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Captain Of The Tailgate: Vikings Were The Original Tailgaters

Another day, another new sponsor for the SBNation family of football websites. This time, the good folks from Captain Morgan. . .whose acquaintance I've made on more than one occasion, I'm proud to say. . .have decided to get aboard the SBNation bandwagon, and we're happy to have them riding shotgun with us. For the next few weeks, these posts will be dedicated to the art of tailgating.

It wouldn't be right to do a series of posts about tailgating without looking at the history of tailgating, in my estimation. And, to be honest, there were no earlier tailgaters than the namesakes of our beloved football team.

The Viking Age in Europe is largely thought to have gotten its genesis in 793 AD in Lindisfarne, a small island off of the northeast coast of England. As part of their pre-battle preparations for this battle, and many of their other battles, the Viking warriors went through many different rituals, such as group chants and dances. Many of these rituals involved the consumption of pretty sizable amounts of mead (which may or may not have been mixed with some sort of hallucinogenic drug, depending upon which sources you believe). When the Viking army was sufficiently. . .shall we say, "prepared". . .for the day's activities, they would carry out their various tasks. In the case of the Vikings, these tasks would entail such things as slaughtering, pillaging, and things of that nature. Then, when the job was finished, the warriors would jump back aboard their boats and go back home to a grand feast in preparation for the next raid, whenever that might come.

So, the Vikings of old went through a process similar to what we as fans go through today.

The Vikings of yesterday went many miles from their homeland in order to accomplish their appointed tasks, as many Viking fans do today. Whether you're coming from the suburbs of the Twin Cities, a little further outside of town such as Mankato, or even if you're traveling from more exotic locations like Iowa or the Dakotas (or even farther away), you are still honoring that great tradition by coming together with your fellow "warriors" to prepare for the events of the day.

Group chanting, group dancing, and the consumption of alcohol? That sounds like a damn fine tailgate party from where I sit!

And when the chanting and the dancing and the drinking are done. . .well, maybe not so much the drinking, but anyway. . .the time comes for everyone to invade the Metrodome for the day's battle against the Vikings' worthy. . .and, more often than not, unfortunate. . .opponent. Then, when it's all said and done, everybody gets back aboard their vessel and goes home. With a designated driver, people. What, you don't think the Vikings of yesterday had the one guy that was responsible for steering the ship and getting them back to Norway in one piece?

So, there you have it. The warriors that our favored football team has named themselves after were the inventors of tailgating, and it's only right for us to honor that tradition on Sundays during the fall by getting together in the areas around the Metrodome and engaging in camaraderie and celebration for the purposes of unifying ourselves towards a common goal. . .the defeat of our enemies. The original Vikings invented tailgating. . .we, as Viking fans, have simply perfected it.

And, speaking of perfect. . .Marisa Miller, ladies and gentlemen!