History of the Challenge Coin

Tailgating Hall of Fame Challenge Coin - HeadsAt a time when illiteracy was prevalent and skilled craftsman did not carry resumes or written references, a system of challenges was created to verify the degree to which an individual had progressed within his trade. Using these challenges, an individual’s skill level could be verified without the need for written documentation. It was in this way that the early builders passed their craft from generation to generation, as construction techniques were preserved in order to build the wonders of the ancient world.

The use of challenge coins or membership tokens was adopted centuries ago during the early formation of secret societies based on the skilled trades systems of the early builders. These coins or medallions are carried by members of specific fraternal organizations in order to verify their affiliation with that group or to prove a certain level or degree of knowledge attained. In many secret societies, organizational history and tradition are closely guarded, so membership tokens and handshakes or grips were used to ensure that non-members were not allowed to infiltrate closed door meetings or intellectual gatherings. Unknown members were required to pass a series of membership challenges including producing the membership token before being allowed to enter secret meeting areas.

Tailgating-Hall-of-Fame-Challenge-Coin-TailsThe meaning behind the distribution of the Tailgating Hall of Fame® challenge coin has much less sinister undertones behind it. Our challenge coin is a membership identifier. It is carried by our members as they travel from city to city as an indicator of their affiliation with our organization. Members of the Tailgating Hall of Fame agree to provide an open environment for fellow masters of the art who seek similar company when on travel in enemy territory. As a network of tailgating diehards, it’s an opportunity to exchange trade secrets, introduce local traditions, and continue to foster the camaraderie of the blacktop culinarians that have spent years perfecting their craft. Visitors understand that they may have to provide a donation to participate in each member's tailgate, and they're happy to return the favor when another Hall of Famer is visiting from out of town.

The Tailgating Hall of Fame challenge coin is a two-sided, bronze enameled coin. The front side bears the Quest for 31® shield, while the Tailgating Hall of Fame crest appears on the back side of the coin. The crest features a shield with a football field depicted on its face. A chef’s hat adorns the top of shield which is bisected diagonally by a grill spatula. A red Solo cup appears above the spaula with a flaming charcoal briquette below it.  A scroll with an inscription that reads, "Tailgating Hall of Fame" rounds out the design.