Denver Broncos fans are as loyal as they come, cheering on their team through the highs and lows of the game and the weather. In the tailgate spotlight are some of the most legendary fans in the Mile High City and you can find them at every home game, tailgating in style.
First up, we have Shane Hergenreder A.K.A The Mile High Jester, who has been tailgating for over 20 years. You’ll recognize him by his Jester costume, properly blue and orange, with pointed shoes and a droopy hat. One thing the Jester never forgets to bring to his tailgate parties are Jello shots. Whether they are blue or orange, the Jester always comes prepared, bringing with him at least 150 yummy shots to share with friends and fellow fans. Hergenreder is a well prepared tailgater and invites the company of new friends to join him in the lot.
Jeff Johnson, a tailgating seasoned vet, has been tailgating his whole life and started attending games and tailgating events with his parents as a kid. He’s had season tickets for the last 15 years, so it’s safe to say, Johnson knows it all when it comes to tailgating. “I’ve been tailgating all over the country and this place, as far as heritage football teams and fans go, is the greatest place ever.
The fans are extremely loyal, they have a good time [and] they’re on the team no matter how good the Broncos are playing or not playing. It’s a great place to tailgate,” Johnson boasts about tailgating in Denver. What does Johnson never go without at his tailgate party? Well booze and grub, of course! Come sunshine or blizzard, you can be sure Johnson will be there getting hyped for the big game with his crew.
Another long-time tailgater and friend of the Hall of Fans Barrel Man is Elizabeth Doyle, who has been tailgating for at least 10 years. “We’ve been in different spots, but this is our spot now. This is the spot that belonged to the Barrel Man,” she tells me, sharing the spot with The Hatman himself. One thing Doyle never forgets to bring is her John Elway mug, which was filled with beer, but she says anything goes in the Elway mug.
Brothers Joseph and Sonny Juarez are tailgate vets with an entourage of fans they cater to every home game. Since 1977, they’ve been cheering on the Broncos in the stadium parking lot. Dressed in chef’s coats, they plate up their special Mexican hamburgers with homemade green chile.
Sonny says, “We changed our menu a few years back from hot dogs and hamburgers, and ever since we changed it to Mexican food, it has been overwhelming.” His brother Joseph confirms this noting, “We usually serve about 100 of these…We do it because we love to do it.” It’s all about family and friends at the Juarez tent and these brothers are happy to feed their fans.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com
Michelle Perez is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.