Bone-chilling temperatures and a totally new city did nothing to keep the Bull's Eye Tailgaters from capturing the BING National Championship of Tailgating last Thursday in Fort Worth. The Houston-based crew, which parties before every Texans home game in the Yellow lot, took home a golden grill and $15,000 as the grand prize.
"We're just simple guys on the team," member Jason Saldivar said. "We're overwhelmed to win and represent the Texans. We tell everybody the Texans are a first-class organization, and we're a first-class tailgate. I think we're proving that through all these events we're winning."
Saldivar and company traveled to Fort Worth last Wednesday, prepped the night before, and arrived at Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth at 4 a.m. Thursday morning. Saldivar said the freezing temperatures were only a minor hiccup in what was a thrilling experience.
"The high (temperature) was 11, but we wanted to be first ones there. It was the coldest I'd ever been," he said.
The Bull's Eye Tailgaters helped keep warm with eight different types of heaters, as well as plenty of delicious food and drinks. Part of the reason they won the event was the outstanding Texas barbecue they cooked up, which included brisket, pulled pork, chicken, various sausages, bacon-wrapped jalapenos, ribs, bacon-wrapped tenderloins and much more.
New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush was a judge, and Saldivar joked that seeing the top of the former Heisman winner's head was the best compliment of all.
"He wasn't even picking his head up," Saldivar said. "He was just going at the plate. He said he loves barbecue, and he was glad that a team did it on the scale that we did. He ate everything on there, which was pretty impressive. Normally, the judges would just take a bite here and there, but he went to town on it."
Saldivar and friends said they had to scale down their normal tailgate setup in comparison to what they usually do before Texans home games. Their band, train horn, flatscreen TV's and more did make the trip north to Fort Worth. He estimated that 20 to 25 members of the tailgate made the trip, and in all, there were 40 to 50 people supporting their efforts at the Finals.
The Bull's Eye Tailgaters plan to put some of their winnings toward buying a new trailer, and some to charity.