Whether a Sun Devil, Cardinal or Denver Bronco Jake Plummer has never shied away from being who he is.
So it’s only fitting the 40-year-old “kid” from Boise, Idaho was just fine chatting, eating, signing autographs and hanging out with Glendale resident Jim Schaberg’s long-time group of tailgaters who call lamp-post 66 and the east side of the University of Phoenix Stadium parking lot their home-away-from home 10 or so Sundays during the late summer and fall.
Schaberg, or “Red Bird” as his friends call him, won the opportunity to “Tailgate with Jake” before the Rams-Cardinals game as part of a giveaway with King “Tailgater,” a portable satellite television antenna which works exclusively with DISH and allows people to watch their favorite games remotely whether tailgating, camping or any other outdoor activities.
Schaberg has been tailgating for years and his Cardinal family connections run deep.
“My dad was a huge Cardinals fan,” he explained to Sports360AZ.com under the sun-drenched skies in Glendale. “He moved from St. Louis in 1960 from Chicago when the Cardinals moved to St. Louis. I moved [to Phoenix] in 1975 and the Cardinals moved out here so it’s definitely in my blood.”
Tailgating is nothing new for Plummer, as well. He has frequently been spotted out and about before ASU and Denver Bronco games (near his hometown of Boulder) soaking up the pre-game festivities and just being a fan.
Sunday’s experience was another opportunity to give back.
“Great group of people, great fans,” Plummer told Sports360AZ.com. “When you watch people…they’re shocked and they’re jumping around happy. It’s like, ‘wow, I still have that effect on somebody still and I’m almost 40.’ I’m out here just thanking the fans for rooting for me through the thick and thin when it was not so pretty.”
Plummer spent close to three hours with Schaberg and his group playing the game washers, eating a variety of tasty foods and swapping stories about football and life.
The perfect day for Plummer and one Schaberg and others who tailgated under-lamp post 66 will never forget.