By John Greely
I’ve given a great deal of thought to this. I have spent far too much time attempting to phrase this article in a way that won’t make me sound lame. But I can’t. I know my fellow Gauchos are going to give me a lot of crap about it, but what the hell: I’d rather be sober at a game than drunk.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with drunkenly screaming your ass off about how your opponent has some sort of venereal disease. By all accounts, you’re probably doing much more good for your team than I am in my non-inebriated state. But at least I know what’s going on.
Honestly, having attended my fair share in both states, I know what each is like. When drunk you laugh and yell and cheer, but you’re not actually connected to the game. If you’re a real fan, and actually appreciate the sport you’re watching in and of itself, you’re going to enjoy it more while sober.
I know there have been many instances in my time here where I’ve gone to a game drunk, had a good time and came home and thought, “man… I have no idea what the hell just happened.” I couldn’t tell you who had scored or how, and the basic ebb and flow of the game was entirely lost on me. While you’re sober you can actually appreciate a good pick and roll, or see when a striker on a run just barely passes the defense a moment too soon. When you’re drunk, you’re more worried about not falling over yourself or yelling profanities at the top of your lungs.
Also, there’s so much less risk involved. Being belligerently drunk at a game may seem like a good idea until you realize there are a lot of cops, CSOs and various other buzzkills that can get you in trouble in a hurry. And that goes double if you’re drinking at a game.
The problem with being drunk at games without bringing your own source is that over the course of two to three hours it wears off. When that happens, then what? Do you go home and miss the rest of the game? Do you go home with the intention of coming back, only to get drunk and miss the rest of the game anyway? Do you stick it out, bored in your newly coherent state? Or do you bust out flask or a bottle of fade-orade and go nuts? The latter makes the most sense, but it’s also the most risky. After all, who wants to go to a game for a fun time and come back home with a drunk in public or minor in possession?
But this is a personal thing. I’d rather be sober, but I sure as hell don’t want everyone at the game to be. What would the Gaucho Locos be if not drunk and obnoxious? They certainly wouldn’t be as much fun. I’m just saying that as a sports fan, I like to know what’s actually going on in the game I’m watching.
By Derek Mead
When the Greeks invented wine, they wanted a little something extra to pump up the crowd at big games and get ready for post-win celebration orgies – which I suppose are a sporting event all their own. Flash forward a couple millennia and the story is exactly the same. Booze and sports go together like whiskey and root beer, and I can’t imagine it any other way.
Last year, beer manufacturers were forced to cough up $2.7 million for 30 measly seconds of ad space on CBS during the Super Bowl XLII broadcast. As that wasn’t enough, beer advertising wars mean that Budweiser, Miller, and Coors spend extra millions on, and months of preparation for ad campaigns made just for the big game. It seems loony, but all that money is worth it since most Super Bowl viewers can’t imagine watching the game without a cold one. It’s not just the big companies that are shelling out serious coinage at the ballgame. The depths of the passion that fans have for boozin’ at the game is evident by the exorbitant beer prices they are willing to play. And if six $10 beers over the course of a game isn’t enough, true fans start tailgating hours in advance.
Getting tossed to cheer for a team is a universal constant in the sporting world. Hockey has Labatt and Black Velvet, baseball has whatever beer the stadium is named after, basketball has champagne and Hennessy, and soccer has 10 pints of the local brew. Hell, even cricket fans pound martinis from time to time just to get enough liquid courage to clap at an impolite volume. In Costa Rican soccer matches, beer is sold in bags to cut down on the number of projectiles available for fans to toss. Of course, after a few bags of beer, the empty bags double as both excellent urinals and pretty bitchin’ grenades. It’s no wonder field-level seats are so easy to get.
Of course, college sports are no exception. Many college venues don’t sell alcohol, so creativity abounds. With students drinking everything from a few fistfuls of one dollar single shots being stuffed into pants to fader-ade and even strapping CamelBaks full of wine to their stomachs, college sporting events have more booze-stashing than the second coming of Prohibition would. Combine that with most student fans’ complete lack of shame and you have Gaucho parents at lacrosse games telling our fans to ease up on the shit-talking and the rugby team getting penalized for both handles of Taaka and obscenities getting tossed about the crowd. Shit, the ridiculous new “throw a tortilla and get ejected” rule at Harder Stadium would never even exist if it weren’t for the sauce.
I’ll admit that most fans don’t have beer goggles for their teams; they would support them either way. On the flip side, imagine if the 10,000 fans at the next soccer game were all sober. Sitting among that many awkwardly sober people would be downright creepy. Thank goodness all of those people are as scared of sobriety as I am.