I’m looking forward to football season, or should I say the start of the games that get the teams into the playoffs. I don’t pay much attention to the pre-season games because I’ve heard they don’t make any difference and I’m not quite ready to admit summer is almost over. I’m a watch from home person; I can’t get into spending twelve hours in a day to watch a four hour game. (That includes drive-time, tailgate time, the game, getting out of the parking lot and then driving home.)
My step-son went to the University of Kentucky. While visiting him one fall over ten years ago, I went to my first tailgating party. I expected hamburgers, hots and potato chips. Silly me. UK is a HUGE football college. There was a big surprise for me when we got to the parking lot. It was full of RV’s with room size rugs laid in front of them, canopy tents, lawn chairs, full size gas grills, and coolers, larger than I had ever seen, full of beer, wine and food. We ate different types of salads, grilled pork loin, vegetables and dip, and no chips. WOW! I don’t remember anything about the game. Like I said we were visiting, so I only went once.
I have some very close friends that are Buffalo Bill’s season ticket holders. I’ve asked on more than one occasion how they can party in the parking lot, then sit through four hours of game in 30 degree weather. The answer is, “We dress for it!” Okay, that makes sense. Then I ask, “Doesn’t it get old when your team is in a slump?” You should see the looks I get. The wife says to me, “Who cares if the team wins or looses. We go to tailgate. We’ve been parking in the same lot for years and have made all sorts of friends from all over the place. It’s the only time we see them.” Now that makes sense to me. The wife posts very interesting recipes on Facebook that she will try for the next tailgate. Then she posts pictures of the ‘gang’ having fun. They wear lots of Bills gear and everyone is laughing or smiling. When there is an away game, the ones that are from here gather in the same local bar to watch together. I guess I’m a little jealous I don’t have a group of friends like that.
Unfortunately the husband passed away two years ago on September 11. His tailgating friends didn’t even know he had gotten sick just after season’s end the year before so it was a sorrowful shock to them. This is how they paid tribute to their friend that weekend. This is the hill behind the parking lot.
The good part is the wife and adult daughter have been able to keep their season tickets. I’ve already started seeing new recipes for this season and the daughter has a steady boyfriend to enjoy the fun with.
I know it’s been two years since the Patriot Guard escorted my friend to his final resting place, but it feels like yesterday. GO BILLS!
I sewed every one of those patches on Dack’s vest. I knew his trip schedule as well as his wife.