wine by the color

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Before I go...

Sports Illustrated has ranked all the stadiums in the NFL in terms of the fan experience. Number one - Lambeau. Thanks to my visit last year, I can completely confirm that's an accurate ranking.

On the flip side, bringing up the rear, number 32 of 32 ... your New York Jets.

It's really hard to argue with any of that. However, it comes as no surprise to this Jet fan that the team received its highest marks for tailgating.

Despite the fact that there "isn't really any regional cuisine," this is a "very underrated" scene. "You can have your typical burgers or dogs" and "a lot of high-quality Italian-style barbecue." Some "class it up," though, with everything from a "rib eye steak with roasted red pepper mayonnaise" to a "lobster boil" to "filet mignon" to "shrimp cocktail." Classy or classic, "the parking lot fills up early" with "plenty of tents" and "the smell of charcoal." "A lot of interesting vehicles" also make the rounds, be it "a renovated school bus" or an "extravagant RV." Considering "food selection in the stadium is poor and the prices high," "tailgating is a necessity," and an event in which the "friendly" participants willingly "throw a beer or burger your way if you are alone or with a date." Unfortunately, the Jets also are throwing something this season -- large groups of fans out of lots now dedicated to the construction of the new stadium. Remote lots a few miles away offer a place to park, but not a place to tailgate, as local police will frequently remind you. With the rush to leave the game creating a traffic "nightmare," "the post-game tailgate also is becoming a staple" for those lucky enough to have a prime spot.

Amen to that.

While the team ranking of 1 of 10 is not good, although altogether accurate, at least we avoided a ranking of zero, something the Rams accomplished (but still finished five spots ahead of Gang Green).

Ah well. As has become the mantra for the season, at the tailgate, we're all winners.


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