The 2011 NFL season is officially underway and that means one thing: fantasy football is one of the major topics of conversation in the tailgating parking lots. While tailgating this past Sunday prior to the Chargers vs. the Vikings game, I got to thinking. What would be my fantasy tailgate? If money and time were a non-factor, how would my dream tailgate look? This is what I came up with.
5:30 AM – Alarm. The sweet sound of John Facenda, legendary announcer from NFL Films awakens me.
5:35 AM – Shower
5:50 AM – Get dressed in shorts, Drink Like a Champion T-shirt and Flip Flops
6:00 AM – Huge “Madden Cruiser” style party bus pulls up with 30 of my closest friends and family.
6:01 AM – Step onto the bus, immediately handed a Bacon Bloody Mary.
6:02 AM – Bus departs for Qualcomm Stadium for tailgating prior to Chargers vs. Raiders game.
6:05 AM – Bus merges onto the freeway and soon discover that the Coors Light Twins will be our on-board cocktail waitresses and hostesses. Entertainment in the cabin is a running loop of old school NFL Films Crunch Course videos.
7:00 AM – Enter San Diego County and immediately joined by a 12 car police escort complete with lights a sirens. Presidential motorcades don’t get this much respect.
7:55 AM – Arrive at Gate 1 for some Qualcomm Stadium tailgating five minutes before the gates are supposed to open. We arrive. Gates open. Think Moses parting the Red Sea.
8:00 AM – Bus parks within 12 parking spaces that have been coned off and reserved for us.
8:01 AM – A NASCAR pit crew comes out of nowhere and immediately unpacks the bus. The grill, beer pong tables, cornhole boards, tables, chairs and even the hi-def satellite signal is locked in in less than a minute.
8:02 AM – Step off the bus to a throng of cheers usually reserved for a Papal Mass.
8:05 AM – Surveying the grilling area of the tailgate, notice that Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse are nearly in a fist fight over who will be cooking. Flay wins by pulling rank with experience with grilling. Lagasse gets in a few good body shots but has to settle for cooking for someone else.
8:10 AM – Stop by one of the fully loaded bars. Get served by Isaac the Bartender from the Love Boat TV show. Hands me another Bacon Bloody Mary and of course the double finger point. Informs me that when he is on break, Sam Malone, Coach and Woody from Cheers will be taking care of us.
8:15 AM – A Las Vegas mobile sports book betting kiosk magically appears taking all kinds of action. Drop $10,000 on the Over.
8:30 AM – The Swedish Bikini Team pulls up in their own van and will be our waitresses for the day.
8:35 AM – Eggs Benedict, bacon, hash browns and screwdrivers for breakfast.
9:00 AM – Good friend points out the homeless bag lady rummaging through the dumpster scavenging for aluminum cans. Upon closer look I recognize it is the snobby, Homecoming Queen that turned down my feeble attempts to ask her out back in high school. Laugh uncontrollably.
9:15 AM – Play all the traditional tailgating games; cornhole, ladder ball, washers, polish horseshoes and dominate them all.
10:00 AM – First set of all the early NFL games are projected onto an 18-Wheeler sized flatbed screen. Picture if the Sports Book at Ceasar’s Palace was moved outdoors… but bigger.
10:45 AM – Play four games of beer pong simultaneously. Go undefeated.
11:15 AM – Gatorade shower of beer dumped over my head in celebration of my dominating performance. Immediately picked up and crowd surf the tailgate party.
11:45 AM – Raiders fans stop by the tailgating area. Immediately take off their jerseys and hats, place them in a pile at my feet. They douse the clothing with lighter fluid but I get to drop the match.
12:00 PM – Lunch consists of Surf and Turf, five imported beers and Baked Alsaka for desert.
12:15 PM – Tailgate is slightly interrupted by a short thunderstorm. Instead of water, it’s raining bacon strips.
12:30 PM – Tailgating gear gets packed up by someone who is not me.
12:35 PM – Helicopter lands in the parking stall adjacent to ours, picking me up to take me to MCAS Miramar. Hop into an F/A-18 Hornet to pilot the lead jet for the pre-game fly over.
1:00 PM – Low level fly over the stadium breaking the sound barrier while passing over the 50 yard line.
1:05 PM – Land jet and chopper back to stadium. Upon arrival back, a rickshaw pulled by a bikini clad Jaime Edmondson is waiting to take me to my seat.
1:15 PM – Kick off which is immediately returned for a touchdown. Chargers lead 7-0 with 14:43 to go in the 1st quarter.
4:35 PM – Chargers cap off a great seesaw battle with a 60 yard Hail Mary that is caught for a touchdown as time expires in overtime. Chargers not only win but earn home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Teams combined for 63 points. Hello Vegas Over!
4:45 PM – Back in the parking lot and the post-game tailgate is already underway. Despite having a police escort at our disposal, we opt for the post-game tailgate just because we can.
6:00 PM – Police escort out of the stadium while watching the Sunday Night Football game. Neck and shoulder massage by a bikini clad Kate Upton.