Friday, October 23, 2009

Fowling, the Football-Bowling Tailgate Game

Looking for a new tailgate game idea for your next parking lot party? How about the tailgate game of Fowling. This combination football-bowling tailgate game is a great way to bring the competitive nature of the gridiron to an asphalt playing surface near you. Played on a set of fowling lanes which support ten regulation-sized bowling pins that are configured in the standard 10-pin triangular arrangement, competitors from a distance of forty-eight feet launch an NFL football at their opponent's bowling pins in an attempt to knock ‘em down. First team to knock down all the pins wins the frame. Fowling matches are a race to three frames or a best three out of five frame series.

It’s sheer genius! You build a set of fowling lanes from 2x4’s and some plywood, go to your local bowling alley and ask to buy their bad pins (the ones that are cracked at the base after years of collisions), bring a football with you to the lot, and you have everything you need to set up a Fowling Tournament.

I couldn’t help myself, I built a set of Quest for 31 Fowling Lanes, acquired the necessary bowling pins, and will be loading up the Hummer H31 with these implements of mass destruction for a tournament in Buffalo on November 1. We will be playing in the RV lot during my family’s annual weekend retreat at The Ralph. Fowling is a great time, and it will easily supplant your propensity bean bag tossing the first time you chuck the football at those pins. If you’re interested in trying it out, just go to, they have all the rules and regulations, plans for building the fowling lanes, and everything to get you started.

Tailgating in the Motor City

Detroit Rock City is the spot for Halloween Tailgating, as once again I found myself compelled to plan my Quest for 31 road schedule around the Halloween tailgate of Kevin Nowak and As always, Kevin and the boyz throw a kick-ass tailgate party especially when the Black Sabbath Tribute band, Banned from E.A.R.T.H. is in town to rock out Ozzfest in Detroit. It’s really incredible if you think about it. They setup a full stage right in the middle of the lot and Stonecage and his crew evoke the dark lord himself through a tribute performance that is like you’re watching the golden age of rock played out in the Motor City.

Our day began early in the morning as we vied for pole position next to the DetroitTailgate setup in the eastern market parking area of Lot 1. A little Keggs and Eggs to kick off the morning while Banned form E.A.R.T.H. setup for their first set, and soon the parking lot was humming with some vintage Sabbath.

Although the team continues it’s decade-long rebuild process, the Detroit Lions fans remain unfazed and faithful. Tailgating is certainly alive and well in the eastern market. Lions fans put meat to flame utilizing the prime fresh cuts thy purchase from eastern market butcher shops as they guzzle their preferred cold beverage of choice. Eventually the Ford Family will field an organization worthy of this diehard group of fans, but until that day, the Lions faithful will continue to keep the flame of vintage Silverdome Tailgating burning bright.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Trip to Jerry World

After spending the night in Houston, we got up early and raced 300 miles northward to Arlington, Texas, home of the largest stadium in the National Football League, Cowboys Stadium. Much has been made of the $1.15 billion dollar Texas Temple, and rightly so. The Palace in Dallas, built by the most recognizable owner in the NFL, for one of most celebrated fan bases in the country, had to be larger than life to measure up to all the preseaon hype. I'm excited to report that it deserves all the accolades it's been getting. Jerry Jones set out to built the biggest and baddest stadium the league has ever seen to offer his fans an experience unlike anything they might have sitting in their living rooms. With its massive HD scoreboard (the largest in the NFL), $30.00 party passes, and signature hole in the roof, "to allow God to watch His team", Cowboys Stadium is every bit the spectacle and tribute to the Dallas Cowboys organization that Jerry Jones had envisioned when construction began. I actually entered the stadium an hour and half before gametime just to make sure I had enough time to take it all in. My advice, if you get the oppotunity to take in a Cowboys home game, by all means DO IT!

Back to Houston - Best BBQ in the Land!

On Friday after work, I picked up Jeffrey "The Shirt" Ross and we hit the road for what would be a 24 hour road trip down to Houston in my new Quest Machine, rightly dubbed the H31. the drive was fairly uneventful (which is a good thing), and before we knew it we were in Houston basking in 90-degree weather. Our weekend mission: To hit up Reliant Stadium for a Houston Texans game on Sunday and then drive up to Dallas for the Cowboys matchup on Monday Night Football in the brand new Cowboys Stadium.

Reliant Stadium is a great place to watch a football game. the facilty is brand new, built in 2002, and features all of the amenities of the modern pro football temples that make each gameday a much more palatable experience in the heat of the southern states. With a natural grass field, retractable roof and impressive climate control, the 72-degree weather inside was far more preferable to the 90-degree blistering heat we tailgated in all day.

Tailgating in Houston is also some of the finest you'll find in the National Football League. That southern hospitality of the Texas sports fan really shines through as you make you way through the lot on gameday. I had several offers for beer and food, and tasted plenty of both. The Texas barbecue culture of the fans in Houston really places them amongst the best tailgating venues in the league. With every from of meat imaginable and a variety of dry rubs, homemade marinades, and family recipe sauces, the blacktop culinary arts are alive and well in southern Texas.


I kicked off the 2009 regular season edition of the Quest for 31 at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey for the New York Jets home opener. I had never been to New York City before, so attempting to decode the bus and train scheduling in order to make it out to the stadium in time for the game proved a unique challenge. As it turns out, although a new rail line has been built which is intended to shuttle football fans to the stadium from the city, this new line begins running at 10:30am. I couldn't beleive they would actually start running football fans to the stadium at 10:30 in the morning. How do they expect anyone to get in a fair amount of tailgating before game time? Trying to park in the lot is not even an option as onsite parking is severely restricted due to the construction of their brand new football stadium opening in 2010. I ended up taking a bus which worked out extremely well and got us into the lot at 8:00am primed and ready for a full day of NYC tailgating.

Linking up with Frank Conway from Jets Tailgate lot 5A and Joe Maino from I was able to absorb the full New York Jets tailgating experience. These seasoned vets guided us through the subtle nuances the full New York Jets home team experience and there was some incredible tailgaitng to take part in at the Meadowlands. The Jets opened up the season with an impressive win over the Newengland Patriots and the New York Jets chant, led by Fireman Ed earned him a gameball for his efforts. Awesome day! Great tailgating! Be sure to check out our video on YouTube.