Originally written on Vikings Digital Diaries  |  Last updated 11/1/12
When I first saw a link to something called "Railgating," you bet your ass I was equally fumbling with the left click on my mouse and the zipper on my pants. However, once the "sad clown horn" sound disappeared after I began reading the article, I also found that I learned something about all of you Vikings fans ... You apparently partake in something called "Railgating" that is an urban version of tailgating. This comes from a Sarah Spain article on ESPNW (the "W" stands for "Equal Rights!"): Minneapolis introduced "railgating," a party spanning a two-block stretch of Fifth Street alongside the light rail line this season. The Vikings' new stadium, set to open in 2016, will be located just a block from a light rail station in an urban area without much room for parking lots and tailgating areas, so city officials want fans to party downtown before heading to the game. So, really, is this a thing? Now, I fully admit that I'm the wrong person to be asking about this. I rarely go to any games at the Dome anymore, and if I do I get to the stadium about 5 minutes before kickoff and leave with 30 seconds left (to beat the traffic!). Clearly, the gameday atmosphere is lost on me, at least in Minneapolis. However, I have been to a couple of tailgating events that people have thrown before Vikings games as well as Gopher games, and they are certainly enjoyable. Throwing footballs, grilling items, making chili at home and bringing it with ... It's not a bad time. I get why people enjoy it. But this railgating? This doesn't exactly sound like it's A) a whole lot of fun and B) in any way affordable. The article goes on to describe the experience: On any given Sunday, fans can be found crowding around more than a dozen food trucks, the scene combining the fun of a tailgate with the culinary delights of a state fair. Beer stands aren't allowed on the so-called "Purple Path," so fans pop into local bars and restaurants along the route for game-day refreshments. The tradition is new, but if the satisfied faces of Vikings fans (stuffed to the brim with mac 'n' cheese, lobster rolls, brisket nachos and beignets) are any indication, railgating will only get bigger and better. God, really people? OK, let's clear up a couple of things here first. 1. This IS written by Sarah Spain, holder of ridiculous Chicago sports lady boners, so when it comes to descriptions and reviews of the "Railgating" scene in Minneapolis, while I am much more apt to read her takes (she most definitely writes better than you, sorry), I'm also much more inclined to listen to YOUR review of it, as a full fledged Vikings fan. So, there may be a little miscommunication in all of this that I'm missing, or that's at least what I'm hoping for, because I don't get it. 2. Likewise, what the hell? Lobster rolls? That's what you think of when you think of tailgating during football games? In the fall? IN MINNESOTA??! Listen, I love gorging myself on awesome food as much as the next guy. Really. Just the other day I loaded my lower intestine with steak tartar and swordfish with mint chimichurri (name that restaurant!). I get it. But something like that before a football game? DUMB. You're just going to throw it up anyway, you lush. 3. Isn't part of the benefit of tailgating that you get to stay in one spot, drink yourself blind, and do it on the cheap? That benefit doesn't appear to be anywhere here. 4. Let's not kid ourselves. We've all been on that lightrail before and after sporting events, whether it's a Vikings game or a Twins game or a Lynx game (not judging!) or whatever. There is nothing about that which is an enjoyable experience. So what's our tailgating solution?! Bringing it onto this ****** train! Horrible. If this is really what the Vikings are proposing for their re-invented tailgating options, I weep for the rest of you fans who actually go out and set up in parking lots. If that's taken away from you, enjoy spending a trillion dollars per game. I get the businesses and team want to make money, but there is nothing about this that sounds like a great plan for me or my wallet. However, if you think this is bad, check out the ESPNW post where they discuss the other NFC North tailgating "traditions," including Yardgating in Green Bay (surprise), Sailgating in Chicago ("On my yacht of course, puh puh!") and - the best - Tubgating in Detroit. Might as well be Toiletgating. My god. So let me hear it. Have any of you been Railgating and can voice an opinion on it? [follow]
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