Credit: Getty Images This big news coming out of the new Jersey Meadowlands is the cut back on tailgating times at Giants Stadium this season. Instead of the parking lots opening seven hours before kick-off, gates will now open five hours prior.
Associated Press: Less tailgaiting time for Giants, Jets fans
Crain’s New York Business: Stadium cracks down on rowdy fans
NJ.com: Sports Authority to impose stricter rules for New York Jets, Giants fans
Bloomberg.com: Giants’, Jets’ New Jersey Stadium Landlord Cuts Party Hours
International Herlad Tribune: Less tailgating time for Giants, Jets fans
Bucks County Courier Times: Going to Meadowlands? Take less beer
As you can see, the news is sending shock waves through the local and national media.
I am seeing a very disturbing trend developing here and I can say I do not like it. It has been well documented that I have been opposed to the parking fee increase and subsequent less hour of tailgating at Qualcomm Stadium. This is not an isolated phenomenon in San Diego and New York. This seems to be a trend that is not going to go away any time soon.
You may be an NFL tailgater in Kansas City or Denver or Houston and think “Who cares about the San Diego and New York tailgaters. They haven’t changed the tailgating times at my stadium.”.
Don’t be so sure. Lest I remind you of the Pastor Martin NiemÃ¶ller poem, First They Came…
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
This week it is San Diego and New York. Next week it could be Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore or Green Bay.
It’s up to you tailgating nation whether you will just roll over and continue to pay higher parking fees for less tailgating time. Take responsibility for your actions and please police your own tailgating parking lot. These rules and reduced tailgating times are a direct response to drunken, obnoxious behavior by irresponsible fans. They’ve already banned tailgating at the Super Bowl, why not extend it to the regular season and cut out the nuisance once and for all?
If we as tailgaters do not get our fellow tailgaters under control, the NFL and the local teams will have no choice than to further reduce the amount of time you can tailgate. Don’t let them take away your tailgating by being an irresponsible tailgater yourself. Also, if you have a few tailgating regulars that tend to drink too much and get too rowdy, don’t invite them to your tailgate party anymore. Getting our tailgating times increased is up to you and your behavior.
The choice is yours. Now all you need to do is make sure you follow through on it.