The next morning, about seven hours before kickoff against Denver, Broncos fans are beating Chiefs supporters at their own tailgating game. An orange bus — Orange Force One, to be specific — pulls in around 8 a.m. and immediately begins setting up the tailgate to end all tailgates.
There’s 10 pounds each of burgers, chicken and brats, plus nearly that of brisket and bags of chips, a giant jar of (orange) cheese balls, and seven 30-packs of beer.
“Plus whatever else is coming,” says Steve Fesch, a Denver-area real estate developer. “One guy’s supposed to bring a keg, if we can figure out how to get it here.”
Fesch bought this former New Jersey transit bus from a scrap heap. He and some buddies spent a few months working on it and produced what Fesch calls the best tailgate vehicle you’ll find anywhere.
It has three televisions, including one high-definition set inside. There’s a wet bar in the back with a beer tap. In the bathroom — Chiefs fans, you might want to skip the rest of this sentence — is a Raiders bumper sticker on the inside of the urinal and a Chiefs emblem on the toilet.
Fesch’s friends call him “Meck” because he’s always in a throwback Karl Mecklenburg jersey. It’s freezing cold, but he’s in shorts. A few weeks ago, he broke down and wore pants when the Broncos played at the Giants. That was the game Eli Manning threw the game-winning touchdown with 5 seconds left.
No more pants for Fesch.
“It’s a superstition,” he says. “We all have them.”
The “we” Fesch speaks of is a group of Broncos fans brought together by a fan Web site. “Dr. Disco” is wearing an orange pimp suit and platform shoes. His buddy is in a jumpsuit and orange Afro. Dan painted one side of his bald head blue, the other orange, and is wearing sunglasses, a John Mobley jersey and camouflage hunting pants. But even he has limits.
“(Fesch) always wears shorts,” he says. “He’s crazy.”