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Rutgers Football Tailgater of the Week - Eastern Michigan Edition!

This week we visited the Purple Lot for our winners

Our second season of the weekly Tailgater of the Week awards are under way, and this week’s winner comes from the Purple Lot. If you’ve ever been in the Purple Lot, you can not miss this crew, they are the ones with the “Rutgers Dancing Noodle” that usually sits in the area closest to the stadium.

The “dancing noodle” for those of you who are unaware, are those crazy fan-driven items you see at used-car lots, or supermarket ribbon-cutting ceremonies. This one, as you can see below, is bright red, and clearly says Rutgers on two sides.

This is a large crowd that participates in this weekly exercise, and I spoke for a few minutes with Brian McFarland, who was one of the original people putting this crew together. Brian and his friends have been coming here for home games since the beginning of the Greg Schiano Era, in 2001. Depending upon the day, anywhere from 30 to 80 people participate in their crew. Last Saturday, there were about ten cars and almost as many canopies strung together on both sides all participating together.

This began as a bunch of Rutgers students from the same hometown deciding to get together and go to games as a group. After graduating in 2002 they kept coming week after week. As time went by, as it does, wives, husbands, and children were all added to the group. Then about five years ago, another group that often set up near them in the Purple Lot all decided to join forces, and the current incarnation of the week’s winners came to be.

Brian McFarland at the grill, with family and friends all around!

Ed often has not only his wife, but even Mom and Dad join them at the games. As he said, “It is a whole family deal!”

In keeping with the family theme, there is not a “cover charge” to participate. Instead, everyone brings along their own dishes, and creates a situation that is “non-stop food,” as described by Brian.

This group gets going early each week, getting festivities underway at around 6:00-6:30 AM. The party keeps going until near game time, when everything is packed up and the entire group heads into the stadium.

Ed and Karyn Bechold were also there with their toddler, and very proud of the fact that this same group was Tailgater of the Year in the first year this promotion was started by Miller Light. However, Karyn, with no ego or bravado feels that they are always the best tailgate! Look no further than their attire to see their tailgating pride!

If you see this group in your travels, be sure to stop by and say hello, and let them know you saw their story here On the Banks. You really can’t miss the group!

One more item to add. One of the stalwarts of tailgating each week are the father and son duo of James and Gavin Maguire. No insult to James, but Gavin is the one people recognize when they see him, and that is due to the great makeup he employs each week when he goes to the game. Like the noodle above, if you’ve seen Gavin in your travels in the different tailgating lots, you certainly will remember his look, it is memorable!

Photo by Barbara Soldano

Gavin, On the Banks salutes you and your dedication to Rutgers football each week and each season. He is just one of many of the dedicated fans that “go all out” each week to demonstrate their loyalty to the school and its program.

Finally, our own Bob Cancro has been focused on the changes in the Marching Scarlet Knights and their desire to expand their visibility among the fans. One of the new things that has occurred is the visits to some of the tailgating lots by the Drum Line. This has been a great opportunity to make the Pride of New Jersey more accessible to the fans. Below is just a short clip of them as they were going from lot to lot after playing songs for the team as they completed the Scarlet Walk last week. In this one, they are walking toward the stadium between the Yellow and Blue Lots.

If anyone has requests for a lot to choose the Tailgater of the Week for Saturday’s game against Morgan State, be sure to mention it in the comments section below! See you on Saturday, tailgaters!