22 of 31: University of Phoenix Stadium
Phoenix, Arizona

December 10, 2015


Thursday evening tailgating with the Cardinals fans was the story of beautiful blue skies, warm temperatures, an unbelievable sunset and one fabulous fancy pants drink mixed in a gallon juice bottle. And red -  LOTS of RED - red hats, shirts, wigs, shoes, grills, cars, lips, solo cups, socks - you name it, it was RED.




From the stadium website and the office we learned that unless we had a game ticket there was no way to park in the stadium lots. Frustrated, Bernie googled Cardinals tailgating and was referred to Cards#1 Tailgating Experience on our old friend Hans Steiniger’s website: The Quest for 31. Contacting them using the miracle of Facebook, Doc and Tim hooked us up with a broker who had one ticket left for the over-sized vehicle lot. We met him behind a 7-Eleven store and secured a pass for that tailgating lot. $150.00 and we were in business. Phew.

At noon on Thursday we arrived at the F Lot - First time we were first in line - however, the Cards#1 Tailgating Experience pulled in next to us within a few minutes. Doc and Tim were charmingly funny. They immediately poured us shots of a very strong drink: Crown Royal, Bailey's Irish Cream and Amaretto. That put hair on our ears. I decided not to ask for the recipe figuring we would have much more fun buying the ingredients and figuring it our for ourselves.




The Cardinals’ stadium is quite unique. The exterior is formed of metal panels and glass made to resemble a barrel cactus. (sort-of) I didn’t catch it until someone told me. The roof is retractable as is the natural grass field. The field rolls out of the stadium where it grows and is watered in the sun. During games when it is rolled into the stadium on wheels its space becomes a parking lot for the team.

Traveling from stadium to stadium, the one thing I can always count on is that at least one and often many tailgating parties will have a Pat Tillman, red #40 Cardinals jersey hanging beside their tent or van. Pat is a secular saint to many people who admired his intellect, passion, and football skills… but most of all his decision to walk away from a multimillion dollar NFL career to fight for his country after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. His jersey is one of the most popular worn by the Cardinal’s fans. License plates, van murals, special tee shirts can be seen everywhere with his name and symbols of his life on them. He is the Plato, Elvis and LT of Arizona.

There is a grassy field on the west side of the stadium where fans can come and set up their tailgating tents, barbecue grills and play. There was a big stage with live music and the team cheerleaders performed for the crowd. As the sun was setting, just before the game started, skydivers dropped in over the revelers.

Red was definitely the fashionista’s color du jour and within that sea of red, by far the most popular living player jersey was #11, Larry Fitzgerald. Outlandish socks were also trending, as were red hair extensions, dye jobs and weaves. The simplest face enhancement was red-red lipstick, but full face paint was also visible. Beaks being a noted effort undertaken by only a few. NFL rules forbid carrying any but clear plastic bags into the stadiums but the Cardinal women have leaned to style clear plastic better than most.




(A Fashion Note) This is our third time tailgating with the traveling Minnesota Vikings Fans. They really know how to rock their teams colors, purple and gold, and their Viking style. The most fantastic garb and gear we have seen so far.

Around the stadium, there seemed to be more than the usual number of “mixed-team” couples. If only the rest of the world would follow suit… Peace on Earth.


Note: All photos in the story are available to the fans for free in the galleries. Just click on enlargement and download.

Question: Does the stadium look like a barrel cactus to you or more like a fully puffed up pan of Jiffy Pop?


 Very nice I guess you are not a Jet fan ,even though they are at the same stadium as the Giants. I'm a fan of the team that I bet. also if the Rams move you may have #32. Have Merry Christmas & a Happy new year.

Love you both,

How many tailgaters actually have tickets to the game? Aren't they too drunk to be allowed into the stadium even if they are still able to walk?


Actually, it being a Thursday night and Friday being a work day, we saw less drinking than usual. It was a very friendly and fun crowd - more of a picnic than anything.

Having become better acquainted with this culture through your descriptions, I begin to wonder: what is more important, the frivolity or the game? I guess there is some kind of a symbiosis.


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