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April 7, 2001
NY/NJ Metrostars Home Opener

Fire up the van!
We had a fleet of three cars trekking down route 80, on our way to Giants Stadium. I was behind the helm of the van, with Ed, Mikey and Kim. We also had all the tailgating essestials (food, grill, chairs, beverages, etc.) Rob and Stick were in front of us and Dimitri and Monika were behind us. The van was in the middle just in case it broke down or something. Fortunately the van made it, but barely. The van washaving trouble going over fifty miles per hour and shaking violently when it was idling. It almost sounded like a loud tractor. And it didn't smell to sweet either.
We went representing the North Jersey Brigade. The NJB is a group of soccer super fans who cheer for the US National team as well as local teams, like the Metrostars. The NJB "strives to bring as many soccer crazed fans in North Jersey together as possible". Their origins date back to 1997 when Ed Kirwan and Rob Huebner laid the foundation. I was sure to wear my schnazzy NJB shirt to the game (although this is actually Rob's back, in case you were wondering).
The van was perfect to have for tailgating. For one, we didn't have to cram everything and everybody into a little car. Last game I went to, we had four people in Rob's tiny Toyota Supra and I had a lawn chair piercing my leg for the entire trip. And God forbid I moved even an inch. Second, we were able to proudly display the NJB banner on the hood. It did a good job of marking our area. And we were also able to keep the back of the van open for easy access to food, beverages, cookingware, etc.
Stick and I spent much of the time before the game sitting in the van because we were too cold to be outside. I think only those who were thoroughly liqoured up didn't mind the cold. And the wind was rather brutal as well. We were listening to the Mets get spanked by the Expos on the radio. Of course we were then rebuked by Ed for sitting inside the van listening to a baseball game when we were at a soccer tailgate party. But he was probably rather inebriated at the time.

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