Welcome Foot-o-philes to the first FootPrint in over a month. The last time I recapped a tailgate the BlackFoot were celebrating their first year as DCU's newest fan club. If it's possible, at this tailgate something even bigger happened.
The tailgate started in usual fashion with the Foot's founding members staking out the spot. Word must be getting out about our little fan club because there was a wannabe BlackFooter already waiting when we pulled in. This weirdo stood two feet away from us as we set up the tent, grill and boards. He stood two feet away from us as we started our first game of Cornhole. He basically stood two feet away and said nothing. It was like having Jimbo there, except less annoying. Well, whatever he was waiting for must have happened because he eventually crept off to join some other lucky tailgate. This tailgate looked like a circus and he must have been the mime. Halfway into the first game of cornhole we quickly realized that there were dozens of wasps all over the tree busy making love to the flowers. I wish I had known this before I threw three bags straight into the tree to prove to the Chef that the boards were too close to it. I have never seen so many wasps. If Saunders had paid for parking on the way in I would have said this was the second sign of the Apocolypse. As it was it still may have been the first. The decision was made to relocate a few spots down. Once that was accomplished the tailgate was on and Smitty's beer got knocked over.
Soon we had some of our fellow Footers with us, some food on the grill and the soccer ball was being kicked around as some of the boys emulated their heroes on the field. Unfortunately one of those boys was exposed to a massive dose of Gamma Rays during an accident in a top secret military lab causing violent mutations in his very DNA when he was younger and; HULK KICK BALL IN RIVER. It was actually a big day for the Hulk. Next to the above mentioned check on his to do list were such things as: getting so "hammered" that he actually looked green, knocking over Smitty's beer, fighting with just about everyone who said just about anything to him, exposing his own "beanbag" to some fellow Footers and . . . his sister . . . while simultaneously creating the most awkward moment in BlackFoot tailgating history, cooking some pretty good pork bbq, completely disappearing during the second half, molesting the girl in front of us with the BlackFoot flag (more to come on that) and making it generally impossible to leave after the game by insisting on asking everyone what they thought about leaving like he was taking a poll for Gallup. Hulk entertain!
Now, I suppose I should get back to the big event that has the potential to knock the one year celebration of our football fan club out of the limelight. You would have to say that it all started with Chef providing quality BalckFoot t-shirts for the gang. Add to that some committed fans who show up game after game to support their fan club and their club. And top it off with a shiny, beautiful BlackFoot flag provided by the BlackFoot's own Betsy Ross, Chef's sister. I mean this thing was awesome. Even before the flag made it's arrival fellow tailgaters were asking questions about the Foot. Yours truly was only too happy to let them in on the secret to which most responded with a puzzled, dazed look on their face reminiscent of Keyrock the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. Either that or some good natured laughing. Either way it was clear, the word was out. Once the flag showed up and was proudly displayed by being precariously hung (you could say the flag was at half-ass) on the tent we started to pack them in. The tailgate adjacent to ours, full of keg stands, beer bongs and g-strings, was so impressed they couldn't help but wander over to see what the hype was all about. They were only too happy to weasel their way into our Cornhole winners queue, get soundly beaten by the Foot and then slink off back to their party full of lewd behavior and low self-esteem. They were so impressed by the force of the Foot that one of the ladies in their crew even dressed up just like one of our fringe Footers who was in attendance. Crazy. The bottom line is clear: the BlackFoot have arrived. It is now not only us talking about how great our tailgates are but other people as well, which in my mind only strengthens the base on which our fan clubs reputation will stand. T-shirts, Cornhole boards and flags are the ammunition with which we will wage war on MLS fans and clubs alike. Once you go BlackFoot you never go back-foot. Put your BlackFoot forward. Stand on your own two BlackFeet. You just know that all the other fan clubs are straining their ears with panic in their eyes listening for the sounds of our BlackFoot steps. Well done the Foot! Oh, and somewhere in there Smitty's beer got knocked over. Again.
Just real quick I would like to point out that I have taken my fair share of pot shots, no, not that pot, at the Hulk. I make no apologies for that. I will however also point out that a lot of the success of the Foot has to be credited to the Chef and his sister. They have put our symbol out there with their hard work and ingenuity and they deserve to be congratulated for it. Well done the Hamlin's.
I know what you are thinking. Nothing else of note could have happened at this eventful tailgate, could it? It could. Someone must have kidnapped the Colonel of Music's wife because he somehow agreed to a musical theme other than blasting Widespread Panic and one other song by some other band. What was the theme you ask? The Colonel ordered the troops to submit some suggestions from the Rolling Stone top 500 albums of all time list. And the troops rallied. Some GREAT music was enjoyed by the Footers as they frolicked in legendary Lot 8. At some point however, the Colonel switched sides and titles, becoming the SS of sounds as he occupied the iPod like Germany did Poland. But much like any dictatorship the people rose up to rebel and the music got back on the Democratic playlist. The change of pace was nice and I personally look forward to more themed tailgates. Could the BlackFoot unplug and go acoustic much like Bob Dylan in reverse? Maybe. A good mix is the main idea I think, so fear not Colonel, Panic has it's place. And we rocked them out on the ride home. Mountains look like fun . . .
Greetings from the Grill: as mentioned above the other thing the Chef whipped out beside his balls, the ones he did not shank into the river, was some pretty good pulled pork. Sandwiches were enjoyed by all, even the heart healthy Colonel. Someone must have called him Jewish because he tore into that pork like he was the Big Bad Wolf. Can't blame him, it was good. Whoever brought the cookies with chocolate frosting on top of them, god bless you. Good eats. Good beers too, not that Smitty would know since his got knocked over.
Somewhere in all of this a soccer game was played. The new flag accompanied the BlackFoot into the stadium as we went to cheer on the boys in black against the Colorado Crapids (nice one Saunders). The flag was raised in celebration of our team taking the field to the delight of all, except the displaced Barra Brava fan who was so hardcore he got annoyed when the flag gently brushed up against him. I mean really. Really anonymous Barra Brava fan? Really? You wear the jersey of arguably (yea BlackFoot!) the most rowdy, hostile and fanatic fan club there is and get annoyed when you feel a flag on your back? Really? Do the qualifications for being the gayest member of the Barra Brava include not only shunning all symbols of loyalty but also sitting so far away from the actual fan club that you might as well be a member of El Norte? Does it really? Are you so hardcore that when you go out to dinner you order the side salad and a Barra Guava juice? You make golf fans look like felons. I mean really. Well have no fear fellow Footers, that did not stop your boys from raising that flag every time the play on the pitch called for it. Nor did it stop Chef from turning the screws by brushing the flag up against the ass of the lady next to above mentioned fake fan. Hulk cross line! It was extra sweet when, in the second half, the boys in black turned it on and with goals from Jaime (spot kick), Lucy (tap in) and Namoff (make amends header) overcame the one goal hole they had dug themselves in the first half. That flag went up with every one. Awesome. We even had our honorary BlackFooter (we finally found out his name is Tim!) help raise the flag and scream out the name that was, for good or ill, on the tips of a lot of tongues. The Colonel and I had a blast showing our colors and we must now remember to tape these games because the BlackFoot will soon make their debut on the tube. It cannot be stopped. Sadly the Chef missed most of this and in fact most of the second half. Hulk miss goals while shopping! I also believe that Smitty's beer got knocked over.
Good tailgate, great game and overall a big day for the Foot. I am inspired by this turn of events, both on the field and off, and cannot wait to see what the Foot do next. Whatever it is I will be there waiting to commit to it and comment on it. And maybe, just maybe, I will knock over Smitty's beer.
Line of the day: who knows, I even stayed sober this time and I can't think of one. Maybe we just aren't funny?
Well, this was a long one, I know, so thanks to the faithful Footer's for reading to the bottom and rest assured that the Professor will write something soon that will make this War and Peace look like a grocery list. Keep and eye on DCU as they fight it out in the cup and the league and as always, can't wait to tailgate!