Announcing Justin’s Retirement

When we started this group back in 2013 I had no idea how great being a UC fan would be. We were just starting life in the American without the Big East rivalries we had come to know and love. Tommy Tubberville would bring our program into the dark ages, and Nippert was so empty you could nap on bleachers during the games.

Throughout my 9 years tailgating we have watched our beloved Bearcats lose, learn, grow, and last year thrive. As the team got better – so did we. We started in an apartment court yard – eventually obtaining 2 spaces to tailgate on @ the grid. The band would provide another to make 3. The grid is now so popular, we couldn’t add more spots if we wanted to. We would purchase a van, speakers, grills, coolers, games, tables, tents – and I would build various bars and crates to try and make our lives easier.

As the group has progressed – so has my personal life. Before covid I would meet the love of my life, and last offseason she became my wife. This quickly lead to the announcement of our first Child – expected February 2023! Very much out-shadowed by the announcement of our new child, I have also recently made a huge career change leaving FIS – a place I had worked for more than 7 years to begin life at an amazing startup.

It may be no surprise, but leading the Red and Black Brigade has been a lot of glorious work these past few years. As the group grew, so did the amount of equipment and food we needed each game. Some of our record tailgates brought in well over 200 people! Something I only dreamed of when I started. On Thursdays my wife and I would go shopping for food at Costco, and on Fridays we would head down to Newport for a keg or 2. Saturday mornings I would load up the van and tailgate, and Sundays I would unload and clean all of the gear. For years I had worked with UC to get a plot for a trailer, but with the new athletic department came the assurance that without a large donation that would be impossible.

For these reasons and the significant changes in my person life – It is time to announce my retirement from the Red and Black Brigade. While I know the timing isn’t good at all, sometimes incredible life opportunities come a bit before football season :).

It is my hope the Red and Black Brigade will continue – though potentially with a much looser regiment than we all came to expect these past 9 years. Madison has graciously agreed to host as my replacement, but as a Teacher and coach cannot guarantee every weekend (the first game against Kennesaw she is unavailable). In the short term our plots will be available and waiting in the same location they always have been – so you’ll always have a place to go!

If you’d prefer a new home – I definitely recommend either The Republic of Cincinnati or The Den tailgate. They both have trailers and are full of enthusiastic Bearcat faithful! The Den is located just across the sidewalk from our location, and is the group that has very very very kindly allowed us to park our van in their area for the past few years. The Republic of Cincinnati is located up the sidewalk from their location closer to the basketball arena.

I want to thank everyone for their support and joining us before Bearcats football games. I will never forget any of our tailgates and thank all of you who brought food, helped cook, helped load up the van, helped unload, or met us on the road for away games.  I always wanted to give UC fans somewhere warm and welcome to go before game-time – and I hope I was able to do that these past 9 years!

Go Band! Go Bearcats!


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