By Paul M. Banks
I love it when my friends get publicity for their creative endeavors. Well, the ones who are chill and modest about it when it happens anyway. I like the people who mention it once, are happy and excited and then move on. I loathe the people who email their press clippings to everyone they know twenty different times.
(By the way, did I mention that I was accepted into the Football Writers Association of America last week? And that I get to vote for their All-America team this winter?)
Anyways, one such friend who’s about to get some high profile publicity is Da Bus owner/developer and Bears superfan Tim Shanley. “Da Bus,” a renovated old school bus celebrating the Chicago Bears. I’ve been on Da Bus, which features a shrine to (and autographs from) pretty much every Bears Hall of Famer that you can name.
The tailgate surrounding it is THE place to be when you get your pre-game Bears party on at Soldier Field. Da Bus is kicking off its 20th season of tailgating with an appearance on THE FOOD NETWORK! The Bears are at Buffalo for a pre-season game on Saturday August 15th and The Food Network will do an entire segment called “Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri.” It features Da Bus and their crew going head to head against a tailgating crew from Buffalo. This competition will air on the channel sometime during the NFL season. (I will keep you posted and let you know when it airs)
I rode on Da Bus and marched it Shanley and his crew during the downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade this past spring. I got a chance to be on local television when the float was featured during ABC’s telecast of the event. (I also sat down with Shanley and talked about how the whole history and development of Da Bus, look for that interview to be posted the week leading up to the Bears Home Opener.)
“After grilling for thousands of Bears fans who have boarded Da Bus to party on gameday over the past 20 seasons, being selected for THE FOOD NETWORK is the defining moment for Da Bus and its crew. Everyone out there knows that Timmy from Da Bus and his crew take pride in their tantalizing tidbits of tailgating fare,” Shanley said in a recent statement via email.
If you want to hit the open road with them, the Producers from Food Network made terrific parking arrangements. Everyone in the Chicago contingent will be parked together; adjacent to the set to cheer on Da Bus during the taping of the segment.
Everyone will get a Bus t-shirt to wear as we unite to Cheer on Da Bus. The host of the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” Guy Fieri, will be out in the crowd with the camera observing all the tailgating and grilling taking place.
Perhaps you’re not as familiar with Guy Fieri as I am. (After all, he’s my live-in girlfriend’s celebrity crush…See footnote one) In addition to his Food Network gig, he’s the official spokesperson for T.G.I. Friday’s, the guy with the blond spiky hair, goatee and Bam Bam Bigelow style shirts from the ads. (See footnote 2)
“Any one who ran into Da Bus in Miami for the Super Bowl a few years back knows what its like to be on the road with Da Bus…a great time…great food…great party…and lots of energy!” Shanley stated.
I wish the best of luck to Shanley and his crew as they prepare for another open road adventure. Much like us here in Chicago are trying to bring the 2106 Olympics home, the Second City must rightfully claim the Food Network’s first ever “TAILGATE WARRIOR” grilling title! (See footnote 3)
1. My Food Network celebrity chef crush is Giada, in case you were wondering.
2. Sorry, for the footnote. These can be annoying
3. GO BEARS!!!!!
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