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Grad school is an interesting opportunity when you do a four plus two at your alma mater: a few of your best friends from your program stay on with you to continue (the party) your studies; you get to remain around the rest of your undergrad friends who haven’t graduated yet, while establishing a whole new band of misfits to pal around with/suffer through the turmoil of postgraduate academic advancement; and, if you went to a major state school like I did, two more years of (often times heart-wrenching) football—and equally important—tailgating.
While last fall may have been the swan song for my tailgating experiences as a student, I was fortunate enough to nab a job within driving distance of the hallowed halls of my education. I wasn’t alone in that game plan either, as the collective group of degenerate-yet-functional alcoholics that I choose to associate with managed to swing the same scheme—all in the name of continuing our time honored traditions for as long as our schedules, livers, and bank accounts will permit.
Given that meet-up times occur about exclusively every other weekend, the workweek is spent group-text-coordinating our Saturday marathons of debauchery. And like many of you in this busy world of ours, I choose to multitask during these necessary conferences—i.e., I’ve got Netflix, HBOGO, or what have you running strong with a good glass of bourbon nestled in my hand. So between these important discussions of who’s bringing beer, burgers, and solo cups, my liquor-fueled fugue states end up incorporating some of my favorite fictional television friends into the line-up of “who’s who” for my tailgating festivities. While I won’t be sharing any games of corn hole with the following guys on this list, I thought I might share the fantasy #squad I’ve got in mind should I ever get the chance:
1.) Hank Hill from King of the Hill
The patriarch and namesake of my favorite TV show, Hank Hill is the guy you want running the show on game day: levelheaded, good around a grill (you know he’ll have a full tank of Strickland Propane in tow), and get a couple cans of Alamo in him and he’ll waste no time politely, yet firmly, explaining to you the superiority of the Cowboy’s offense and how the lessons of Tom Landry carry over well into this decade. Now, granted, his mindset in football is both trapped in the nineties and wholly disconnected from the college realm, but if he can keep his boy in line—whom I’m told “ain’t right”—then I know he’ll have no problem corralling the drunks under the tent from causing too much trouble. Which leads me to my next pick…
2.) Bender “Bending” Rodriguez from Futurama
The opposite end of the FOX block in terms of tact and restraint, Bender is the kind of guy that you may not necessarily want, but certainly need at your tailgate. The man quite literally runs on alcohol, after all. A walking, talking, insulting keg on legs, breathing fire in word and deed, he’s the sort of guy that’ll put that asshole from the neighboring setup in his place when he tries to shit-talk your team after getting his clock cleaned for the third time in a row at the drinking game of your choice. Plus, being a futuristic robot designed to bend and assemble things will come quite in handy with the setup and break down of the tents, tables, and lawn chairs you’ve got on hand. Bite his shiny metal ass if you disagree with me on that front.
3.) President Frank Underwood from House of Cards
I’ll get the obvious out of the way: He’s the president, and a Clemson fan (Clair will be too, if she ever takes him back). But beyond that, think of the fringe benefits: he’s got Freddy in his personal employ, so just set him up with ole Hank on the grill and we’ll have a buffet of ribs the likes of which will rival the spread at the benefit he threw his wife back in season one. And besides, while I enjoyed Charleston’s favorite son tossing Lee Corso on his ass from the stage of College GameDay as much as the next orange-blooded tiger, I like to imagine that Frank would find a more permanent solution to that nay-saying shit talker than a spill in the mud (I.e. Stamper takes him for a drive).
4.) Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation
I’ll begin, and end, with this:
5. Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones
In this context, “A Lannister Always Pays His Debts” may as well translate to “A Lannister Always Brings the Party,” because you know Tyrion and his entourage aren’t going anywhere near a tailgate with anything less than literal barrels of beer and wine in tow. A self-described drunk on level with Hunter S. Thompson, and half his size, the Imp has enough coin to fund the tailgate, the postgame party, and foot the bill for brunch the next day to cure the inevitable scaries that would follow such a raucous occasion, not to mention the kind of easy wit and charm to keep everybody amiable should tensions run high. And if I’m letting myself get optimistic about my team’s prospects in this newfangled playoff bracket our friends at the BCS just got strong-armed into implementing, I know I can count of Tyrion as a brother in arms on the road to it, cause he’s already miles ahead of me in the playoff beard department.
So that’s my literal fantasy lineup of a wrecking crew I’d have in mind for this weekend if I ever got my way, and while the chances of them ever assembling may be slim to none, I can still take solace in the examples they set for how to (mis)behave under the tent tomorrow. Watch and learn, I suppose..
Image via YouTube