NFL- the National Football League is a North American sport that will be defined in many different ways depending on who you ask.
For example, the average American might say, “It’s a full contact game with 4 exciting quarters, a half time show and the best fans ever”!
Someone less enthusiastic might claim it to be a “4 Hour commercial, with some occasional football in between”. (That is unless they have the NFL red zone ticket). A diehard rugby player could accuse it of being “An over padded, handball game with too much structure and unnecessary penalties”.
For the most part, it’s generally an event that gives people another wonderful reason to gather on a Sunday to enjoy food, drinks while sharing the support (and hassling others) for the their favorite team. Although I don’t base my entire social schedule around this league, I do consider myself a fan.
Which team do I root for you may wonder? Well, non other than the Oakland Raiders! As of now, they are currently 0-5.
If you’re unfamiliar with the meaning of those numbers, let me explain:
Zero times have they selfishly taken a victory for themselves… which means they have kindly donated 5 wins to other teams in order to divi out the prosperity. Sharing is caring.
That is why I am such a loyal fan of this generous team (to be said in a sarcastic voice ending with the tone of a question. You may also vision it with a head tilt and one eyebrow raise).
Moving on. It used to be a tradition that my mom and I would go to one game a season. Since she now lives on the other coast and I, well you know, it’s been a few seasons since I have gotten to enjoy it live.
Flashback collage with my fabulous mom!
Compliments of my dear pal Hayden (thanks for the early birthday present) I got to go! Ride along as I share with you the experience of a NFL game.
Alarm clock: 4:45am. Depart at 6:00 to meet with friends for the 6:30 carpool. Below, is a series of photos from the sun rising to the opening of the gates at 8:00am.
Without exaggerating, I took the next set as we were parking and snapped the second picture when I got out of the truck. Please notice the sign in the back to prove this is the same angle, just seconds a part. These people mean business!
Parked, unloaded and set up (in less than 60 seconds). Now we’re ready for the well known act of “tailgating” – An outdoor party or picnic, typically in the parking lot of a sports stadium. Served on the tailgates of trucks, station wagons and any other vehicle that can be sat on or in front of.
If you take a minute (or an hour in my case) to walk around, you’ll get to see the many unique sights the parking-lot gathering has to offer.
Yes, pictured below is a DJ mixer inside of a barbecue.
This popular tailgater brings a supply of beer, liquor, shooters and food to generously offer to all fans for free. A drink and a burger? Jell-O shot and some nachos? Sure! He accepts donations to support this routine, but if you don’t have a few bucks, cheers till next time!
More grub, friends and… the game hasn’t even started yet!
I planned on “a” handstand shot, but with friends like mine… It turned into 4! Thank you Kate, JC and Hayden for the photo suggestions!
The kickoff is nearing so we wrapped up the grill and headed in.
After being guided in a structured, slow manner (ha ha ha) we made it into the stadium. This is when that sensation rolls over you that I explained in the post called cricket… not the insect.
The photos say it all. Here is just a glimpse of the view that consumes the day.
Our team was on the 10 yard line ready to score (fingers crossed). I sat back and waited for the touchdown so I could capture the crowds response… Success!
Final score was 28-31. The Raiders so graciously followed their pattern by granting the opposing team a win. I had no idea I was a fan of such a generous team.