Stadium #26
University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, AZ

Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals Stadium
December 14, 2008
35 - 14 Loss



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Check out my other visit
to University of Phoenix
Stadium at:

StadiumTour- July 3, 2007

  Stadium Vitals
Opened: 2006
Capacity: 63,400 seats

Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Draft Beer: $8.75
Hot Dog: $3.75
Stadium Parking:
University of Phoenix
Stadium Address

One Cardinals Drive
Glendale, AZ 85305
(480) 505-0533
Get Directions

Stadium Review
- The Proposal

My visit to University of Phoenix Stadium, the last stadium trip I had planned for the 2008 season, was to be my masterpiece. I had decided early on that I was going to propose to my girlfriend of seven years during the game on December 14, 2008 at the Arizona Cardinals Stadium (Now I'll always be able to remember the date I proposed, since it's on the website - Hans is no dummy!). Crystal, by the way, should be eligible for sainthood after putting up with my vast array of idiosyncrasies. Through it all she continues to support me, so I wanted to make sure the proposal was special, but most of all, completely unexpected. Anyway, with the game selected and tickets in hand, I proceeded with the planning stages of Operation: Shock and Awe. I contacted the Arizona Cardinals to arrange for a scoreboard message proposal, secured tickets in the lower endzone located opposite the scoreboard (thank you, and enlisted the aid of friends and perfect strangers I had met on the internet to photograph the entire proceeding.

One would think I was plotting an assassination attempt, considering the complexity of my diabolical plan, but I had to be certain that every possible scenario was accounted for (must be the engineer in me). There were "go/no go" signs and non-verbal communication protocols that were strictly adhered to. We synchronized watches, used codenames, and even had standard text messaging conventions; all in an effort to coordinate the activities of the digital camera snipers that were strategically located throughout the arena. My minions were comprised of Cardinal fans and Viking fans alike, united in a common purpose - Operation: Shock and Awe ... and everything went like clockwork. By the way, extra special thanks are in order for the contributions of Jay and Karen DiEugenio, from Tailgater Monthly Magazine, and local tailgating legend, Randy "Poonster" Earick, and his two sons "Teabag" and "Shocker," who all helped to sew the entire operation together.

Anyway, our day began at 6:30am on a driveway outside of Lot F. The parking lots at University of Phoenix Stadium aren't open until 10:00am (game starts at 2:00pm), so we decided to kickoff the pre-game celebration a little early as we waited for the gates to open. The area was still covered in darkness, but the Poonster's Tailgate truck was open for business and the Boys were serving up "Duck Fart" and "Cardinal Juice" shots along with some Kahlua Coffee. For appetizers, we had some of "Big Red's Testicle Cherries" and "Cardinal Red Heat Jell-O shots". If nothing else, the Poonster and his boys have a knack for unique naming conventions. They throw one helluva good tailgate too! Also in attendance this weekend were Jay, the Tailgate Guy, and his wife, Karen DiEugenio, from Tailgater Monthly Magazine. They drove their RV in from southern California and were on hand to visit with the Poonster, and of course, to participate in Operation: Shock & Awe.

As soon as the lot opened, Poonster and Co. got to the business of setting up shop for an extended day of tailgating. Full sized grills, tailgating tables, and the "Cardinal Koolaid Victory Fountain," all made their first appearances of the day, as Cardinal Tailgater Central sprang up around the Poonster's truck. I got to the business of beverage consumption, which I've found at many a tailgating celebration, is my own personal calling. As I made the rounds, the Poonster began preparing a veritable feast, one worthy of being served at an old Viking Drinking Hall. For our mid day meal, a grilled spiced pork tenderloin served with a grape tomato and corn relish was on the menu with a side of grilled potato planks. I could only marvel at the fact that not only were these guys fantastic hosts with an army of regulars to feed, but also accomplished blacktop culinarians as well.

The food was excellent and the atmosphere wildly entertaining as people continued to arrive throughout the morning. Jay and Karen had setup a Bloody Mary Contest to see which Caridinal fan mixes up the best one. First prize was a year supply of Cholula Hot Sauce. I'm not exactly sure sure what I personally would have done with all that hot sauce, but thankfully Crystal and I were selected as judges, so we were ineligible for the title. The Bloody Marys went down smoothly, but I never drank so much DAMNED spiced tomato juice in my life! Jay seemed to take it all in stride and I quickly realized that hanging out with Jay and Karen was pure entertainment in itself. If you get an opportunity to party with Jay, the Tailgate Guy, seize the day, my friends! You won't be disappointed. After the contest, we readied ourselves for the debut of the traditional custom hats worn by Poonster, Teabag and Shocker. The fellas actually create a new hat for each game, infusing elements of their opponent into the hat design, which is intended to inspire their Cardinal comrades. This week's edition was a horned, furry helmet with a Cardinal perched on top. I guess the hats must be working, seeing as how the Arizona cardinals are looking at a playoff spot this January.

As gametime approached, we headed to the Stadium, which is by far the most technically impressive facility in the National Football League. From the retractable natural grass field to its innovative exterior design, University of Phoenix Stadium is an engineering marvel (see my last review). Crystal and I found our seats and I anxiously waited until the third quarter to set things in motion. When the scoreboard message flashed and the Cardinals mascot was perched in our section, it set off an autonomous chain of events that culminated in a tearful acceptance (her tears not mine) as we celebrated with 65,000 fans. Digital cameras began flashing from all angles as well-wishers from our section, people I didn't even know, contributed to the pictorial record of the day. Special Thanks to all who made this event a day we will never forget! I really enjoyed my time in Arizona tremendously. 

For more information on the area around Phoenix, Arizona, check out my other review by clicking on the link below:
     NFL: July 3, 2007 - University of Phoenix Stadium Tour


City of Phoenix Local Information  
Top Tourist Attractions:
Grand Canyon, Historic Sahuaro Ranch
Montezuma's Castle

Local Foods:
Frijoles de olla, Carne Seca, Prickly Pear Margaritas, Fry Bread

What They're Drinkin':
Chili Beer, Four Peaks (Brewery in Tempe and Scottsdale), New Belgium

Tailgating Hotspots:
The Great Lawn
Oversized F Lot
Redzone Tailgate Party

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of Phoenix
Stadium Policy
Stadium Parking Map
Arizona Cardinals Fan Forum

Local Sports Media:
The Arizona Republic
East Valley Tribune
Xtra Sports 910AM - Listen LIVE!
Popular Bar Districts:
Westgate City Center (Yard House, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, The Shout! House)
McFadden's - Glendale
"Old Town" Scottsdale
Mill Avenue in Tempe (Strip of bars at ASU)

Best Restaurants:
Westgate City Center (Yard House, Gordon Biersch Brewery)
Satisfied Frog - Cave Creek, AZ
Valle Luna - 3 locations in Phoenix area
Monte's La Casa Vieja - Tempe, AZ
Zipps Sports Grill

Getting to the Stadium:
The Stadium is located in Glendale, Arizona and sits nestled in the heart of the Westgate City Center Area.  Valley Metro Buses are fairly scarce going to the stadium, and the new light rail does not go there at all.  Your best bet in getting there is to drive or staying at hotel nearby.

Where To Stay:
Find a Hotel right in the Westgate City Center Area.  That way you're within walking distance to the stadium and there's plenty or bars and restaurants nearby.  There's a Renaissance Hotel and a Hampton Inn & Suites located at Westgate City Center.  Scottsdale is also nice and has plenty of hotels, but its a good distance from where the game day action takes place.

Planning Your Next Trip to see the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium?
Traveling to all thirty-one stadiums around the National Football League, teaches you a thing or two about getting the most for your money.  I've set up this website to help others that are interested in NFL Travel.  Below you'll find links for cheap Arizona Cardinals tickets, arena seating charts, and local weather for everything you need to plan a successful trip to University of Phoenix Stadium.

Compare Prices for
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Click for Forecast for 85305 from

Arizona Cardinals Tailgating   Poonster and Jay the Tailgate Guy   University of Phoenix Stadium
Nothing like a "Duck Fart" in the mornin'   Poonster and Jay the Tailgate Guy   University of Phoenix Stadium
A Tribute to Pat Tillman   Hangin' out at the Great Lawn   Card Dan and Quest  for 31
A Tribute to Pat Tillman   Hangin' out on the Great Lawn   Card Dan and I havin' a brew
Arizona Cardinals Tailgating   Jay's "Take MY Ride" Challenge   Quest for 31 and Kid Stallion
Poonster, Shocker, and Teabag   Jay's  "Take MY Ride" Challenge   What do you mean we're outta Beer?
  Quest for 31 in Phoenix, AZ  
Kid Stallion's Krew   The Poonster's always a good time.   Jay the Tailgate Guy hangin' out
Cardinals #1 Tailgate with the HATS     Natural Grass Field in the Desert
The presentation of the HATS   Crystal and I enjoyin' the game   Natural Grass Field in the desert
Reading the Message on the Scoreboard   My proposal at a football game   Big Red the Arizona Cardinals Mascot
Reading the Message on the Scoreboard ...   the Proposal,   ... she accepts!
Jay and Karen DiEugenio    
Karen and Jay Dieugenio - professional digital camera snipers!   Doug from - another accomplice.   Stadium #26 - University of Phoenix Stadium
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to
University of Phoenix Stadium, including the following:
 - Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
               - Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
               - Tailgating Traditions
               - Your Experiences or Helpful Hints

               - If you saw me let me know!
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    From: Roy Vopal
Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2010 12:36 PM
  Hey bro it's Roy! One of the winners of the bloody mary contest at the Cardinal game. I know its been a while but just wondering if you had any more photos from the contest?? Thanks bro!

         Hey Roy, just sent over what I had, so what did you ever do with all that hot sauce?
    From: D.Tootsie the Cardinals fan from Anchorage
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2009 5:01 PM
  Man, first I got to give you props, this is cool site. Now I need a little advice and/or help. I bought my premier Fitzgerald jersey here in AK and I stained it. I wash it and got the stain out but the chest and back numbers faded badly. I tried to get them replaced up here but no luck, any suggestions V/R D. Tootsie

          Man, I wish I could help you on that one ... No suggestions here though.
    From: Carddan, the Cardinals fan from Phoenix
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 13:53:44 EST
  Great meeting you Sunday, I look forward to your pics!    
    From: Netanel from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sent: Tue, January 27, 2009 7:20 am
I am a Arizona Cardinals fan . Camon lets win the super bowl!!!
    From: Victoria from Corona
Sent: Sun, February 1, 2009 4:13 PM
  Dear Cardinals, I have been waching your games so I am going for you when you are going to FIGHT the Steelers.I hope you guys win. Write back to me please!!!    
    From: keanu from mennominee
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 10:48 PM
  I think you guys are the best team in the whole wide world. I`m 13, evan though you guys lost the Super Bowl, I still think you guys are the best.    

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