Our search for the Tailgaters of the Week took us into the Green Lot this past Saturday, but in our travels we ran into other interesting people we will share with you as well. Tailgating at Rutgers has become a huge deal in recent years, and there is so much to see and share each week it becomes almost impossible to only share one story. So, in addition to our award winners, there will almost always be some extra things going on that need to be shared as well.
Our weekly winners have the advantage of tailgating literally within the shadow of the stadium in the Green Lot. I had an opportunity to speak to Jason Newcomb (‘93), who along with Ron Garutti, Jr. are the not only the leaders of this tailgate, but the co-owners of Newroads Financial Group. Therefore, they title their group Newroads Corner. They have been coming together to the Green Lot since it opened 4-5 years ago. They are always early, in order to reserve their favorite spot, on the corner closest to the stadium, directly across the road from the Scarlet Lot. They have four vehicles that come together each game to set up as a team.
Jason and Ron have their family and friends coming to the games, and they all stop by and visit. Those visitors include Ron and Joanna Garutti, who are known to many as great benefactors of Rutgers Athletics.
Ron and Jason’s group for each home game are a combination of school, work, and family members, all of whom are true-blue (true-red?) supporters of the Scarlet Knights.
One of their favorite parts is the special drink menu designed specifically for each game. In addition to the full bar on site, the specialty drinks on the menu are different for each game.
Unlike many tailgaters, they are mainly a snacks and drinks group, preferring to get food in the stadium itself. There are a core of about 20 who meet at all games, and due to their placement, often have staff from Rutgers Athletics stop by to visit. While Rutgers staff do not partake at the bar, the drink menu is well-known enough that visitors want to see what the options are for each game.
Having a tailgate with a focus on things other than food, the bar(s) become more important. So, just to show, here are a couple of their portable bars for the game:
This is a fun group of people, and they all have a great time each game day. Congrats to Jason, Ron and the rest of the group at Newroads Corner on being On the Banks’ Tailgaters of the Week!
A couple of extras to mention this week. As you all probably know, last week was Military Appreciation Week, and anyone at the game can tell you there were a lot of military personnel in the tailgate areas on Saturday. A couple of sailors looked a little lost in the Blue Lot early on Saturday, until tailgaters saw them and jumped in to show what Rutgers Tailgating hospitality is all about. Justin Hernandez and Courtney Kersey were meeting up with their unit later in the day but seemed unsure where they should go in the meantime. As you can see below, they found some new friends immediately!
There are always interesting additions that people bring along to their tailgates that make them distinctive. Whether it is a mannequin wearing a uniform, unusual chairs and fat heads, a birthday party, or even custom beer coozies, everyone likes something a little different. This definitely caught my eye this week! Nice hat, Jay Harris!
Tailgating at Rutgers draws all kinds of fans! pic.twitter.com/CspU0STkGs— Jim Hoffman (@RURahFan) September 20, 2017
Many of you may know about Kevin Patrick. Kevin decided to get a very unusual tailgating vehicle a year of so ago. He purchased a 1969 firetruck! Not only does he take it to tailgate, he even participates in parades with his truck, which as you can see, is definitely Rutgers oriented, from the name on the door as well as the truck number (E-1869),
to the license plate!
Despite all of the firefighting accoutrements, this is still a tailgating vehicle, and what tailgate vehicle is complete without a grill? Kevin’s is built in!
So, if you are in the vicinity of St. George Greek Orthodox Church on game day, be sure to stop by and say hello to Kevin as well as all of the other tailgaters who call St. George their game day home. I promise he won’t turn the firehose on you!
With Rutgers away at Nebraska this weekend, our next Tailgater of the Week challenge won't be until The Ohio State University visits on September 30. Until then, keep the burgers warm, tailgaters, I’ll be looking for you!