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The Energy Is Back at Fresno State Tailgates



Thousands tailgated before Fresno State's game versus Oregon State. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Walking through the parking lots outside Valley Children’s Stadium, I had to keep my head up for flying footballs and the kids running to catch them.

GV Wire Reporter David Taub

David Taub

Appetite for Fresno

Prepping for the sold-out game Saturday versus Oregon State, thousands of the Red Wave stood over grills or attended other tailgates.

It was an energy I haven’t seen in years. The excitement about Jake Haener and the Bulldogs had a lot to do with it. Even with the temperature in the mid-90s, a cloud cover and breeze made things comfortable.

It is also the last home game for four weeks. People were ready to party.

One of the many grills burning in the parking lot outside Valley Children’s Stadium. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis caught my eye. She was at the Fresno Fire Chief Foundation tailgate. After all, Donis said, there are several Bulldog alumni in the department, herself included.

She’s been going to games for 30 years.

“The camaraderie makes a good tailgate. Fresno Fire is a family, and it’s just great to take a time out from fighting fire and bring our families together and enjoy some good food, drinks, and good friends,” Donis said.

Tacos and hot dogs were on the menu.

Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis (right) enjoys a pre-game tailgate. (GV Wire/David Taub)

My next stop was a party with a barker offering free beer — 21 and older of course. It was sponsored by a local radio station and car dealership. Several dropped by for the subsidized suds, which included Firestone Walker’s 805 on draft.

Hospital Patients Enjoy the Tailgate

Valley Children’s is now the namesake of the stadium and with it comes space for a tailgate party. Each week, the hospital invites a special unit to enjoy the game and the pre-game party. This week was the Intensive Care Unit. Sorry, no beer at this party.

But, they did have Doghouse Grill as the caterer. You can never go wrong with tri-tip, chicken, and onion rings.

Every home game, the hospital plans to honor a different unit. The guilds — the group of volunteers that serve as ambassadors and fundraisers for VCH — take their turn, a spokeswoman said. For now, kids and their families enjoyed the food, games, and arts and crafts.

Specialty cookies were on display at the Valley Children’s Healthcare tailgate. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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