Tailgaters come in all shapes and sizes. Some are young, while others are older. Male, female, you name it; a tailgater profile runs the gamut. The story of the San Diego Chargers is rich in history and folklore, but it’s the tailgaters that shape the fan base and spearheads camaraderie and team spirit. Veteran tailgater, Dominic Giammarinaro, founder of www.sdchargerstailgating.com, adds to the Chargers’ unique past and is a key factor in today’s tailgating festivities with a story of his own. Giammarinaro and his tailgating buddies are dedicated fans and are at the Q in any weather, whether the Chargers are on a high or are hitting rock bottom. His pavement party group is a one-of-a-kind blend of sports enthusiasts from all genres of life who enjoy getting together and tossing back a few beers all in the name of football.
When was your first tailgate party? San Diego Chargers Tailgating was born in 1993. My brother Joe and I are original members and have tailgated at over 400 combined Chargers games. But, technically, our first tailgate party was in 1980 when our father (Joe Sr.) took us to a San Diego Padres game and tailgated at what was then Jack Murphy Stadium. Our love for grilling and following local San Diego sports began there.
How many are in your weekly group? We have 40-80 tailgaters depending on the game and how well the Bolts are doing.
What is your favorite tailgate party food? My favorite tailgate food is bacon-wrapped scallops. For drinks, we love starting the tailgate off with an early morning Sobieski Vodka screwdriver followed by some TailGate Beers.
What are the roles of your friends?
Photos: Andy McRory of Andy McRory Photography is our director of photography.
DJ: DJ Avi B (otherwise known as Avi Barat) covers the music.
Director of AV: Kristian Colvin is responsible for having our DIRECT TV set up and working flawlessly. His assistant is Steve Quinn, who has tailgated with us since 1998.
Chef: Everyone is a chef. We don’t leave this chore to one person mainly because we all love to do it.
Candyman: I’m known as the candyman because I’m responsible for bringing Sobieski Vodka and TailGate Beer to the tailgates.
Designated Drinker: Bill Lynn. We don’t ask much from Bill. We simply ask him to show up and drink a 12-pack of Blacktop Blonde TailGate Beer.
Best spot for tailgating at the Q? We always tailgate in Section D3. You can find our D3 tailgate sticker artwork on our Facebook page.
Where do you go when it rains? Same place. A little rain won’t damper our spirits. Hell, we’re from San Diego, we love rain! You’ll see from the pictures on our site (www.sdchargerstailgating.com) and Facebook page. We come prepared with tents, rain or shine!
Where do you go when it is an away game? Now that we’re a little older with several of us having young kids, we either watch at home or if we can get away together, we huddle at Bully’s East Restaurant– just a Philip Rivers spiral from Qualcomm Stadium. It’s a great family-owned restaurant, with a local San Diego sports vibe.
Jennifer Geisman is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.