Don’t get closer to your screen, what the hell is that going to do?
But there is a certain aroma, slowly being pulled in all directions by the passing winds. If you concentrate hard enough, focus your senses, and tune in your palate you might be able to solve the quandary of what that is making you salivate more than a bulldog with a t bone steak.
It is called opening day tailgating. The central focus for many Jets fans hours before the opening kick off. Some can sense the anticipation in the air and draw their energy from it for the day.
For some, adrenaline is what keeps them going from the moment they load their car until they get home. Many draw their energy from their friends and other fans tailgating around them. For the rest, they get it from 5 Hour Energy.
Anticipation builds each day like an internal fire. It grows and grows until there is no containing it anymore. At some point, opening day has to come to release the energy that has been building for weeks. Energy that not only creates a spectacle for tailgating, but to assist the Jets from the stands towards a victory.
From burgers to brauts, steak to shrimp, and beer to…..beer, Jets fans can not wait until Sunday. Facebook, Twitter, and every other social media application and some currently in development are being jammed with Jets fans eager to get the season started.
Some tailgating groups use social media to not just set up their tailgate but to attract new tailgaters to their pack. The L7 Tailgate was founded on Twitter and continues to grow with new members who only meet eight times a year. More if there will ever be a home playoff.
Many from L7 meet in the off season and tweet on to be great friends. It shows that distance and eight games will not stop those who feel the need to have that tailgate feeling all year.
I have walked from one end of the stadium parking to the other. I even ventured over Route 120 and still made it back to the L5 tailgate in time for kick off. Iver that distance, I have sampled my fair share of tailgating cuisine, Blacktop BBQ, and assorted Jets themed drinks.
That first game of the season has a certain feel to it. Fans wait over eight months to come out of hibernation and seek out pigskin glory. Take this two ways. Glory for the team winning on the field and having winning flavorful, tender ribs off the field.
The excitement for the battle in the stadium builds throughout tailgating. The tension is so thick one can cut it with a Jets flag. Random J-E-T-S chants, whistles, and all sorts of inspirational celebrating is done to help inspire the 13th man.
We gather like warriors, celebrating our bravest who fight for their faithful followers on the gridiron. We rejoice with plenty of meat, brew, and pride before watching our green and white gladiators battle before our eyes. Praying they return to us with a victory.
Every Jets fan feels that excitement. That this year will be different from the last. That not only will Gang Green return to the AFC Championship, but to the Super Bowl this time. Opening day tailgating bring about that excitement more than any other home game.
Tailgating is about friends and family. It gives us time to see those we do not normally see. To share stories of battles gone by to younger generations. We bring new members into the circle to spread the word on how damn great our tailgate is. These are the moments we cherish because it makes us smile in a way only those in attendance can understand.
Every man who can flip a burger or time a steak right has another moment to prove they are the Baron of BBQ, the General of grilling, or the culinary charcoal genius that makes everyone salivate when they see you preparing the days feast. But behind every great man is a woman muttering under her breath so faint only the grill man can hear.
Laugh or roll your eyes all you want men, we know it to be true. Doesn’t mean we listen, but it is true.
So as you prepare to make whatever trek you have to take to get the the Meadowlands, keep the faith. As tomorrow only starts the first of eight battles on our home turf. Have the strength to tailgate on even n the face of a losing season.
That is what makes true Jet fans have the best stories to tell to the ones we plan on leaving our season tickets to.