It was a year of firsts for the Gorilla Meat Tailgaters, and a year of giving back at the same time.
The Maroon Lot mainstays since 2008 were the reigning H-E-B Tailgaters of the Year this season. In addition to cooking up delicious food, serving tasty beverages, and reveling in the fun of the 2023 AFC South-winning campaign, several members of the tailgate also served as weekly Tailgater of the Game judges.
According to Patrick Horn, going tailgate-to-tailgate across NRG Stadium was an eye-opening journey this fall.
"Judging is a learning experience," Horn said. "It helps us see where we stand, meet new people, and share our knowledge. We love seeing new tailgates and helping them up their game and atmosphere!"
The group, which started as a quartet and has now grown to 15 strong, derives its name from the status of the Gorilla: strong, intelligent and the King of the Jungle.
"That's how we see ourselves: Kings of the Maroon Lot," Horn said.
He also added that their selflessness and ability to make sure everyone has the ultimate tailgate experience are the two distinct qualities that set the Gorilla Meat Tailgaters apart from the crowd.
Plus, the H-E-B brisket is a constant at their gatherings, as it "never disappoints."
Patrick and Russell, the G-Meat Tailgate leaders, joined an All-Star crew the morning of the Texans' win over the Titans on December 31, and judged the Tailgater of the Year competition. Flag-winners themselves in 2022, they're excited for a playoff push and more happy times ahead.
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