By: Christian S. Kohl
We’ve all been there. You set aside an entire, glorious weekend day. Arrive at the stadium hours before game time and enjoy a spectacular tailgate as the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. Head into the stadium, cheer until you’re so hoarse you can no longer speak. Just a few short hours later, after thrilling victory or crushing defeat, there’s little else to do aside from returning to the parking lot, spending three hours moving a total of 200 feet, and nosing the car out of the parking lot before heading back home. Unless of course, when you find your car again after that draining and exhausting game, there’s another tailgate waiting there for you.
Think about it. A postgame tailgate. You’re going to be stuck in that line of cars for hours anyway. Besides, it feels like forever since your last meal. It was morning then, and the sun is setting now. For all intents and purposes, it’s dinner time, but it could be an eternity before you again find refreshments and food. Unless another magical spread is upon you as soon as you return.
The best part of the postgame tailgate is that it’s appropriate no matter what happened during the game. An epic and triumphant victory for your team demands celebration. A bitter and costly defeat requires comfort, and a forum to discuss all that needs to happen for the season to turn around. What better place for all of that than huddled around a barbecue next to your car as you’re cooking meat?
This particular form of tailgating requires a special kind of person, however. In order for this to be executed properly, you need a Tailgating Hero. You need a person in your crew who comes to the games for the food and the camaraderie, but doesn’t live and die with the outcome or the score. Someone who feels like they need to stretch their legs even after halftime ends, and is content to listen to the radio, or get the live reports when you all return. Because that person, the Tailgating Hero in your crew, can leave in the third quarter and fire everything back up again. If every single one of you is a die-hard, this may be nearly impossible to pull off. Just remember though. Rooting with all your strength for your team is about hope, and belief. For the postgame tailgate to appear, and appear without a hitch: all it takes is one person.
I advise that this particular form of celebration best take place if your crew can all arrive in a single car, as the maximum number of people can enjoy the liquid festivities postgame as well. I would further advise that if that same person who takes the bullet and volunteers to set up the postgame tailgate also holds the keys and drives home, something very special has happened in your life. You have found the Tailgating Hero. Maybe not the hero your tailgate deserves, but the one it needs right now. And if you’re ever looking to thank that person, don’t even bother getting them an apron. Thank your Hero properly, and buy him a cape. For he has made the impossible a reality, and allowed all that is great about game day to truly last the entire day.
Christian S. Kohl is a writer and filmmaker based in New York City. Find out more about him at DailySpew.com