tailgating20 Nov 2005
Our new apartment is on the 2nd avenue side of market street apartments, whereas my original apartment was on the 1st avenue side. That side was a lot quieter, because 1st is quieter in general, plus there’s the buffer zone of the parking lot. But this side has its charm as well, including a nice view of downtown, and a bird’s eye view of the parking lot on 2nd/Demonbreun/3rd, which as it turns out is prime tailgating territory for Titans games.
So on any given sunday, I can tell whether or not the Titans are playing by whether or not I am woken up at 8AM by the relaxing sounds of men screaming. Not screaming “GO TITANS!” or “FUCK YEAH”, mind you, but just screaming. Why? I don’t know. These guys just really love football. So much that they can’t seem to contain the primordial bellowing of joy/drunkenness welling up inside of them.
Now, I’ve been observing the tailgating process, and I have to tell you, it’s fascinating. I’ve done some tailgating in my time, but nothing serious. You cook some brats, throw a football, and get nice and drunk before you even get to the game. But the tailgaters out here take it to an entirely new level.
Take for instance the family of four I kept my eye on this morning. They showed up bright and early at 8AM, and set up a 4x4 foot table with a picnic table cloth. I watched as the matriarch of the family spent the entire time meticulously setting up dish after dish of snacks, dips and side-dishes. Next to the table was a free-standing propane stove – not just a grill, mind you, but a full stove – cooking a ton of burgers and dogs. The odd thing was the presentation of it all. Everything was arranged almost like a booth – as if she were setting up shop at Oktoberfest or something. They had enough food to feed the entire parking lot, but it was just them, and I never saw anyone come by and actually eat any of their food. The husband was behind her, no joke, cracking open a bottle of wine. Who drinks wine while tailgating?!
And then, as if it were all a mirage, they were gone – like gypsies whose camp has vanished under the cover of night. Not just the people, and not just their buffet-table, but everything, including their car. What is going on here? Why did they spend 4 hours setting up a massive meal for no one in a parking lot and then leave? Did they even go to the game? Is this an elaborate hidden camera show prank?