Last week we laid out the first half road map to go tailgating before all 32 NFL teams’ games within the 17 week regular season. It’s time now to reveal how you will wrap up this grueling ultimate tailgating tour. Please read The Ultimate Tailgate Tour – Part 1 to catch up on what you may have missed up to this point. Gas up the RV, pop a couple Advil, hit the market and let’s go tailgating.
Sunday, November 11th – Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears
Okay, before doing some Raiders tailgating you may need to gear up with some face paint and battle armor just to fit in. Oakland Raider fans are some of the most passionate fans in the NFL and their recent lack of success on the field has tested that loyalty. There is no questioning their loyalty to tailgating and you better be prepared to take some shots of hard alcohol. Sure they will have beer at the Raiders tailgate party but they will have their fair share of hard liquor available too. A Raiders tailgate party is where Halloween is every Sunday.
Monday, November 12th – Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers
The trip north to Seattle may be a bit of a trek with an estimated 12 hours on the road. You may need to bribe a sober friend too hook him up with some drunken tailgating girls once in Seattle to convince him he needs to drive all night. Because the new Qwest Field is mostly served by parking garages, it does lack the tailgating charm of other stadiums. That should not prevent you from pulling to the top of one of the parking structures and tailgating it anyway. After all, this is the ultimate tailgating tour and a parking garage will not stand in the way of a good tailgate party.
Sunday, November 18th – Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers
Just one game this week. If you have ever been tailgating at Lambeau Field you know your body and liver will thank you for sparing it the pain and agony of tailgating two games in one week. Packer fans believe in the old tailgating mantra of arriving early, grilling hard. drinking harder and staying later after the game. Tailgating at Lambeau Field is not quarantined to just the stadium parking lots. The local area business open up their parking lots and you can see many fans grilling and tailgating in the parking lot of industrial parks and business. Don’t forget the brats and lots of beer for this stop. Running out of beer and food at a Packers tailgate party would be a major faux pas.
Thursday, November 22nd (Thanksgiving) – Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
The NFL is steeped in rich tradition and nothing is more synonymous with Thanksgiving than the Detroit Lions playing (and lately losing) the first game on Thanksgiving. Make sure to bring your outdoor turkey fryer and get to the game early to tailgate. The game starts at 12:30 so there is not a lot of time to tailgate before game time.
Sunday, November 25th – Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
With Friday and Saturday available after Thanksgiving you can easily make the 10 hour trip east to North Carolina. The weather in Charlotte should be a bit warmer than in Detroit on Thanksgiving, so you can leave your parka in the closet. We’ll skip the Monday Night Football game for two reasons. The first being we’ve already been to a Steelers tailgate party and second, it is just too damn far to drive all the way to Pittsburgh from Charlotte to visit Heinz Field twice.
Thursday, November 29th – Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers
Normally if you are tailgating on a Thursday prior to a Dallas Cowboys game, odds are it is Thanksgiving. With the advent of the NFL Network scheduling more Thursday night games, this gives us an opportunity to make the ultimate tailgate party tour a reality. While in Irving, Texas savor the BBQ brisket and ribs in the parking lot of Texas Stadium. Soon the $1 billion new home of the Cowboys will be opening so say goodbye while you can to a stadium that has hosted more than its fair share of tailgate parties.
Sunday, December 2nd – Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
Just a 10 hour drive in two days gives you plenty of time to tailgate with the Tennessee Titan faithful. Since he will more than likely still be serving his season long suspension, see if you can’t get Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones to join your tailgate party. Just make sure he leaves his $77,000 in cash at home and resists the urge to ‘make it rain’ again.
Thursday, December 6th – Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears
Another Thursday night game, another great reason to tailgate with another set of NFL fans. While at this tailgate, be generous with your food and beverage offerings to your fellow tailgaters. You are in our nation’s capital and they way the government hands out cash you might as well just try to fit in with your food and beverage. Just make sure if you are short on your tax return that you avoid any IRS agents that might be off duty and tailgating themselves.
Sunday, Decmber 9th – Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts
Less than an hour’s drive from Washington DC you should be plenty rested for what should be a hardcore tailgate party in Baltimore. Keep in mind that this game is a Sunday Night Football game on NBC so the game will kickoff later than normal. With the extra time you can be sure the tailgaters will take full advantage of the extra time to eat and drink themselves silly.
Thursday, December 15th – Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos
Reliant Stadium is one of the newest and most modern NFL stadiums on this ultimate tailgate party tour. The stadium planners took careful consideration for the tailgating public and Reliant Stadium has numerous lots open for tailgating to choose from. If you don’t mind a longer walk to the game, try the outer parking lots to find the more rowdy tailgaters in Houston.
Sunday, December 16th – St. Louis Rams vs. Green Bay Packers
The Rams may not be called the ‘greatest show on turf’ anymore but the tailgating prior to Rams games is one of the best parties on asphalt. With St. Louis the home for Budweiser you better not be caught with a Coors or Miller Lite in your hand. ever seen a grown man trampled by a Clydesdale?
Monday, December 17th – Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears
The temperature inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome will be a balmy 72 degrees but you can bet that the temperature in the tailgating parking lot will be closer to 27 degrees. No need to stock your cooler with ice to keep the beer cold. Just place your cans on the ground and let mother nature keep them cold. Just make sure to drink them fast enough because beer will freeze in a can.
Sunday, December 23rd – Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons
After your Vikings tailgating experience you will welcome a trip to University of Phoenix Stadium to tailgate with Cardinal fans. This will be the closest thing to Super Bowl tailgating you will get this year. No, we’re not predicting the Cardinals are Super Bowl contenders but referring to the host stadium. University of Phoenix Stadium will host Super Bowl XLII and since the NFL has banned tailgating at the Super Bowl, this game will be the next best thing.
Monday, December 24th – San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
More warm weather tailgating is expected on this trip to San Diego for a game that could determine the AFC West championship. In addition to this being a huge game for both teams, the game is being held on Christmas Eve. Pack your Santa Claus costume and we are sure there will be a tailgating girl or two you can convince to sit on your knee and tell you they want for Christmas. With one week to go on this ultimate tailgate party tour, I am sure you will be wishing for a new liver and a complete change of blood from Old Saint Nick.
Saturday, December 29th – New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
The tailgating gods must have had this type of tour in mind when the NFL schedule makers put this year’s season together. For the final week of tailgating you’ll pull into Giants Stadium and keep it parked for two days of non-stop tailgating. Let your tailgating neighbors know where you have been up until this point and I am sure they will try to outdo the other 30 tailgate parties you have already seen.
Sunday, Decmeber 30th – New York Jets vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The final stop on this ultimate tailgate party tour ends today but thankfully you did not have to drive anywhere. You may move to a better location within the same parking lot in which you just tailgated yesterday. Let the Jets tailgate party goers know you were at the Giants tailgate the day prior and get ready for an avalanche of food and drink offers. We’re confident that the Jets tailgaters will not stand for being shown up by Giants fans tailgating efforts the day prior.
So there you have it. 32 tailgate parties and 31 stadiums in just 17 weeks. In review you have visited all 31 stadiums of every NFL team in this order:
After this trip you will need a break from tailgating for just a little while. Think about this though. Pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training is a great way to start off another ultimate tailgating tour, this one the baseball edition.