Jan 172011

Hi Toby fans!  Sorry for the delay in getting up some more posts, our blogger got sick upon returning from Miami and hasn’t been up to snuff lately.  If you haven’t already checked out the pictures from the tailgate on Facebook, you can find them here.

As we gathered up our gear and headed out from the hotel we spotted a huge dualie sporting a VT flag pulling out of the hotel’s parking lot.  Little did we know how much entertainment they’d be providing that day!  The parking lots at Sun Life Stadium opened at 11am, so naturally we arrived at 10.  After all, we’d driven for six days to be here.  When we arrived, we found the VT truck had beaten us there by five minutes, earning the right to be first into the lot.  As we waited outside the stadium, a group of Miami locals who tailgate at the Orange Bowl every year pulled into line behind us.  They told us that they initially weren’t sure who they were going to root for, but after seeing Toby they immediately decided to pull for Stanford!  We ended up with an excellent position in the first row of vehicles by the Fan Zone and the fire lane.  With Eric’s rental car and the parents of one of the Stanford players parked on either side of Toby, we effectively had three spots to use for our tailgate.

Thanks to the help of Brian’s parents, Erin, Eric, Khalil, Joe and Nelly, we quickly had Toby unpacked and ready to rock and roll.  With the canopy set up and flags flying, it wasn’t long before we started to attract interest.  We had a stroke of luck when the families of some of the Stanford players set up their tailgate in the next row over from us, and it wasn’t long before they were coming by to check out Toby.  During the course of the day, we met members of the Sherman, Whalen and Wilkerson families, among others.  It was great to see how enthusiastic they were about Toby and our tailgating endeavors, especially Grandma Whalen (of the 4th-generation Stanford student Griff Whalen), class of ’57!

It also wasn’t long before Brian and Wade found themselves doing their first TV interview of the day.  In total, three local TV stations interviewed us, but we have yet to hear if any of the footage aired.  If you saw us on TV in the Miami area, please let us know!  As the day progressed, we were excited to see some of our tailgating regulars, including the Mahlers, the Dingsdales and many more.  Of course, many of the people coming by were Toby first-timers, having heard about our project in various ways.  The Stanford Alumni Association tailgate had sold out, leaving many people looking for alternatives – and Toby was more than happy to help them out.  Our crowd just got bigger and bigger as the afternoon wore on.

Our friends in the VT dualie were having a very good afternoon as well.  They’d brought some moonshine down from Virginia and were enjoying a great deal of it.  The most entertaining one of the bunch was Johnny Bevard, the owner of said dualie.  Johnny certainly appeared to be the primary consumer of the moonshine, and in the early afternoon he had one of his buddies shave his hair into a mohawk so that he could paint “VT” on the sides of his head, which complimented the “Let’s Go Hokies” across his chest.

The Stanford Band, among Toby’s favorite fans, were able to make a Toby stop around 5pm despite a bus breakdown of some kind which delayed them on their way to the stadium.  The Toby crew wants to thank Ben, Tim, Garrett, the Dollies and every member of the LSJUMB for their continued support of Toby’s tailgates!  They’ve been kind enough to play at our Oregon, U$C, Arizona, Oregon State and Orange Bowl tailgates and it is a privilege to have them.  Their performance in Miami attracted a huge crowd, many of whom stuck around to check out Toby.

Shortly after the Band’s visit, our friend Glenn Garvin (TV critic for the Miami Herald and the author of this excellent SAA blog post about Toby) stopped by to say hi.  He was closely followed by Michelle Kaufman, another Herald writer, who interviewed Wade and Brian for a while and included us in her front-page article about fans at the Orange Bowl.  We also introduced her to our new friend Johnny, whose interview was full-on hysterical.  Nelly got it on video, and we’ll try to get the clip online with a link ASAP.  It’s must-watch YouTube for sure.

As dinner time approached, our tailgate exploded with activity.  Brian had the grill on full blast and was churning out hot dogs, burgers and sausages at a prodigious rate while Wade collected money and handed out wristbands.  We easily had a crowd of 50+ people from about 5:30 to 7pm.  Finally we’d cooked our last burgers and finished off the hot dogs and sausages as well – though surprisingly, we had a harder time getting rid of all the beer, and a number of cases survived the day sadly intact.  With all our friends helping out, cleaning up was a breeze and we headed in to the stadium in time to catch the Band’s hilarious field show and their attempt to take their talents to South Beach.  Finishing the night off with one of the best games in Stanford Football history capped off an unbelievable road trip and Toby’s debut season with a bang.

Jan 032011



I’m sorry we didn’t get more updates out during the day today, but we were so busy most of the time it was unbelieveable.

For now, I’ll just say that we had over a hundred people at our tailgate (a new Toby record), ate all of the food we bought yesterday, and collected enough money to pay the Costco bill!

Our seats were amazing and the game, after a nervous first half, was unreal in the second. We had so much fun today it definitely made the six-day drive absolutely worth it!
Brian and Wade will be flying back to the Bay Area tomorrow, and Brian’s parents will be enjoying a leisurely drive west in Toby.

It’s now really late here and we’re heading to bed. Huge thanks to everyone who came out to our tailgate today, and congratulations to all the Stanford players, coaches and their families as well as Stanford fans everywhere!

Jan 022011
Jack Harbaugh speaks at the Stanford fan rally

Jack Harbaugh speaks at the Stanford fan rally

Stanford threw a big pep rally on the beach this evening.  They had various people speak about the team, the game tomorrow and the journey to get here.  We heard from President Hennessey, former Stanford quarterback Todd Husak (of the ’99 Rose Bowl team) and Jack Harbaugh, Jim Harbaugh’s father.  As you might imagine, a big Stanford win was universally predicted, along with a great deal of optimism about the future of the program.  Of course, no specifics or insights on the return of Harbaugh or Luck were offered.

Following the speakers, the Stanford Band played a few songs and we ended up right next to them, getting a preview of what’s in store when they stop by Toby’s tailgate tomorrow at 4pm :)  The size of the band is always proportional to the team’s success, and this year is no exception – the band is huge right now!  Hopefully we’ll get the end spot in the parking lot that we want so we’ll have enough room to host them!

The Band is on the beach!

Ahh, the outfits. Good times.

Jan 022011
Would you like beer, or beer?

Would you like beer, or beer?

Today we took Toby shopping for all the supplies for tomorrow’s tailgate!  The nearest Costco was about a 30 minutes drive from the hotel, and we were there for a while.  With only two of us, we actually made two separate trips into the store, first buying all the beer and other non-perishable items and loading them into Toby, then returning for the burgers, dogs, etc.  The guys at the register were amazed when we checked out with our ~500 beers.  The only thing more amazing than how much we bought was how easily it all disappeared into Toby!

After adding about 500lbs of beer and another 180lbs of ice, Toby is riding quite low, the better to fit in with all the ridiculous cars we’ve seen here in Miami.  Toby’s trailer hitch was definitely scraped a couple times getting back to the hotel and into the parking lot, which was a challenge in and of itself!

Jan 012011

We brought in the new year on South Beach with a great crowd and some good fireworks.

Toby hopes that everyone had a great 2010 and that you have your resolutions ready!

In 2011, Toby resolves to do the following:

1) To tailgate at his first non-football Stanford game.
2) To spend at least a hour in the gym every day, working to shed some pounds and improve his on his 15mpg mark from 2010.
3) To bring you bigger and better tailgates with more extensive menu options.
4) To try out some other vansports like firefighting and autocross. After all, Toby Gerhart was a two-sport athlete!

Hope everyone is enjoying a full-slate of football today, with the yearly Big Ten bowl beatdown in full swing!

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