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Tailgater of the Week- Illinois Edition

As those who have been following this series are aware, each week On the Banks is choosing a tailgate that epitomizes a true Rutgers fan and names them as Tailgater of the week. Each week we choose a different tailgating area, and choose our winner.

When these are done, it is almost always done in the lots where the fans purchase a season’s parking pass along with their season tickets. But what about those that don’t go there? What about the fans that go a different route? So, for this week, I decided to go to Johnson Park for our winner.

For those who do not know, fans are able to purchase parking in Johnson Park on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, it is important to get there early, particularly if you plan to tailgate! That was not a problem for Kyle Bradley, who was parked right up in the second row of cars. This was not just any tailgate, it was also a birthday celebration for his S.O. Meredith Herwig, who while not a Rutgers graduate, has definitely become a fan of Rutgers football.

When asked, Kyle says he has been tailgating for “15 years...20 years?” and he joins with several family and friends to tailgate each game. This particular birthday theme was a surprise for Meredith, and he did a great job, too.

Johnson Park is not your “typical” place for tailgating, and so I asked Kyle why he chooses to tailgate there. His response is simple: “Location. It is the easiest way to get into the stadium, and there is a family atmosphere over here. It’s great, and a good time here.” He’s right, too.

Getting the chafing dishes ready for food, with their own Scarlet Knight standing guard.

Johnson Park is often overlooked, but with the exception of the Scarlet Lot, it is the closest and easiest way to get into the stadium.

While Kyle’s pre-game prediction of a 24-17 Rutgers victory did not come to pass, his tailgate was a sure winner! Finally, a belated happy birthday, Meredith!

Kyle Bradley and his birthday girl, Meredith Herwig