Monday, September 16, 2019

The return to the scene of the crime (OU v Georgia Rose Bowl 2 years ago)

A Boomer Sooner kind of crowd at the Tailgate
On Friday morning we made the five-hour trek from Danville down to Pasadena for the Oklahoma Sooners matchup against the UCLA Bruins. Via Tailgate Connect®, it was decided I would break out my tailgate gear and throw a DFT tailgate for a whole host of Sooner fans and a sprinkling of Bruin friends. The tailgate was sold out as we had an over capacity crowd of 90 people attend. A lot of careful planning has to take place when you do a large road tailgate because you can’t drive back home to pick up a forgotten item. With a menu consisting of 45 pounds of tri-tip BBQ, 20 pounds of kielbasa sausages, mac and cheese, baked Beans, chicken bite appetizers, an assortment of other goodies and 409 Tailgate Sauces rounded out the food part of the equation. The grill was manned by Chef Supreme, former “Neighbor Craig” who made the trip from Denver to join us, and did and outstanding job grilling and slicing all the meats! Our Rock star Bartender and life-long friend from Rockville, MD Johnny Harper, manned the bar consisting of Deep Eddy vodkas, kegs of beer, Louis Martini and William Hill wines, 409 Bloody Mary Mix, Makers Mark bourbon, and an assortment of other spirits including Jameson, Fireball and tequila. Also, our partner J Riley was providing free samples of their canned Mule products until the Rose Bowl Nazis ran them off (more on that later :).  
Johnny Harper AKA Sam from Cheers and Chez Craig manning their stations

We began set up at 10:45 AM sharp in an oasis of trees on the Brookside Golf Course, lot 1. Tents were assembled, satellite tv theater, the bar, the cooking area, serving tables and a multitude of tailgate games. The tailgate was stood up by 11:45 AM. Raffle tickets were sold to support the Sentinels of Freedom  ( ) for our wounded warriors and prizes were donated by our partners: Buzz Ball, D-Darts, QB 54, EZ Flame, The Hungry Fan, Big Mouth and the Sooner Podcast. 

The Daughters of Anarchy and two suspicious looking guys

The Donnelly ladies and two of their significant others Mike and Cristian, along with Doc Brian, Claudia, Joe Flake and Nicole worked their posteriors off to help run things smoothly. I owe them a debt of gratitude on the amazing job they did as I could not have pulled it off without them. Much to the chagrin of Big Rob Mixon of The Sooner Football Fan Podcast, Terry Long, the other half of the podcast was anointed as Tailgate King and Lorrie Claiborne as the Queen for the day. It’s not necessarily something one should strive for! 

Her majesty and her subjects
The King's crown and the Queen's Chalice
Guests were greeted with fireball shots from the shot ski, beer from the funnel, Deep Eddy hard lemonade from the jet pack and even keg stands. No need to ease into the vibe. Deep Eddy Vodka provided an amazing mobile bar where drinks were served all day. An awesome playlist by daughter #1 blared over our ecoXgear speaker and chants of Boomer Sooner were bellowed throughout the day. D Darts, Cornhole, Buzz Ball, washer toss and the hook ring game were all played during the tailgate. It was an amazing event that if you didn’t have fun here, you probably have never, and will never have fun in your miserable life (you know who you are)!
Gawd I love my job!

OU Class of 02 & 03, D Darts being played, guests starting to gather and the beer funnel champ playing Cornhole.
Trust him, he's a Doctor!

Even nice to my Bruin friends Tony & Phil
Rob and King Terry from the Sooner Fan Podcast. They promoted the heck out of this event for us!

At 3:45 we announced the winners of the raffle and the prizes they had won. We raised $400 for the charity which will be presented this week. At 4 PM sharp, we did a “It’s Four O’clock Somewhere” Boomer Sooner Fireball Toast with all the guests that cared to partake. The only snafus of the day were the satellite not being able to acquire signal and the Rose Bowl Nazis repeatedly sending their 5-0 over to keep an eye on us because of the fun level. The 5-0 were great and clearly did not want to be doing this. We even took pictures with them. The UCLA/Rose Bowl authorities should be begging for people to come watch their poor product on the pitch and not focus on driving them away.
Let the games begin!
Chow, D Darts and the Doctor getting his medical supplies
Thirsty patrons at our little grove

Tear down and repacking commenced with the crew’s help and an unsuspecting ice bath was administered to me in the process. The perpetrators will be dealt with at a time and place of my choosing. 
My Ring camera captured the perpetrators
Clearly they have been over served!

We made it into the grand old cathedral a little tardy, but in plenty of time to watch Jalen Hurts orchestrate another masterpiece on the turf. The stadium was literally half red and felt like a Sooner home game. The Sooners were coming off two resounding victories and the Bruins had just lost two weeks in a row to Group of Five programs Cincinnati and San Diego State. Oklahoma pretty much scored at will and dominated from start to finish while racking up over 600 yards of offense and limiting UCLA to 300. The final tally was 48-14. Jalen Hurts is squarely in the middle of that hypothetical “Heisman conversation” (where they are holding that discussion, I still want to know).  He was masterful once again in sharing the ball with a multitude of receivers while also running for 160 yards. Meanwhile, if not for Chip Kelly’s steep buyout, he may be looking for employment elsewhere as his team is not responding to him.
My faithful crew minus Johnny!

Pride of Oklahoma, the three best friends and Joe Flake and Nicole

Around the Country In the game of the week played in Ames, Iowa, after a lengthy weather delay, the Iowa Hawkeyes defeated their in-state rival, the Iowa State Cyclones thus claiming the coveted CyHawk trophy once more. Herm Edwards took his Sun Devils to East Lansing, MI and squeaked out a 10-7 victory over Sparty and their angry coach, Mark Dantonio. Maryland, after starting 2-0 and setting the world on fire in the process, got shellacked by the Owls of Temple once again. In what is now dubbed the Keystone Classic, Penn State beat their little brother Pitt in a close battle in Happy Valley, PA 17-10. Bama playing against their first real test of the season  by traveling to Columbia, SC and prevailed with a score of 47-23. Stanford continues to slide further by going to Disney World and claiming it to now to be the unhappiest place on earth after UCF spanked em 45-27. What looked like consecutive upsets by Kentucky over Florida, turned into a narrow Gator win in Lexington.  The Wahoos of the University of Virginia beat the lowly Florida State Seminoles and for some reason the fans felt compelled to storm the field after the game. Why, I ask? The Seminoles quite frankly are not very good. The Wildcats from the Little Apple of Manhattan, KS stormed into Stark Vegas, MS and got revenge from last year’s loss to Mississippi State by knocking off the Bulldogs 31-24. Finally, a nod toward the great T Boone Pickens who passed away at 91. He donated over $600 million dollars to Mrs. Tailgate’s Alma Mater Oklahoma State and their athletic facilities. He left $30 in his will for Coach Gundy to get his mullet clipped at Sports Clips. Epic. He truly lived his best life.

Bieber – A rare triple awarding of the honors this week. First, Sooner Lauren (Mrs. Tailgate’s cousin), a die-hard OU fan traveled to Las Vegas last week, a mere three-hour drive to Pasadena. Instead of making the trek over the hill on Saturday, she opted to go to the Circus Circus all you can eat buffet and drank free cheap booze at the Hard Rock pool party and pre-storm area 54 or something like that in Vegas and not come to be with her family in Pasadena. Second trophy goes to Nick Saban for playing the part of an “elitist diva” and bitching about his 11 AM start time for next WEAK’s matchup against that vaunted Southern Miss squad. Suck it up Buttercup! Last awardee, the Rose Bowl Nazis for chasing away the lovely ladies from the bourbon company who were handing out free samples of their mule product, sending the law over to check on us hourly, and for originally trying to force us into a crappy tailgate spot which I would have none of that nonsense. Also, their lack of post game traffic control to get off the golf course and onto the road is the poorest I have ever seen.  We had an amazing tailgate and time, but I am done tailgating at that venue as I refuse to be inconvenienced when I can avoid it. Good luck UCLA.

Ginger Award– This week’s goes to my oldest brother (by a long shot) Tailgate Marine Chuck or Charlie as his siblings call him. Marine Chuck is an avid Notre Dame fan of the “Subway Domer” variety but you would think he was an actual Alumni as much as he can spin a tale. Chuck is battling a significant illness at this point and has been deactivated from attending any games for the first part of the season. I have made it a habit to call him and annoy him from various loud tailgates this season to put him on the phone to random new besties that are either his Marine brethren or Irish fans. He has yet to hang up on me, so the tradition will continue. Chuck also a Vietnam Veteran, has been in tough battles before and is standing up and staring this one back down as I write. With that said, your courageous efforts have earned you the coveted weekly Ginger (Badass) Award. Stay in the fight Marine and we hope to see you at Army Navy this year!

Next week is a much deserved week off from traveling to or hosting tailgates. We will take in the high school game Friday night as Monte Vista travels to Oakland to play Bishop O’Dowd. On Saturday we will enjoy a day of college football on TV capped off by the Notre Dame/Georgia game playing late in the day.

Happy Tailgating!


  1. Former neighbor chef CraigSeptember 17, 2019 at 8:51 PM

    Maybe I’m biased, but it was the best tailgate party I’ve ever been to! Sooner fans are great people. Anyone who has an opportunity to attend a future event hosted by Dan from the tailgate would be crazy to miss it.

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