This week the Bing National Tailgating Championship brought the sun to Seattle. Judges including local rap pioneer Sir Mix-A-Lot, sampled burgers, puzzled the tailgaters and reveled in the rare northwestern sun.
Team “Hawk One” took captured the regional title and will go on to compete in the National Tailgating Championship Finals in Dallas/Fort Worth next month.
Thank you to everyone who made it out to competition and discovered how Bing can simplify your game day decisions.
Stay tuned for more updates on the National Championship in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Joe “The Commish” Cahn joins us again this week with a play-by-play of the action in Seattle.
Oh Say Can You Seattle?
By Joe “The Commish” Cahn
Yes, we could.
Think about the Pacific Northwest in the winter for a moment. My best guess is that you would probably say the following, “gray, rainy and cold.”
OK, the chilly part was accurate on the Seattle stop of the Bing National Tailgating Championship tour.
But, this last stop before we head to Arlington, Texas had bright, brilliant sunshine in the shadow of Qwest Field. It was incredible to see this beautiful stadium in all of its glory with some of the most enthusiastic tailgaters I’ve seen in quite some time.
For those who might not necessarily think of Seattle as a “tailgating city,” you are quite mistaken. These teams in the parking lot in front of Qwest Field brought out all of the stops and did not disappoint.
Our judges, including Sir Mix A Lot, were blown away by what they saw — RVs, huge cooking setups and crowds that had energy to spare. In fact, a couple of the teams made their way to the parking lot the night before to get the party started.
The judges were also treated to some amazing food, which we certainly expected since Seattle is one of the cradles of the foodie movement. There were amazing chorizo and bacon burritos as an appetizer from Hawk One, among the other superb food they created. The Pour House brought all kinds of delicious Northwest fare that was out of this world. The Friends of the Capitol Hill Rowdies went super-local, emulating Dick’s Deluxe — a burger well-known in the Emerald City — that was spot-on.
Then, there was the Seahawks Command Center.
In all of my years of tailgating, I don’t think I have seen such a young team that was so dedicated to getting it right. As their main guy Justin told us on stage, everything we were eating was either “caught or shot” by members of the team.
What is amazing to me, is that each of members of their team were under 30 and they were keeping their own with these more veteran, seasoned tailgaters.
They didn’t end up winning the competition (the scoring was the closest we’ve seen in the 6 cities we have visited), but they certainly did an incredible job and could be the clear leaders as the next generation of tailgaters — and that makes me feel really good to know that we’re all in such good hands.
Hawk One walked away victorious and their celebration, when we announced the winner at halftime of the Seahawks/Falcons game, was priceless. It was like they won the Super Bowl, the BCS and every other championship rolled into one.
That’s the spirit that we love — and every team in Seattle brought it in so many ways. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to close out the final stop of the Bing National Tailgating Championship.
Which now brings us to the next step — the one near my hometown in Arlington, Texas.
Oh yes, 6 down and one big one to go.
I can’t even tell you how excited I am to see these elite-level tailgaters get together and bring their A-games. It’s for all the marbles and it will be an amazing experience for all of us.
I’ll be back in the coming weeks to offer up my perspective for the final round — but there is no rest for The Commish. It’s off to Pittsburgh and Buffalo for football, back to Pittsburgh for the NHL Winter Classic and then to any and every college bowl game I can find.
2011 is just around the corner and we’re lucky to be kicking it off in style by crowning the first-ever Bing National Tailgating Championship champion.
So, I’ll see you in the next few weeks, Seasons Greetings and I’ll see you down the road.
– Joe “The Commish” Cahn