Tailgating isn’t a new tradition. In fact, according to the American Tailgating Association it dates back to the U.S. Civil War. During the First Battle of Bull Run, Union supporters allegedly showed up on the sidelines with food and yelled “Go Big Blue!” So it seems tailgating has been going up on Sunday since 1861. 155 years later, tailgating has turned into big business. Let’s look at some numbers!*
- Americans spend $35 billion on tailgating food and beverage supplies each year.
- 93 percent of tailgaters prepare their food on site.
- 61 percent of Americans tailgate five or more times each year.
- 58 percent of football tailgaters are male, and 42 percent are female.
I’ve never attended a tailgate let alone an Atlanta Falcons one but it’s definitely on my bucket list. Copious amounts of food and drinks, music with fun and games for the children sounds like my kind of lituation. This may be happening sooner rather than later thanks to an Atlanta based tailgate crew 60/40 Tailgaters. The name comes from the make up of their the tailgates; 60% men and 40% women. It’s quite interesting that co-founder Jerrett Myers wasn’t that into football but that changed with first name Michael last name Vick. While Myers isn’t an Atlanta native, he’s originates from New Jersey, he’s adopted the Falcons as his home team.
Twenty years later, he’s now in the thick of Atlanta Falcons culture, throwing dope tailgates with his other two partners DJ Dollar Bills and Rocko. The trio make the perfect team. Myers mans the grill, Rocko brings the creatives to the trailers and the obvious DJ Dollar Bills provides the music. The 60/40 Tailgaters have all of the elements to give you a pretty cool tailgating experience. Football. Family. Food. Fun. I sat down with Myers to get the 411 of what goes down at these glorious functions.
How long have you been tailgating? I’ve been tailgating for the last 4 years. I did smaller tailgates in the past a few times a year but nothing on the level I do now. I’ve been with the 60/40 Tailgaters crew for 3 years now. We’re a team of three that have our own separate businesses going on. I started Queen City BBQ Atl in 2015 , my friend Joseph aka DJ Dollar Bills has been doing his thing for years and is a very good friend and his friend, Rocko designs trailers. Rocko designed our trailer that includes built-in TV’s, satellite, a kids room and bathroom inside.
What goes into planning a tailgate? When the schedule comes out we look over it to see that games we can do and go from there. We conference the Wednesday before game day to talk about what food that is going to be prepared and any other specialty things we’re going to do. How we prep and start the day depends on the start time of the games. If a game is at 1 p.m.I get up at 5 a.m. We get down to the GA Dome between 6 and 6:30 a.m. to begin the setup. We have two TV’s, six tents, grill, tables and a bar. We’re normally done about 8:00 a.m. with the décor setup and I’m on the grill until about 1 p.m. People start showing up around 11 a.m. Wins are good for business. People tend to stick around longer and the number of attendees skyrockets. Last season when we were on the winning streak the parking lot was standing room only. We can be out there some Sundays until 11 p.m.
Where are you guys located? Cost? We’re located on Northside Drive in the Wade Ford lot. It’s the same lot with 92.9 The Game. If you look up, you’ll see a 30 ft. pole with a Falcons flag and that’s where we are. The cost is $20 per person for all you can eat and drink. You would spend double at a bar for the amount you would spend at the tailgate. We don’t call it paying but donations because the money goes right back into what we’re doing.
What’s on a 60/40 Tailgaters menu? The menu varies. Ribs and chicken are mandatory but other meats depends on the sides. We’ve done a seafood boil…crab legs, shrimp, fish. Lots of options. We also tailor the menu when it comes to the holidays, with Thanksgiving coming up we’ll have fried turkeys.
How would you describe the atmosphere? I would describe it as a block party. We strive on being family oriented while providing music, TV’s great food and fun. There are opposing fans at the tailgates which brings another element to it. There’s a lot of trash talking and depending on who the Falcons are playing it can get pretty intense. We always have a big turnout when we play any time in the NFC south. It’s an experience that you have to experience. We’re in the business of making sure everyone has a good time. I say even if you’re not a football fan come out with an open mind. I’ve had friends come and leave with a new perspective and learning a thing or two about the game of football.
Well, the 60/40 Tailgaters have me sold! While I’m not a lover of football I am a lover of family, food and fun. The Falcons don’t have a home game until November 27th and that’s just in time for me to try the fried turkey. Here’s to hoping the weather stays nice and the Falcons continuing to #Rise Up!