Sunday gridiron chef Jeff Muecke leans over a sizzling grill in the sweltering heat of an early September morning on the University of Phoenix Stadium's Great Lawn.
Outfitted in what must be his
finest Cardinals regalia, Muecke
seems to be immune to the intense heat filling his
tent as he
60 friends await the Cardinals 2011 home opener.
, (pictured in the center), fed more than 60 tailgaters at his
Bird Cage on the Great Lawn with the help of some friends.
"We have five trucks loaded to the top," Muecke
says when describing the ride over from Litchfield Park to Glendale.
For Muecke, whose day job is vice president at Universal Technical Institute, it doesn't get any better than this.
On this particular afternoon, Muecke
served up a mouth-watering array of dishes including 40 pounds of juicy tri-tip, nearly four gallons of chili, flour tortillas and flank steak.
"First of all, it's the pre-game atmosphere," said Muecke
, who sits donning a Cardinals straw hat with a large, protruding beak.
"It's so much different than just going to a game and parking your car.
Back at the "Bird Cage," Muecke
is happily serving each visitor a piece of his
tender, well-marinated tri-tip.
It's clear why they won the Arizona Cardinals Tailgaters of the Year for 2009, which the group proudly announces via its tent.
For the honor, Muecke
was given the opportunity to travel to different NFL venues.
For the Green Bay Packers-New Orleans Saints game on Thursday, Sept. 8, he
fed up to 90 people at Lambeau Field.
It won't be any different when the Cardinals take on the New York Giants on Sunday, Oct. 2, at University of Phoenix Stadium
"On the average, I have not cooked for less than 60 people," he
"The Giants game, I'll be cooking for over 90 people.