Right at home in this "neighborhood" !
Our tailgating pal, "The Commisioner" Joe Cahn, calls the tailgate lot the "last great American neighborhood". And nowhere have we felt more welcome than in the "neighborhood" at the Meadowlands.
When we pulled into lot 3B, we there were only a few cars clustered around the base of the lightpost. They'd already had their fire going earlier (in the middle of the asphalt -- that was something new for us) but moved it into a pit when more of their party arrived.
As the lot filled, we were greeted by tailgaters (who all have thier regular spots in the lot) that came by to see what the new guys on the block were all about. Of course, being New Yorkers, when they found out we were all about cooking they insisted they had the best food around.
This was one stadium we didn't have any trouble finding contestants for the Taste-off! And we saw a huge variety of food, ranging from a full-course Thanksgiving Dinner (complete with Norwegian Glogg!) to a creamy Crab Bisque.
We'd been invited to tailgate in 3b by lot regular Kevin Crummy who read about us in a local paper. And while he couldn't rally his tailgating buddies to cook up something special for the competition, they did agree to be our judges (a duty they met with relish!)
The creative entries they tasted included chili-corn casserloe, spicy-orange shrimp, and quesadillas, but after careful consideration they awarded prizes to Scott Bennett for his Chicago Style Beef, Maria Sisco for The Ultimate RoadTrip Dip, Steve Gato for his Teriyaki Hot Wings, Bob Petrovic for his Pierogies, Alvin Gouveia for his Venison Black Bean Chili, and Michael Damato for his Boozer Brasciolle.
But once the Taste-off was over and the prizes were awarded, the party really started. Our friends from the Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle Fire Departments came out -- some with their families -- to tailgate with us. And just after kick-off they kicked up the cooking., The crowd around our grills grew and grew, as Jets fans decided there was more action in the lot than in the stadium.
We all huddled around our Camp Chef portable campfires and the basement TV, watching the game and making new friends well into the night.
When we finally started to pack up, we realized that we were nearly all alone. In the next lot over, way in the distance, we could see the headlights on a Class C motorhome making its way toward the exit.
It pulled out, and we all let out a whoop. It was our first time being Last Out! And really, we still didn't want to leave.
There are SuperFans, and then there are fans who push it WAAAYYYY beyond the limits of anything that even resembles reason. This group of tailgaters in lot 3B has a whole circus full of characters, rituals and traditions that include crazy costumes, a parade, chants, speeches, and -- on this day -- the ceremonial burning of a teddy bear!
Tailgating Toys !
We've seen all kinds of crazy drinking games and gadgets, but this one was a first... Scott and his tailgating buddies have been passing this ladle around the lot for 15 years. They've got all kinds of rules when it comes to taking your turn, but the crazy thing is that the bowl holds a whole 6 pack of beer. No kidding!
See more pictures from the New York tailgate in our Scrapbook OntheBlacktop.com!