Home games mean food, friends and fun for one very special breed of Eagles fans. Those grillmeisters, the game-day foodies, lovers of all things football, you know who we’re talking about. That’s right, the tailgaters! Waves of fans decked out in Eagles green (or pink if they’re sporting their cancer awareness Eagles sportswear) will show up to surround the Linc, as the stadium is affectionately known, with their special brand of loyalty.
Check out these profiles to see if you recognize yourself or perhaps someone else you know who loves to celebrate their hometown, fellow fans, good food and Eagles football.
The Pro: Tailgating is serious business in Philadelphia and sometimes serving up the right blend of food and fun is better left to a professional. You can’t miss the tantalizing aromas that waft from state-of-the-art grills or the eye-catching tailgate setups, complete with fun fan activities and games (even a beer pong table or two). A wide assortment of mouthwatering favorite like sausage sandwiches, grilled chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, sliders, wings, shrimp, Maryland crab soup, hot dogs, cheesesteaks, soft drinks and, of course, beer can be expected from the experts. For about $30, fans don’t have to do a thing except show up for the feast of food and fun.
The Weekend Warrior: You might know this guy (or gal) from work or school. These hardworking men and women toil all week but somehow manage to clear their schedules on game day, carving out the time to cram a week’s worth of football frenzy into a few hours. These Eagles fans take tailgating seriously, packing grills, motorized coolers and the must-have pony keg. Masters at organizing friends and family to put on a serious spread of grub, their decked-out tents and tailgate mobiles make them easier to spot in the sea of Eagles green.
The Poser: We won’t dwell on this guy, but you know who we’re talking about. There’s one in every crowd. This fan just doesn’t get it. He plays his music too loud, comes to the party empty handed, doesn’t offer to pitch in or (gasp!), blatantly encroaches on the space of neighboring tailgaters. Sure, he may dress like a fan, but under that hundred-something-dollar limited team jersey is someone who either doesn’t know the rules of tailgating etiquette or just doesn’t care to follow them.
The Legend: This is the Kahuna of Philadelphia Eagles tailgating. Everyone knows him and many strive to be like him someday. Tailgating is his lifestyle, it defines him. From the awesomeness of his Eagle-themed tailgating mobile to his festive attire, you recognize that you are clearly in the presence of Philadelphia royalty.
The Good Neighbor: This is the quintessential tailgater in the City of Brotherly Love. This is the guy everyone loves to hang out with. ‘Always room for one more’ is his motto (after ‘Go Eagles!’). You rarely see this fan far from the grill. Beverage in one hand, tongs in the other, he serves up hot, tasty, game-day grub to his family and friends, even to friends he just met two minutes ago. This fan shares everything, especially his passion for Eagles football. You’ll often see the good neighbor in the company of his protégé, that next generation of Eagles fans. The budding tailgater learns the ropes from the master, reveling in the game-day ritual of food and fellowship, both steeped in tradition.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Christy Ayala holds a Masters of Science in Recreation Administration and has managed programs for the YMCA, YWCA, and recreation facilities in St. Louis, Chicago, Honolulu, and Philadelphia areas. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.