The Ultimate Football Fan Road Trip Webseries

Americans love football. For around four and a half months every fall fans by the thousands flood parking lots on Sundays to eat, drink, and celebrate their team. This is the world of NFL Tailgating. Last season, brothers John and Mike Trupiano traveled over 25,000 miles in an RV with a film crew to see how the NFL tailgates. The Trupianos attended a regular season game at all 32 of the NFL’s franchises. Last September, I met John and Mike when they were at a Carolina Panthers game in Charlotte. Now that they have completed this tailgating journey, I caught up with the brothers to find out more about their 32-game trip.


Through this journey, John, Mike, and their small production team have created 32 8-9 minute videos that take you behind the scenes and explore the fan culture across the country.
Every episode has characters, foods, and traditions that are unique to the fan base and city that they visit. When you are a fan at a game, you have to show your team spirit by dressing in your team’s colors! Every team has its own color combinations that make each video stand apart from one another. The episodes each beautifully highlight the colors, characters, and foods of each fan base. If you want to see the project from start to end you can find all of the videos on the Tailgate 32 site.
I asked Mike and John what four videos would best sum up the trip. I recommend watching them all, but after much deliberation these four are ones that will give you a feel for what the Trupiano brothers experienced over their journey.

In Buffalo they met a fan who cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal on top of his car. I don’t mean put a grill on the car, the car was the cooking equipment. You have to see it to believe it.

In Denver John and Mike were able to help unfurl a football field-size flag before kickoff.
Denver

In all the videos, aspects and traditions of the team’s city are highlighted. In Seattle, the brothers had a memorable sailing trip before game day.
Seattle

After a non-stop 26-hour trip from Green Bay, WI, the Tailgate 32 gang spent a day with the Jaguars Mascot before experiencing a game day with Jaguar fans in
Jacksonville.

I talked with Aidan Brezonick, director and editor of this project, about the challenges of shooting and creating this series. He told me that when in a city there would be around 7-9 hours of footage to work with. A first edit would cut this down to 3-4 hours and then using Final Cut, Aidan would turn that footage into the 8-9 minute video you see on the site. Editing on an RV is not an easy thing. The noise of the road combined with potholes and rough stretches of interstate can make it difficult to sync audio and select cuts. For many editing stretches, Aidan would edit through the night and sleep through the day.

If you are like me, you always want to know what gear was used on a production. Dustin Supencheck shot all the video with a Canon 5d Mark III with a 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens and a  Zeiss 18mm f/3.5 Distagon T* ZE Series Lens. Audio was done with a BeachTek DXA-SLR Dual XLR Audio Adapter with Sennheiser ME66 - K6 - Super-Cardioid Mic Capsule with K6 and Mic Windscreen and Sennheiser EW 112P G3-A omni-directional EW system. A FloLight Microbeam 128, Ultra Bright 5600K LED On-Camera Video Light was used during night filming.

Tackling a project of this size is not an easy feat. It takes organization, dedication, and a passion about your subject. Now that the journey is complete John and Mike are entertaining a variety of directions to head with the content that they have created. I will check back with the brothers later on to see where else their tailgating journey takes them.

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3 Comments

32 games?  There's a typo.  There are 16 games in a season and 32 teams.  That whole project had to be a lot of fun though.  Did they pay for it themselves?

Taylor Mathis's picture

 Yes there are 16 games in a season, but John and Mike went to 32 games, one at every Stadium. To do this in 17 weeks, they went to games on Thursdays, Sundays, and Monday nights. They had some sponsorship, but a lot of it was self funded.

I meet these guys in Indianapolis when I was working with the Colts. We teamed up with them for a web piece. They were great to hang out with. Rain was pouring so the used the best water gear available, plastic bags.