Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tailgating New Orleans Style

I've wondered about the fascination for Urban Tailgating for a while.

It seem to me that tailgating was an invention of Land Grant Colleges in small country towns surrounded by trees and Suburban Sports Stadiums surrounded by suburbs, parking lots and massive traffic jams.

Wikipedia says;

The concept of "tailgating" originated in 1960 in the team parking lot at Yankee Stadium (Bronx, New York), by Angela Pisani, wife of Dr. Anthony Pisani, team doctor for the New York Football Giants. Mrs. Pisani set up her station wagon "tailgate" with sandwiches, other lunch items and drinks for her children, friends, and sports writers. A reporter inquired about her "car picnic" and she said that it's actually more of a "tailgate" party.
I never could figure out with so many hotel's bars and restaurants in walking distance of the Dome why anyone would want to risk the rain or forgo creature comforts. I started to write something about this a while ago;

The Saints have four evening games this season. I guess the programmers were expecting them not to suck. In any event we have started a new tradition for evening games. We are going out to an early diner. Last season with Bon Ton.

This season we went to Luke before the Miami game, but since it looked like rain an since LSU was playing we had a very nice dinner but never made it to the game.

Before the Titans game we went to one of my favorite restaurants Bayona. They opened early so people could have a nice dinner before the game. It was the high point of the evening.

Back to 1/18/10. We have more or less continued the tradition of visiting a restaurant within walking distance of the Dome before any Saints game that starts later than noon. This year we have gone to Li'l Dizzy's, Dominicia, HerbSaint, and Leonardo Trattoria before games this season. We're still working on where to go Sunday.

I also discovered something else, again according to Wikipedia "In 2007, the NFL angered many football fans by banning tailgating at Super Bowl XLI in Miami."

That is a shame, the parking lots near Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park Pro Player Stadium, Dolpins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, LandShark Stadium, Sun Life Stadium are especially well suited to tailgating, they were probably designed for it. The spaces a partially paved and especially large, a normal size vehicle can easily fit into one leaving 6 feet of paved area for tables chairs and barbecue grill. These were very much in evidence at every Orange Bowl we have attended. We don't usually participate but even part time visitors can swing by WalMart, pick up some beer, some burgers and a cheap Chinese grill for a real old time tailgate barbecue.

1 comment:

Vicky Pisani Douglas said...

I remember that Sunday at Yankee Stadium vividly.I was four yrs.old,and the youngest of Tony and Angela Pisani's seven kids.If the GIANTS were playing a home game, the day started out with the family attending morning Mass and a stop at Finnertys market to pickup the six dozen hard rolls previously ordered. The Vista Cruiser station wagon was loaded up with pounds of cold cuts,a twenty lb.turkey,chips,snacks,drinks (soft and adult beverages..)enough food and delicacies to feed the gang of family,friends,players and GIANT associates who gathered together for the pre and post game lunch Mom enjoyed hosting so much. We were often the first in line at the gates where the parking attendants patiently organized the crowds, and looked forward to seeing us pull up (so they said)We all had a hand in making the event special,and everybody always had a great time. The primary reason for tailgating was the obvious,lots of kids and mouths to feed, and Angela was not spending money on hot dogs for this gang! The back of the wagon opened up and the tailgating began! I remember seeing an occasional brown paper bag lunch and beer in the parking lot, but nobody had a gig like ours.It was the start of what became unimaginable.Mrs.Mara and at least a half a dozen of the Mara kids came by,Doc Sweeney,the teams medical Doctor, Fr.Mulcahey,team priest,coaches, players and the frequent media sources,all interested in snapping a photo for the Post, or Daily News. One outstanding memory I recall with fondness, is Rosie Brown's (team player)wife, Thelma and how beautiful she looked in her full length mink coat!This was before PETA..My mom would get a real kick out of how her TAILGATING became such a phenomena!