Blacktop Culinarians Unite!
Since 2006, Hans Steiniger has traveled to major pro sports venues across the country in an effort to understand how tailgating differs regionally as one moves from city to city. Throughout this journey, numerous connections were made with local tailgating groups eager to share their experiences and open their grill pits to the many travelers that Quest for 31. This is their story...
The Tailgating Hall of Fame® is a coalition of tailgaters from across the nation bound by their love of good food, good people, and the age old tradition of putting meat to flame. The practice of game day tailgating has evolved considerably from the use of a simple charcoal grill to char processed meats to a blackened crisp. These days, tailgating groups numbering from dozens of fans to several hundred, gather together in parking lots for several hours before the
sporting event begins to cook up an entire day’s worth of food. Barbecue pits capable of smoking or slow roasting chophouse-quality meats have replaced traditional hibachi grills. Beer kegs with
C02 systems and fully stocked bars have surpassed the standard six pack of cans that
were unceremoniously thrown into a cooler on the way out the door. Mobile ovens and deep fryers prepare culinary masterpieces that rival any gourmet meal you might get from a restaurant. As a result, typical game day tradition is shifting from a loose collection of separate individuals preparing a quick pregame snack out on the asphalt, to a series of coordinated blacktop culinarians creating a sense of community among the fans that gather together on gameday.
The Tailgating Hall of Fame is a community of those of us who gather together for every home game to support their team through the good times and the bad. It is an opportunity to recognize the regional delicacies and traditions that exist as one travels across the country, seeking out the most innovative, gameday tailgaters in our great nation. It’s also an opportunity to network with other fans who share a similar passion for their professional franchises and express it on gameday in a variety of unique food preparatory practices.
Tailgating Hall of Fame members share a kinship in their craft that blurs the battle lines set up to divide us as one team takes on another. Our shield and challenge coin are a symbol of the open invitation that exists between Hall of Fame members as they take to the road to support their team in “enemy” territory. The great thing about the nature of us as tailgaters, is that at the end of the day, no matter what colors we’re wearing, we’d rather just kick back and have a burger and beer as we reflect on another great Sunday in the National Football League.
The Tailgating Hall of Fame was founded by Hans Steiniger in 2006 as part of his "Quest for 31". This one man investigation focused on uncovering the differences that might be found in local tailgating traditions as one moves from stadium to stadium throughout the National Football League on gameday. Instead of performing research in the traditional sense, Steiniger immersed himself in the home team experience by visiting each city for the weekend, wearing home team colors for the game, participating in pregame tailgates, and visiting the iconic local restaurants, sports bars, and tourist attractions that each city has to offer. Each weekend trip is summarized into a Stadium Review offering recommendations, in the format of an online sports travel guide. Along the way, friendships were fostered as tailgating groups throughout the nation became official stops on the Quest for 31®. The Tailgating Hall of Fame enables these groups to interact with one another as Hall of Fame members travel from city to city, thereby formalizing the network that Steiniger built going from one tailgate to another one city at a time.