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49ers Name Tailgater of the Year

Posted by Alex Espinoza on January 4, 2013 – 3:04 PM

Some of the best tailgaters among the 49ers Faithful faced off before last week’s win against Arizona for the right to be named “Tailgater of Year” presented by Jack Daniel’s.

After the trio of judges, former 49ers receiver Dwight Clark, Coco500 restaurant owner Loretta Keller and team chef Chad McWilliams, surveyed the nine finalists, Smokin J’s Tailgate won “Tailgater of the Year” honors. View a photo galley from the competition.

“It’s awesome, it’s crazy,” winner John Lessard said, fitted in an all-Niners apron and chef hat. “The energy is just crazy.”

Lessard and his friends caught the judges’ attention with their well-crafted menu, flavorful food and energy. Then there was the antique smoker, which was about five-feet tall, that they used to cook the meat to perfection.

“I think this was the secret weapon,” fellow tailgater John Cale said, pointing to the smoker.

According to Ryan Abel, the winning tailgate was serving smoked New York strip steak with pear wood in an old family barrel that was built about 50 years ago. It was that unique, smoky flavor which ultimately swayed Clark and the judges. Clark, who caught The Catch from Joe Montana more than 30 years ago, was a popular member among the tailgate finalists on Sunday.

“He was great,” Lessard said. “It looked like he was enjoying it and it was great to meet him. It was a good competition.”

Vice versa, the judges enjoyed their day roaming around the Candlestick Park parking lot getting free food and drinks from the nine “Tailgater of the Game” winners from the 2012 season.

“Eating free food that’s awesome,” Clark said. “And every little tent I go to, somebody’s handing me a drink. I’ve got a TV show to do!”

Ultimately, there was only one winner, but everyone in attendance was happy to take part in the world-class tailgating, sharing laughs and food with friends and making new ones.

“It’s great. Beautiful day,” said 49ers Corporate Sales Executive Tyson Lamp said. “There’s a lot of good shrimp, lot of good burgers, lot of great food to try.”


Posted in Announcements | 9 Comments »


9 Responses to “49ers Name Tailgater of the Year”

  1. By Buzz Clifford on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Crazy, Crazy

  2. By Priscilla on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Where can i go to get th apron and chef hat that Mr. Lessard wore during the tailgate?

  3. By Alex on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Congratulations from the Club 49 Tailgate Crew

  4. By Randy K. on Jan 5, 2013 | Reply

    I love seeing fellow Niner fans wherever they are. Can’t stand these Dallas Cowboy fans that live in California, that have no affiliation with Texas!

  5. By Buzz Clifford on Jan 5, 2013 | Reply

    I still want Jordy Nelson and Jennings for next years wideouts.

    Only kidding Crab, Randy thought I’d Motivate Randy for that 3rd ring.LOL Happy New Year

    Congrats on making the playoffs 2 years in a row.!!!!!!!!!

    Rip their bleepin heads off!! PLay like they called your mammas names.

    Play like they just broke into your home.

    Play like u all have arms like Patrick Willis, Ahmaad, Aldon, Navarro, The 700 lb squatter, What’s your name? Listen closely Alex incase Colin gets hurt.

    Anthony Dixon get 2 touchdowns in the first qtr. Colin play with poise and bounce back from adversity. Team doen’t score Colin take it in. Receivers see Colin in trouble come back toward him and all do great run after catches.!!!!!!!!!

    Stop running back # 30, and the 2 wideouts. Arron Rogers can throw ball threw a tire or smaller so he is most dangerous man on field. Aldon and Justin make him have a very , very long day!!!!

  6. By Buzz Clifford on Jan 6, 2013 | Reply

    Did Pete Caroll have enough gum in his mouth. Was he that way at University of Pacifica? He was great College Coach.

  7. By Buzz Clifford on Jan 6, 2013 | Reply

    Atllanta vs. Seattle. Niners vs. Aaron Rogers and 16 receivers.

  8. By Buzz Clifford on Jan 6, 2013 | Reply

    no fumbles but interceptions o.k. Hank AAron had many strike out/interceptions so to speak. Colin air it out must go for it. When inntercepted Colin tackle the guy. Love ya Buzz Clifford Central California

  9. By DYENNY on Jan 7, 2013 | Reply

    HIS TO ONE OF YOUR TRUE FANS ON YOUR WEBSIGHT .I LIVE IN SOUTH CAROLINA . CANT SEE 49ERS UNLESS PANTHERS OR FALCONS HAVE HOME GAMES . THE GUYS ON MORNING TAILGATE WEBSITE KEEP UP WITH TEAM /STATS AND KNOWLEDGE . DONT HAVE SEASON TICKETS.ITS SAD WE HAVE TO KNOW THE GUY WITH THE WINOBEGO AND 6 GRILLS ITS WHAT YALL THINK MAKES HIM OR HER THE BEST FAN.YOUR WEBSIGHT CARRIES KNOWLEDGE FROM REAL LIFETIME LONG FANS. GO NINERS.

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