Tailgate32: Two Road Warrior Brothers Mad for the Tailgating Lifestyle
Brothers Mike and John rented an RV, mapped out a schedule, and hired a film crew to live and travel 25,000 miles with them to tailgate a home game for all 32 NFL teams in a single season. Without any filmmaking experience. Having never driven an RV. With almost no mechanical acumen. And without a single contact in the NFL. Talk about balls!
**hear Mike tell the whole story at the How We Made Our Series panel Saturday at 12pm**
The season kicks off with a bang in New York City for an NFC East showdown. The first three weeks are absolutely brutal, calling for 8 games in a span of 19 days. The team has to learn and adjust on the fly because they only have one shot to film each city and its fans.
To further complicate matters, the RV seems to have a mind of its own. In the first week alone several major systems including plumbing, the generator and the engine, fail. They scramble to seek temporary fixes from truckers at travel plazas and seasoned travelers at RV parks along the way. The boys seem to always be just a half step ahead of a major disaster that would derail the entire project.
Mike and John find dozens of colorful characters on the road. In Buffalo, Kenny “Pinto Ron” cooks an entire Thanksgiving Day feast on the hood of a 30-year old red pinto. And then to one-up himself, he invites the boys to participate in his bizarre game-day tradition of receiving a ketchup and mustard shower from hundreds of other tailgaters. In Atlanta, the members of the “dirty dirty crew” are instrumental in averting a tailgating disaster, helping John and Mike deal with an angry lot owner who doesn’t want their RV anywhere near his lot.
As the season progresses Mike and John start gaining inside access to the teams and other interesting folks. Jim Schmitt, the mayor of Green Bay, spends an afternoon with the boys giving them a tour of his city, and we get a first-hand look at what makes this storied franchise so different from the rest—he even opens up the city’s amusement park and rides the roller coaster with Mike and John! In Houston, team president Jamey Rootes walks the tailgating lots with the boys. In Dallas, the Cowboys give them a behind the scenes tour of the greatest stadium in the world. And in San Diego, they challenge the Charger Girls to a game of cornhole.
The fans they meet along the way are even more interesting. They stumble upon the Professional Football Ultimate Fan Association, an under the radar organization of the league’s most passionate and dedicated fans. Covered in face paint and dressed in bizarre costumes, these unofficial team ambassadors embody the spirit of their team’s fans. As Mike and John move from city to city, these “superfans” show up again and again, providing the boys with great access to the best each city has to offer. You won’t believe what’s required to join Minnesota Vikings superfan group VIKING WORLD ORDER!
Joe Cahn, the self-appointed Commissioner of Tailgating, is a recurring character. The boys meet him in the first week and learn that he’s done a similar trip every year for the past 17 years. A walking sound bite, Joe appears throughout the season with a good joke or outlandish story. In Detroit for Thanksgiving, he even tailgates in a hot tub with the boys and a local crew called The Tubgaters.
Tailgate32 is about the people, the journey, and the extremes that dedication–rational or not–can take you to. Mike and John struggle, rejoice, celebrate and live outrageously on a journey that millions dream about but only a special few undertake.
Watch the entire 32-part series at http://tailgate32.com.
Don’t miss the screening of their Atlanta episode on Saturday at 3:45pm. And also check out John participating in the Business of Web Producing panel at 1pm on Saturday where he’ll share his experiences in building a successful business in independent production.