A few weeks back (or maybe a month, this summer is going by way too quickly) ESPN reviewed health department inspection reports for food and beverage outlets at all 107 North American arenas and stadiums that were home to Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association teams in 2009.
In short the results were alarming. Health code violations were rampant. The details were enough to make one vomit on the spot, with that result possibly being healthier than some of the food that fans are ingesting at their local ball park!
The good news of such a report? Come on, isn’t it obvious? Tailgating rules once again (no surprise). These healthcode violations highlight the importance and benefit of tailgating. With tailgating the fan can control the safety of the food that they are ingesting. With tailgating the fan can assure that they will be in their seats for the 4th quarter and not hunched over a stadium toilet puking nachos with cheese whiz.
Tailgaters love to tailgate. Tailgaters take great pride in their cooking equipment. Tailgaters take great pride in the taste and quality of their food. In short, achieving the perfect tailgate is an obsession (and a damn healthy one).
Do you think a stadium worker who is making slightly more than minimum wage holds these same values when it comes to your food? I doubt it. My guess is that these workers are more concerned with speed, cutting costs, and punching the clock to head back home. I could be wrong, but I doubt for the majority of the workers this isn’t the case.
A tailgater is meticulous about the cleanliness of their grill and grilling tools. A tailgater is concerned with taste and producing the best taste with the highest quality of ingredients. A tailgater wants to be known as the Master Griller or Tailgater. That title isn’t gotten by cutting corners on taste, quality, cleanliness, or time.
So thank you ESPN. You have once again shown the world the need for tailgating.
You have shown to wives everywhere the need for husbands to arrive at the stadium a few hours early. Our health is depending on the tailgate. We can’t be eating fly infested foods in the stadium because we need to stay home to complete one more item on the “to-do” list. We need to eat at the tailgate. We need to be healthy enough to get home and enjoy the Sunday night game!