1st Update! 9/13 9:30pm: have added a new section, the "contests". I hope to add some pictures tomorrow. Again, let's make this thing as comprehensive as possible. I'm counting on you to come through for me here, with pics, stories, and other assorted items I've missed. (joe biden voice) you can tell I'm new, thanks for being here buddy ...
(seriously, this will never, ever, ever get old. Is it too late to get a Palin / Biden ticket, just take the best both parties have to offer and combine them as one? the link for a solid laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2mzbuRgnI4)
2nd Update! 9/30 7:59pm: I'm adding in some pictures I'm liberally lifting (aka "stealing") from Jennifer's myspace! page. Eventually I will get this thing updated again ...
I will update as pictures and / or needed updates come in. If you aren't mentioned here ... blame yourself. Its not like you'll have to pay anything even approaching face value to attend a game this year ...
(or send me your bio and I'll add it, I'm flexible like that ...)
1. The "die hards". Represent!
* Gregg. Long-term season ticket holder. I couldn't even begin to guess when the last time he missed a game was. Notable for such memorable acts as the Mitch Lyons game, players entrance antics, and generating the hate of, and a few f-bombs from, former raiders great fred biletnikof. Also notable for the friendship struck up with Donnie Edwards, which resulted in handshakes, shout-outs on the 59s website, and a Christmas gift of game used gloves. The model every Chiefs fan should aspire to be. Only negative is that because of club level ticket location, he doesn't stand for every play. I expect that will change come 2009.
* Steve. (dan fouts voice) hey, that's you! the author of this blog. Also a long term, die hard Chiefs fan. Section 132 represent! Notable for the following: (1) love of all things tailgating, (2) love of all things alcoholic in nature, (3) ability to p*ss off opposing team's fans to the point that they take action against me, be it spitting, punching, or throwing beer on me, (4) ability to provide incredible analysis and insight into the Chiefs, and (5) "The Week 4 Plea", the single greatest email ever sent in human history.
* Gordon. Gregg's dad. I suppose its safe to call him the surviving architect of the madness we call Chiefs Tailgating. Was so infuriated with crappy ass front office decision making that he cancelled his tickets after a playoff-bound season and swore he would not return until Jim Schaff and Jack Steadman were shown the door. Thankfully, they were shortly thereafter. Despite moving 6 plus hours away 13 years ago for his job, still came back for nearly every game, rain, shine, sleet or now. Also through connections, introduced us all to the Grigsby clan.
* Russ and Mona. My second parents. The people I have sat next to for 9 years and counting. As rock solid as it comes. Owners of the KC Beast. Used to drive or fly up for every game from Dallas, before moving up here 9 years ago. Summer just wouldn't be summer without floating in their pool. Like other die hards, share a love of all things Chiefs, tailgating, friends, and family ... probably in that order.
* Jasson. Actually Jason, but forever known as "Jasson" after an infamous incident involving his attempt to spell "papper plates". Until 3, 4 years ago his status as a die hard was unquestioned. Now, due to some questionable "personnel decisions", his status is in jeopardy. Still a die hard because he shows up by kickoff, but "we don't tailgate anymore" comment by said "personnel" threatens to downgrade his status.
(my favorite picture ever. sorry it sucks in quality, but all I have is the original, and its water damaged so I can't just snap it again. From left, me, Jasson, Gregg, and Gregg's mom walking to the players entrance, vs San Diego 2000. photo: Gregg's sister Jenni).
* Bill and Vessie. Russ and Mona's neighbors. Long-term die hard fans and season ticket holders. And as of 2008, Red Coaters. Nobody makes a burger like Bill on Bronco Burger day. And nobody throws a better party than the annual adults only party they put on.
* Nancy. Jasson's mom. Steve's second ... third ... how many am I up to here? Like a mom to me as well. My neighbor at Arrowhead. If you don't like Nancy, there's probably something wrong with you.
(me and Nancy doing what I do best, home opener 2007. photo: Jennifer).
* Joe. "Joe Knows Football". Hilarious character, President of the tailgating crew. (john madden voice) here's a guy ... that if you can't laugh with or at, you don't have a sense of humor.
(Joe Knows Football. photo: Jennifer).
* Jennifer. Tracey's sister. Shows up rain, snow, sleet or shine. Has been known to send hot as hell text messages to certain people at 2am.
(Jennifer and Tony. photo: Jennifer).
* Davey and Tracey. Section 130 represent! Most memorable for Thanksgiving Day wedding proposal. Proud new parents of a beautiful baby girl. Makes a mean chili and a damned good deep fried turkey.
(Davey and Tracey. photo: Jennifer).
* Monty and Sheila. First met at a hospital in Plano, where Monty's son was being born ... and Mona was a nurse. Long term relationship developed. Drive up from Frisco for most games. Owners of the Chiefs Mobile Command Center that made its debut at the best road trip ever, the game at Dallas in 2005.
(from left: Russ, Monty, Sheila, me and Mona after the Chiefs / Texans game to open the 2007 season. photo: Texans fans we were tailgating with).
2. The "Cast of Characters".
* Ashley. Gregg's wife, shows up for most games. Huge Larry Johnson fan. Greatly appreciated for removing the "steve's the only one drinking" stigma that I endured for a few years at points in tailgating.
* Jenni. Gregg's sister, also shows up for most games. Solid photographer, solid person. And a built in designated driver.
* Tara. Jasson's "personnel decision". The "Steve Pederson of Tailgating". If you're a Nebraska fan, you know exactly what I mean by that statement.
* Bonnie. Gregg's mom. Shows up for most games. Fun person with a good sense of humor, who also knows how to cook up a mean side dish.
* Robert. Joe's significant other. New addition to the group the last couple years, but a solid addition.
* Debbie. Makes a mean vodka concoction. Sadly gave up her tickets this year, which drops her from "die hard" to "cast of characters".
* Beth. Friend of Joe's. Long term ticket holder and fan.
* Maria. Long term ticket holder. No longer a core member, but still shows up for every game with ...
* The Trumbells. Solid folks. Fun to hang out with. Always have a frosty cold adult beverage ready for you.
* Drew. Steve's brother. Shows up for most games. Most notable for infamous double header day tailgating incident involving ...
* Uncle Bill. My uncle. Shows up for most games, sits about 10 rows behind me, under the overhang in 132. Most remembered for the "Tin Cup" incident from 2003, which will be detailed further on.
* The Grigsbys. Came into our tailgating world thanks to Boomer's addition to the team in 2005. One of them worked with Gordon, hence the connection. Grandma, Paula and Dave, Jamie, Margo, the whole crew. Solid folks.
3. The "Dearly Departed".
* Chuck Trumbell. Tragically passed away last September while on a vacation in South America.
* Randy. Its not really possible to put into words how much his passing rocked the establishment. Its been four years come October, and it still really hasn't sunk in. Really, the founder of what we know as "Tailgating". Jasson's dad, Nancy's wife, beloved friend of all, save for the Arrowhead parking nazis. Always quick with a smart ass comeback, and always with the Dr. Pepper in hand. Tremendously missed. Things just aren't the same, and never will be, without him.
4. The "Accessories"
* The KC Beast. Russ and Mona's bus. A beautiful old school school bus painted red with a yellow roof. Capable of seating 10-12 comfortably on game day. Has been a staple of Lot G on the grass since at least 2000.
* The Chiefs Mobile Command Center. Monty and Sheila's ambulance. Version 2.0 making its debut for the raiders game features a keg with built in outdoor tap. Made its debut at the Chiefs / Cowboys roadie in 2005.
* The Rolling Rock Chair. An old, disgusting, beat up, barely hanging in there chair that is my seat of choice at any tailgate. I have been known to pass out in it a time or three.
* The cones. Back when we were tailgating at the old spot in Lot N, used to secure parking spaces prior to the gates opening. In 2004, the Chiefs attempted to halt this practice, but common sense prevailed and by 2006, saving spots prior to the gates opening was allowable again, at least in Lot N.
5. The "Highlight Games"
(chiefs v donkeys, turkey day 2006. Front row from left: Debbie, Tracey, Mona, Bill, Russ (kneeling). Second row from left: me, unknown, Beth, Nancy, Maria. Back row: John Trumbell (chopping) and Joe. photo: someone affiliated with the chiefs).
* Thanksgiving Day 2006. 50 plus person all afternoon and night tailgate. 3 deep fried turkeys, 30 plus side dishes, random reunions. First time Robert was there. A wedding proposal from Davey to Tracey. And oh yeah, the Price Chopper Tailgaters of the Game designation. When you win it on THE highlight home game of the season ... you know what you're doing.
* "Tin Cup Game" 2003. To recap, the Royals have just gotten drilled by the Twins. The Chiefs are still a couple hours away from kickoff with the Vikings. Up in Lot N, myself, Jasson, Tara, and Gregg are tailgating the afternoon away. Gregg's folks and Jenni show up at some point. Its about 105 degrees out, just wicket hot. And finally, my brother and uncle show. Lugging a cooler of booze between them.
As my uncle gets situated, he reaches into the cooler, and lugs out a huge bottle of Jim Beam, and prepares to just drink straight from the bottle. (Yup, its my family). Everyone is staring at him, some with respect, some with a "he's not about to just chug that thing is he?!?!" look of horror. Realizing he's the focus now, my uncle stops ... and the light bulb comes on. So he reaches into the cooler ... and gets out an army issue tin cup, and proceeds to pour a huge glass of straight Beam into it. And uses the cup the rest of the day.
OK, it was far funnier to see it in person than it is to recap it. But ... (joe biden voice) God love you! What am I talking about?
* at Cowboys 2005. Best road trip ever. Pretty much the entire tailgating crew made the trip down. We took over a wing of the Hampton Inn on Walnut Hill ... then proceeded to dominate the RV / bus parking lot on the east side of Loop 12. Russ got to take a tour of Texas Stadium, a huge highlight for him. He then had to wear a "I'm Really a Chiefs Fan!" placard we slapped on him for a quarter and a half until he realized what was going on. Awesome, awesome times had by all. Even with the loss.
* at Bengals 2003. Worst road trip ever. The 9-0 Chiefs laid an egg, losing 24-19 to the 4-5 Bengals. I got physically assaulted by a drunken, irate Bengals fan. And after the game, Gregg and I were accused by drunken Bengals fans of just being "bandwagon fans", "not really Chiefs fans", "front runners", anything else you can come up with. Plus it rained the whole freaking weekend, and the drive after the game from the 'Nati to the 'Lou was one of the scariest I've ever driven, the fog from the Ohio River was beyond blinding. Let's just move on.
* at Titans 2000. Notable for a chance encounter outside an entertainment establishment with one Mr. William Grigsby, who noted "Can I tell you guys something? I hope we beat those f*ckers!!!" I wish we had Bill. I wish we had.
* vs Steelers 1999. The "Mitch Lyons Game". To recap: Chiefs are up 35-16. There's maybe 90 seconds left in the game. Its a freezing cold December afternoon. Steelers QB Mike Tomczak throws a pass to TE Mitch Lyons, who makes the catch, gets tackled ... and sees his leg shattered. Its just brutally ugly. I've made my way up to club level, hoping Gregg would leave early.
While Gordon and I watch with detached interest, the cart pulls onto the field. Lyons is hauled up onto it. As he waves to the fans and some polite "whew, he might be ok" applause breaks out, Gregg immediately starts booing. Loudly. "BOO! BOO! Get off the field! BOO!" Gordon and I watch with horror. Finally we're like "what was that for?" Gregg: "I'm cold. The cart is slowing the game down". Club level, you're gonna miss this next year ...
6. The "Contests" (added 9/13 9:30pm)
* the "Steve Drinking" game. Simply put, its a "how many adult beverages will Steve be when Gregg arrives at tailgating" tally. An over / under is set using several factors, and you gamble if I'll be over or under the number. As a side note, the over / under must always include 1/2, to ensure a winning side.
* the "When Will Randy Call" game. Sadly, this one has been discontinued, due to the fact that (a) Randy is no longer with us, and (b) I no longer ride out with Gregg (and usually Jenni). But the point of the game was to wager when we would get the "where the hell are you" phone call from Randy. Anything in the 7:55am to 7:58am range was always the best guess, since he had an amazing ability to call right as we drove under Bartle Hall.
* the "how long will it take Gordon to arrive" game. Gregg and I were always in line at the same time as Gordon. We always managed to park well before he got there. I also could have used the "how many times will it take Gordon to back in" game, but why pile on the man's driving ability at this point.
7. The "Miscellaneous"
* The Week 4 Plea. From 2002. To recap: the Chiefs have just lost a heartbreaker, 41-38, in overtime at New England, to fall to 1-2. The 3-0 Dolphins are coming to town. NASCAR is going directly against a Chiefs game for the first time. Sensing the despair and the lack of enthusiasm, this (no longer self described!!!) hot as hell (at the time) 25 year old sits at his computer in Shawnee ... and composed the single most inspirational, uplifiting, motivational email ever known to man. Or at least that's how I view it.
Because when I show up Sunday for tailgating, 3 different people had printed the whole thing off, and were like "wow! this is incredible!" Including Randy. And if you impressed Randy, you effing impressed.
* The Players Entrance. Gregg is known for many things, but perhaps nothing as much as for his infamous encounters at the Players Entrance. Some personal highlights:
vs Rams 2000: told Kurt Warner his career would end in the 2nd quarter. Warner left with a broken hand in the 2nd quarter, and his career has never been the same.
vs Vikings 1999: asked Cris Carter "Where's the ring Cris"? in reference to the Vikings going 15-1 and not winning it all the year before. An enraged Carter nearly climbed the hill to seek out a confrontation.
vs Eagles 2000: welcomed Eagles owner Jeffrie Luria to "a real NFL stadium". Luria laughed and agreed with the comment.
vs Seahawks 2000: "Sweet Jesus! Ed Hochuli!" "Is that a problem boys?" I freaking love Edward Hochuli.
countless games vs raiders: "I Hate You Fred!" "F*ck you! F*ck you!" "I hate you Fred!" "F*ck off!"
countless games from 1997-2001: the handshake with Donnie Edwards. Somewhere, indisputable visual evidence of each encounter still exists.
vs broncos 1997: called donkeys owner patrick j. bowlen a "classless jackass". A sentiment shared by millions of Chiefs fans across this great nation.
vs Lions 2003: welcomed back Bracey Walker by name. Bracey looked geniunely shocked that anyone knew who the hell he was.
I'll add more as I think of it, or its suggested to me. Send in any pics or memorable moments you can think of, or know that I missed. Let's get this thing up-to-date, top-o-the-line this year.