Kirk Bronsord, aka Kingsford Kirk, Raider Fan to Tailgate Legend
Kirk Bronsord is among a number of Oakland Raiders fans who make attending games such a special experience.
It started in August of 1969 as a 10-year-old kid who just moved from the woods of Connecticut to the city of San Leandro, California. There was this team called the Oakland Raiders, with a pirate-like logo all the neighborhood kids talked about. As the new kid I wanted to fit in but as I watched this team and got to go to a game, it was like, "Wow, this is awesome." From that moment on I was a Raider fan.
I was lucky. My next door neighbor had season tickets and I got to go to some games with him in the early 70s. It was quite a different time back then: The players would walk through the parking lot, eating and drinking with fans. Not like today's players.
It was 1976 when the Raiders played the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Championship game and I was there. I was only 18 at the time and it was quite a game. When the Raiders won the stadium went wild, with fans running on the field, tearing down the goal posts, ripping up the grass from the field and throwing chunks into the stands.
The Raiders went on to win their first Super Bowl against the Minnesota Vikings. I will always remember that day. I attended many more games, partying under the bleachers in the 70s. It was a wild time. I went to as many games as I could until they moved to Los Angeles. It was a sad time for many of us. Al Davis was known as the Oakland Traitor but still I remained a Raiders fan. I only went to a couple games in Los Angeles as I didn't like it down there. Like most of us Bay Area fans watched them on TV.
In 1995 the Raiders came home! It was all out crazy trying to get season tickets from the OFMA (Oakland Football Marketing Association) but somehow we got them.
There was so much excitement, that the team was home. People were acting crazy the first few years but the team just couldn't get it together. Then came John Gruden and great players. We became a force, like the old Raiders and made the playoffs. I was 18 when they won their first championship. I was there with my son, Marcus, as they won again as the Oakland Raiders. Not many have had that kind of life experience. My son and I have been here for the last 20 years, starting when he was 3-years-old and now he's 23.
Our tailgate, which started with just 3 guys in 1995, has become the most extreme tailgate in the NFL. At one tailgate we knew the guys next to us and they joined us. The tailgate started to grow, from a small Weber grill and minivan and got bigger. We added a motor home and started to outgrow it. Then came the first trailer.
As it grew, things didn't always go so well so I decided it was time to make a change in the way the tailgate was run. That's when the Tailgaters Barbecue Party was started in 2005. It continued to grow in 2008 when we filmed Diners, Drive Inns and Dives with Guy Fieri. He said, "I'm here in Oakland, with the Bad Boyz of BBQ."
We took that name and as they say, the rest is history. The Bad Boyz of BBQ has become the place to be when tailgating in Oakland. People come from all over the world and the USA to tailgate with the Bad Boyz of BBQ. We are now hosting 200 to 300 fans at every home game and it has become quite the party, with upscale food and a great atmosphere, where everyone is welcome. I'm thankful for all the people that we have met and places we've been over the years. All this because of a team called the Oakland Raiders.
As they say, "Being a Raider fan is a lifestyle, not just something you do on Sunday afternoon."