The mighty NFL season heads into week two and already there are some heavy-hitting matchups on the docket, including the opening of the new stadium in Minnesota, which means there’s some serious tailgating to be had. It’s still warm out, the grills are clean and shiny, the propane tanks still full. Everything feels new and fun. And nobody is worse off than 0-1. Enjoy!
Here are my Top Five tailgating spots around the NFL this week.
5. The Carolina Panthers host the San Francisco 49ers. Now Charlotte is known for being a bit of a wine-and-cheese town – given all the North Carolina Tar Heel fans among the Panther faithful – but this city is still buzzing from the Panthers’ run to the Super Bowl last year and will be out in force for the home-opener.
4. Indianapolis at Denver. Speaking of the Super Bowl, the defending champs play their second game of the young season at Mile High Stadium – excuse me, Sports Authority Field at Mile High – and it’s always an intriguing matchup when the Colts come to town, even though neither team has anybody named Peyton playing quarterback for them. Pass the Orange Crush.
3. Dallas at Washington. It’s week two and we’re already getting one of the classic rivals in professional sports. Tony Romo is – stop me if you’ve heard this before – out with an injury – and the Redskins are coming off a loss to the Steelers on Monday Night Football, but you’ve heard it plenty before, throw out the records when rivals like these meets. Just be careful about grilling hogs around Fed Ex Field.
2. Green Bay at Minnesota. Pacers and Vikings brings a great tailgate excitement whenever they play, but how about the first game at the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis? It’s on “Football Night in America” in prime time for a reason. A national NBC audience will be able to check out the translucent roof featuring the five largest pivoting glass doors in the world. Fans are shielded from snow and frigid temps but still get a downtown view of Minneapolis. Cheers, Minneapolis!
1. Seattle at Los Angeles. With apologies to the Vikings, the L.A. Coliseum is THE tailgating place to be this week. The Rams got shut out 28-0 in their season-opener Monday night in San Francisco. Think that’s going to bother anybody in Southern Cal? Hardly. The Rams are back where they belong, in Los Angeles, for the first time in 22 years and the Rams fans are downright giddy. Carne asada for everyone.
– Carroll Walton, a.k.a. “Ginger Snap”