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  1. #1
    purplepat is offline Hall of Famer
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    Dec 1969

    Tailgating in Minnesota in January

    OK, I've always been in love with the Metropolitan Stadium days of the Vikings and their know, those old sights of the hardy warriors of the north braving the frigid cold. And this season, I'll finally get to experience tailgating in Vikings playoff weather.

    To be sure, I experienced a taste of it back in Dec 1999 when the Vikings hosted the Packers on Monday Night Football. That day the high was a balmy 7 degrees, the low -2 (the temperature around 6 PM), with winds between 12 and 16 MPH. Not a fun time, to be sure, though there were plenty of Vikings fans having fun. With a balky (soon-to-be-ex) wife in tow, I only spent maybe one hour in the elements trying to soak up the pregame atmosphere in the old Washington Ave. tailgate lot. And it was cold (especially with the wind), many thanks to those who had open wood-burning fires!

    But come January 17th, I'll be getting off the Megabus right by the Metrodome at 6:30 AM with nowhere to go except the PPO Tailgate party. Being raised in the temperate South, I'm not accustomed to dealing with really cold temperatures for any extended period of time. Hell, I HATE cold weather! But I don't plan on being a chicken-bleep about it, if you guys can hang then so can I!

    I come seeking some advice from those more experienced than I in being in Vikings weather for any extended period of time. I'm figuring we are talking about a good 4 1/2 to 5 hours here, folks. I don't want to catch frostbite, I actually want to be able to feel my toes, fingers, nose and ears without them being in excruciating pain. And I want to enjoy myself too, to the extent such conditions will allow. Here's what I was planning on...

    Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
    Thermal socks (not sure if wife bought me the moisture-wicking kind or not), possibly over a pair of my regular athletic socks)
    My Vikings gloves/mittens (the 3M Thinsulate ones)
    My old reliable Vikings knitted cap
    My Bengals knitted cap/skimask (just in case I need more cover)
    Blue jeans
    Vikings jersey
    Reasonably warm regular length winter coat (unless I find a great thrift store coat)
    Athletic shoes (might opt for my cheap knockoff army-style boots though)
    A few of those little iron filings chemical reaction hand and foot warmer pouches
    A bottle or two of some cheap brandy, Southern Comfort, or other liqueur.
    Maybe an insulated cup with lid, in case we actually have the ability to make hot beverages at the tailgate, such as coffee or tea.

    Am I missing anything here? Anything I need to assure my comfort for nearly 5 hours in January Minnesota weather?

    Will there actually be anything at the tailgate to cook on/with? Aside from above mentioned coffee, I could definitely see cooking a tender-ass juicy steak and devouring it with my bare hands before it cooled below 100 degrees.

  2. #2
    BloodyHorns82's Avatar
    BloodyHorns82 is offline Jersey Retired Feed The Frog Champion
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    Jun 2006

    Re:Tailgating in Minnesota in January

    With the tents and heaters it actually will stay pretty warm. No need to get too concerned. There will be a grill to cook with as well, so if you can figure out a way to make coffee with the grill I'll join you for a cup.

    As long as your wearing thermal underwear you'll be just fine.

    Warm socks


    Now if you plan on going visit other groups besides PP.O it may be a bit colder depending on what they have for heaters and such. Dress in layers and you'll be fine.

    This is going to be a great time!

  3. #3
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
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    Dec 1969
    West Fargo, ND
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    Re: Tailgating in Minnesota in January

    I would also recommend bring a garbage bag. That way you can put your coat & outer layers in it in the dome and stick it under your seat without having to worry about someone spilling beer (or worse) on it. Mall of America Field is comfortable, but it will be too warm in the stands to keep all your stuff on.

    As far as your clothes, you should be fine. That is pretty much what I wear - thermal underwear, good socks, white turtleneck, jeans, jersey, and coat/hat/gloves. PP.O will have a large tent set up (actually several connected ones) with heaters inside. You should be able to warm up if you get too cold. Dunno if Webby or Neum are bringing the TV again so we can watch the early game during tailgating.

    Webby usually brings a grill, so there is a place to cook. Don't know if there is going to be anything set up to make hot beverages though. Also, I haven't been to a home game since Nov 15th (stupid work commitments), but Von Hanson's Meats was a meat sponsor of PP.O for at least the first part of the year, and provided a LOT of brats each game. Don't know if they will be doing it for the playoffs as well, Webby or Neum could probably answer that one.

    Last year was pretty nippy. There are pics somewhere out there of my beer freezing in the neck of the bottle while I was drinking it. My jello shots didn't freeze, although the ones that the eagles fans brought did. Hopefully it will be a little warmer than last year, but if not - we will still party! It will be cold, but that is part of Minnesota. Thank God we have an indoor stadium to go into after tailgating though!
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?


  4. #4
    purplepat is offline Hall of Famer
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    Dec 1969

    Re:Tailgating in Minnesota in January

    BloodyHorns82 wrote:
    There will be a grill to cook with as well, so if you can figure out a way to make coffee with the grill I'll join you for a cup.
    Coming on the bus with no hotel stay, I plan on traveling light. That said, that doesn't mean I won't look to buy a cheap pot from the dollar store (throwaway item) to boil water in for coffee. The little instant coffee packs (I think they are a combo of instant coffee and some ground coffee) aren't too horrible in a pinch, and it will be easy to pick up some bottled water for coffee from one of the convenience stores the bus stops at for rest breaks. Now, getting that steak might be another matter...anybody know a grocery that's right along the light rail line that opens for business in the early AM on Sunday mornings?

  5. #5
    Zeus's Avatar
    Zeus is offline Jersey Retired
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    Apr 2006

    Re:Tailgating in Minnesota in January

    Echoing what others have said, it sounds like you'll have it covered for the game. With 3 or more tents, 3 or more heaters and all that, there won't be any issue with being too cold.

    That said - it's *very* important (IMHO) to keep the tootsies warm. The lot will not be completely free of snow and that layer under the feet will keep them colder than the rest of you. My solution is to take the feet outta the boots and put them in front of one of the heaters about once an hour.

    As long as everyone pitches in with the tear-down (like this past week - great job, everyone) will be able to keep the tents up until 11:15 or so and then have plenty of time to get inside to the seats before the game starts.


    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  6. #6
    jargomcfargo's Avatar
    jargomcfargo is offline Ring of Fame
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    Dec 1969

    Re:Tailgating in Minnesota in January

    You can go inside early if you get too cold.
    And it's spelled bulky not balky! LOL
    “What takes a quarterback to the next level is not arm strength or mobility or any of that stuff. It’s the ability to play on critical downs. Manage third downs, or red zones or four-minute or two-minute situations"

  7. #7
    Prophet's Avatar
    Prophet is offline Jersey Retired
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    Oct 2006

    Re:Tailgating in Minnesota in January

    Make sure to bring your woman, that's the best way to get warmed up.
    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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