For many fans, football and tailgating go hand in hand. It especially holds true for Dallas Cowboys fans in the documentary film America's Parking Lot.
Local filmmaker Jonny Mars spent several seasons getting the dramatic story of the Gate 6 tailgaters. For years, the Gate 6 Tailgaters held down the rowdiest pep rallies at Texas Stadium.
“I think I probably think about the Cowboys more than I think about my kids and my wife,” one featured tailgater said in the film. “My first marriage broke up because of the Cowboys. This one gets it.”
There’s no questioning the characters’ dedication and honesty at the heart of America’s Parking Lot.
“It’s sort of a love letter to fans, if you will – of all major sports. I hope that touches people in a way. I think in the beginning, you may judge these guys that they’re crazies, but I hope by the end you root for them and you ask yourself, can you really put yourself in their shoes?” Mars said.
Inspired by documentaries like Heavy Metal Parking Lot and Hands on a Hard Body, Mars centers the drama on the demolition of Texas Stadium and the move to the new billion-dollar Cowboys stadium, a move that cost the Gate 6 tailgaters their prime party spot.
The bigger story is documented politics and economics that price out some of football’s biggest fans.
It’s going to wow some people,” Mars said. “I really think grown men are going to cry.”
The film connects with the working-class spectator who sees sports fans as an extended family. Their fanaticism motivated Mars to shoot four years of footage leading up to his directorial debut.
In November, America's Parking Lot will play in theaters around the state as part of the Texas Independent Film Network, and by the end of November it'll be out on DVD.