Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Last week, my brother and I went to Seattle in the first of what I believe will become many annual pilgrimages.
We went to visit my daughter at UDUB (University of Washington) and to watch the Huskies, a football team largely financed by my tuition dollars.
As one might expect in early November, in the great Pacific Northwest, it was raining. It was raining the minute we stepped off the plane and it continued to rain until our plane reached 15,000 feet in altitude on our return flight two and a half days later.
Naturally, my brother had secured us seats for the game in the uncovered section of the stadium. In other venues, these seats are known as LOGE. In Seattle they're known as the Sucker Seats.
It was here, under a driving rain and a biting perpetual wind, that my brother turned to me, pulled the plastic poncho away from his cheek, and said…
"Too bad we didn't do any tailgating before the game."
It should be noted that he and I are cut from different cloth. He's an accountant. I did everything in my life not to become an accountant. He's single, has no kids and is unburdened. I'm married with a wife, two kids, two college tuition bills and two mortgages. He has a pension plan. I work in advertising.
I turned to this strange man and said, "Wait, what?"
In addition to the miserable weather that should have sent Lewis & Clark back towards warmer, drier climes, I pointed out what seemed to me to be very obvious reasons why we didn't Tailgate; we walked to the game from our on-campus hotel, we didn't have a car for the parking lot and, perhaps most importantly, we didn't know anybody at the game.
So what, he replied, adding that he does it all the time when he hops on a plane and follows the Notre Dame football team from city to city. By the way, he never attended Notre Dame. And has even gone solo on these football extravaganzas. He's just that into the Fighting Irish.
You just mosey up to people in the parking, flash your green jersey and commence tailgating with the locals? I asked.
"Absolutely," he replied. "They hand me beer, sausage sandwiches and a folding chaise chair to sit and 'chillax' for 6 hours before the game."
I squirmed in my pants, which were soaking wet from the metal bench, pulled the hefty bag over my face and turned to this man who allegedly shares the same DNA as me but not the same streak of misanthropy, and said that sounds like Holy Hell.