt. They have more money than you ever will. Basically, professional athletes exceed you in every measurable metric. EXCEPT partying… maybe. See, chances are they need to take at least one night off per week. But you? You’re not held to any such monastic standards. Instead, you’re free to train day in, day out, much to the chagrin of your boss and children. You, sir or madam, are the royalty of tailgating.
But even though you sit upon your throne, beer and brisket in your hand – let us not forget that even powerful athletes can augment your tailgate. Today, we’re going to rank the top 10 football players that can make your tailgate better.
10. Mid-’90s Brett Favre
Not the picture-texting Brett Favre or the “will he retire or won’t he” Brett Favre. I’m talking the mid-90s good old boy Brett Favre. You’re telling me he’s the kind of guy who wouldn’t have a shootin’ car on his ranch? Yes, ranch. I’m assuming he has or had a ranch. Just don’t bring any craft beers. I think Favre is probably a strict tallboy fella.
The ringleader of the “Santa Rosa Five” – a group of five Raiders who shared motel rooms in Santa Rosa, with refrigerators (plural) stocked with beer – Ken Stabler was a legendary drunk. Sure, he might have led the Raiders to five championship games, but he admitted to playing hungover or half-drunk for a good portion of that time.
8. Michael Irvin
Whether or not we’re talking early ’90s Michael Irvin is up to you. The type of stuff he allegedly was into isn’t exactly our cup of tea. Still, the guy is crazy upbeat and enthusiastic. I refuse to believe that he wouldn’t want to take part in some shotguns or a few Jell-O shots.
7. Clinton Portis
The best part about inviting Clinton Portis to your tailgate is that you’re not just getting ONE guest, you’re getting oodles! Maybe Southeast Jerome, Sheriff Gonna Getcha, Coach Janky Spanky and the rest will show up. Hell, he could fill up a whole flip cup team by his lonesome. Then we’d trade the entire team for Champ Bailey straight up. Ba-zing!
Tony Siragusa (Photo Credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images for Motorola Xoom)
6. Tony Siragusa
I don’t have any specific stories about why Siragusa would make for a good tailgate addition. I just think he would. He’s a big friendly guy. He’s got a Super Bowl ring. He was in the Sopranos. He’d make everyone there a little happier. He’d be like Steve Nash, making everyone around him better, but with alcohol.
5. Deion Sanders
Another big personality guy. You know Neon Deion has probably helped lead the charge at more than a few parties in his day. Plus, if you got drunk, you could be the sole source of entertainment by letting him know that Bo Jackson was the ultimate two-sport athlete. Then invite Bo Jackson instead.
Over the course of 13 seasons, Max McGee was a key part of the Green Bay Packers’ offense. He was on five championship teams, made the Pro Bowl and is even a member of the Packers Hall of Fame. So he’d probably have some interesting stories to tell at your tailgate. Aw, who are we kidding. The REAL reason we’ve got McGee on here is that he played Super Bowl I with a soul-strangling hangover. Assuming he wouldn’t play in the game, due to his diminishing role in the Packers offense, McGee went out the night before and partied hard. So much so that he came to the sidelines without a helmet. When first stringer Boyd Dowler went down, McGee had to borrow a teammate’s helmet and come in. And then, while hungover, he gained 138 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns. And if he can get that drunk before a Super Bowl (the FIRST Super Bowl), imagine what he can do for your tailgate.
Chad Johnson (Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for PepsiCo)
2. Chad Johnson
Like many of you, I spent a long time thinking that Chad Johnson (formerly Chad Ochocino) was a bombastic blowhard. But a few stories have come to light recently that make it sound like he’s very generous with his money, and is usually a terrific guy to be around. Apparently when he was on the Bengals, he used to tweet out to all of his millions of followers that he was at BW3s if they wanted to hang out. Whenever people did, he’d pay their whole tab and keep them well stocked with food and beer. Sometimes he tweeted that he needed a ride home. And it wasn’t unheard of for any of the fans who picked him up to be invited back to his place to hang out and play video games. Anyway, it sounds like he probably could use a friend. So let’s invite him to the tailgate, huh?
Here’s the Google image search for the term “Gronk.” I can come up with several reasons why this legendary party animal should be counted among your tailgating guests. So long as, you know, he doesn’t need ANOTHER STUPID SURGERY.
So there we have it, 10 great athletes who could make your tailgate better. All personal apologies to Jerome Bettis, my personal favorite football player of all time, for missing the cut. If only you partied more during your career…