I head to Gillette Stadium, MA whenever the Patriots are playing and I am free to make the drive. It is a two-hour trek from Maine, but not that bad if you head out early to avoid traffic. It is well worth it. Meanwhile I am on their website getting news and updates. The roster of players is well known to me. As a big fan, I love tailgating at the stadium. Who doesn’t? There are dozens of vans parked together enjoying the anticipation of a great game.
Tickets aren’t easy to come by, but I travel to other venues as well to make sure I don’t miss a live experience of my favorite team. Tailgating is always part of the action. I prepare for it well. Of course, there is the jumbo size cooler of beverages, the food to cook on portable grills, and many take with them speakers so they can blast the music of choice for the day. I bought them from Outdoor Light and Sound. Most people don’t bring anything so they use their radio or cell phone. They tell me that they enjoy listening and encourage me to keep the volume up. I can imitate surround sound. The speakers are fabulous – small, compact and powerful. I have the whole set up down pat.
Tailgating means hot dogs and hamburgers and an occasional potato or cole slaw salad. There are chips and dips and other snacks like baked beans. It is football food or it doesn’t come along. We share with our “neighbors” and sit and talk for hours about the team. Remember that time…. I am always glad to meet fans as avid as I am. We go over all the Super Bowl appearances and review the scores. Some old timers remember the merger of the original leagues. We debate who has been the best coach. Football buffs love stats and I know them all. If you live in New England, you would understand.
Meanwhile, I whip up my homemade on-the-spot barbecue sauce that draws lookie-loos from all around and a few people who want me to share it with them on Facebook. I won’t reveal the secret ingredient, but it is a special spice. My sister made it one weekend when I was over at her house watching an away game with my brother-in-law. I wanted the recipe right then and there knowing it would be a hit at tailgate parties – my specialty. I love to be the chef when a bunch of friends make a car caravan for a home game. I prepare the food for everyone and we sit around on fold-up chairs. When the weather is nice, we wear tees and shorts. I hate it when it rains, but we tailgate anyway. It is a tradition rain or shine. We stuff ourselves and the only reprieve from over eating is the game itself. No one leaves early. No matter who wins, we have a great time and everyone goes home happy. It is better, of course, if the Pats win.