Home Field Advantage: Best 5 Cities for NFL Fans
Entertainment When it comes to brewskis, wieners and foam fingers, these five cities do it best.
Lot 1 in Cincinnati, Ohio is home to the Bengal Bomb Squad tailgate party. Adopting the slogan “Ain’t no party like a Who Dey Party!” the tailgate group prides itself on being a traditional family tailgate, but on a grand scale. With menu themes announced every game week, guests bring dishes to share with all and rally together to lift toasts with Bengal Bomb shots (Jagermeister & Orange Crush) unique souvenir cups.
Through all the music, the fun photos, the sing-a-longs, the games, the Who Dey Heroes Bus and more, the experience is rooted in just being around welcoming, friendly fans from all teams. Visiting fans from any fan base are welcomed every week, Bengal fans making their first live game are encouraged to join the fun, and the 150-plus regulars are always excited to meet new friends from all across the globe who locate the tailgate by looking for the 20-foot inflatable tiger tail waving in the sky. In the end, the tailgate is an experience that turns game day into a full day of fun and a memory that’ll last a lifetime.
— By John Robinson "Big John"
Before the Texans ever got their name, a group of fans jammed together in a van to see a new Houston team play their first ever game at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Thus, The Blue Crew Tailgate was formed. As a potluck tailgate, we ask everyone who comes to bring something to eat. We also uphold some diehard traditions. We have a yearly chili cook off (usually for the Titans game), breakfast tacos and some of the best Texas barbecue you will find.
As the game approaches, kids beat candy out of an opposing team piñata and the Bull Pen Band swings by to play a few songs for us. Afterwards, we make announcements, and toast the upcoming win with our famous Blue Crew Bull Pen Shots. We are proud to be a ‘family tailgate,’ and you will see children of various ages playing about, many of them having grown up with The Blue Crew.
In fact, Commissioner of Tailgating, Joe Cahn, has named Blue Crew Tailgate #1 in family-orientated tailgates in the NFL multiple times and The Blue Crew Tailgate was inducted into the Tailgating Hall of Fame in 2013. You may also run into many ultimate fans, as The Blue Crew Tailgate is home to several PFUFA members: Yankee in Texas, Leatherhead, Bronco Billy, Joe Texan, Battle Red, Hardhat and KaRhonda.
We encourage kids to collect our “ultimate” football cards, so make sure you ask for them. If you get an opportunity to tailgate with us, don’t pass it up. You are always welcome to our tailgate whether you are wearing a Texans jersey or one from the losing team!
— By Ted Currier, "Bullpen Hardhat"
I've been a sports fan since I was 5 or 6 years old. I wasn't brought up by parents who were big sports fans, but they were always supportive of me playing all sports. Football has been a favorite of mine for years.
The Philadelphia Eagles are my home team. I figured at an early age: Why would I root for anyone else? I grew up on the kelly green jerseys, which I still love. I just loved watching the Eagles. I have had season tickets since 1993 and have been going to games in my full game day gear since the 1995 season opener.
Over the years, I have become fairly well-known to many people throughout the city and beyond. With the publicity, I have had the opportunity to meet and become friendly with many players and those within the organization. Win or lose, I am an Eagles fan. I am so dedicated to the team that in 2002 I went to an Eagles playoff game with a burst appendix—it had burst the day prior to the game.
During the season, I am sitting in front of the Lincoln Financial Field lot, waiting to enter, hours ahead of time. Being an Eagles fan has allowed me to meet so many people, some of who’ve become my best friends. Being an Eagles fan has allowed me to learn the amazing passion our fans have for our sports teams. I have dedicated so much of my time, money and energy to this team that I lose sleep and make myself sick—my excitement and adrenaline is so overwhelming at times.
I literally talk Eagles football 365 days a year and love every minute of it. Even when things aren't going the way we want or expect. I love it. I am so proud of our team, our organization and our fans and city. Some things are learned in life. Some things we are born to be, or do. I was born to be an Eagles fan and I try to be the best, most dedicated fan I can be.
— By Shaun Young
The Red Pinto Tailgate is a unique experience. In the shadow of Ralph Wilson Stadium is Hammer’s Lot. Here is where you will find a 1980 Ford Pinto parked with people lovingly cooking on it. You will also find a bowling ball used as a beverage container. There is an event called, “The Ketchup Ceremony”. If you look around you will also find a man many call “Pinto Kenny”. He has not missed a single Buffalo Bills game—home or away—since 1994.
This is not your traditional tailgate, and it attracts all types. There are costumed fans named Captain Buffalo or Pancho Billa giving high fives to passersby. A red-hat-wearing woman who has a multi-year game streak of her own. College students talk football with retired folks. Professors cook burgers with the help of carpenters. The guy who drove from Massachusetts, talking with the guy who walked here from down the road. The first time visitor, chats with someone who has had the same parking spot for over 20 years. All are united by their love of tailgating, and of course their football team, The Buffalo Bills.
— By Greg Huggins, "Captain Buffalo"
5. St. Louis
If you find yourself in “the Lou” and looking for a pre-game party, all you need to do is make your way to the north side of the Edward Jones Dome and you will find the Rambassadors of the Gridiron. St. Louis may not be known for its tailgates, but the Rambassadors are changing that in a positive way.
The Rambassadors are made up of St. Louis Ram fans that include PFUFA members Ram Man (Karl Sides), Big Dog (Aaron Mednick), King Ram (Dave King) and STL Vinnie (Vince Vitale). We welcome any and all football fans no matter what team you root for to come by and join us in a pregame toast, a pregame sing-a-long—or even join a game of flip cup!
We cook our food on the lot and enjoy feasts ranging from burgers and brats to seafood boils and taco bars. We also have Paul Howard’s world famous chili and Tagalong Toni Sides’ NFL league wide best marinara sauce on the training table each season! Whether the Rams win or lose, you can be sure that a Rambassador Tailgate will be the highlight of your game day experience.
— By Karl Sides, "Ram Man"