November 2008 Show Us Your Green - At the Game
For Kevin Hannon and company, tailgating at the Meadowlands during Jets home games isn't just an activity, it's a way of life.
"We've been kind of building it up for the last several years," said Hannon, our Show Us Your Green winner for November. "Now we've got at least 15 regulars. And we've had as many as 28 people on more than one occasion."
The group makes the most of each Sunday, watching the early game if the Jets are playing later in the day, or vice versa.
"We have one guy that brings a 36-inch TV, a satellite dish and a generator to run the whole show," he said.
All the members of Hannon's group pitch in to make sure everybody has the best experience possible. They also put a special emphasis on eating well.
"We have one fella that brings a five-foot-long gas grill with eight burners and requires two propane tanks," he said. "We usually have two to three grills going every week.
"And it hasn't been hot dogs and hamburgers for years. As a matter of fact, one time last year we had a sitdown steak dinner in the parking lot."
The group's parking lot setup has grown so intricate through the years that it's become a home away from home.
"This year we have six pop-up tents in our group, all in a row," said Hannon. "It kind of looks like we've got a little flea market going on. We're cooking under one tent, eating under another and we have the coolers under another.
"My wife found a site online to have signs made up to hang up above the tent. We have 'the kitchen,' 'the living room,' 'the dining room,' 'the bar' – like six different rooms."
When appropriate, they even bring the holiday flavor to their pregame events.
"We do a Thanksgiving tailgate every year at whichever game is closest to the holiday," he said. "We actually have deep-fried turkeys. People bring stuffing and green bean casseroles, apple pie, pumpkin pie."
Hannon's fondness for the Jets gameday experience has only grown since he began going to Jets games with his wife more than 20 years ago.
"She actually converted me," he said. "I was more of a Giant fan before we met. In the beginning, she had season tickets and I went to a few games and I just fell in love with that crowd. It was amazing. From my experiences, these games were just so much more fun, enjoyable and entertaining."