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After a long six months of rehab following my hip surgery, I’m pleased to announce that my sports career has been revived. Not competitive sports, of course. God no. I’m talking about rec sports. I’m currently playing beach volleyball, and although my vertical is practically non-existent after half a year of not being allowed to run, jump, or do anything remotely athletic, at least I’m having fun. Isn’t that what’s truly important, guys? Right? Just kidding. It’s not about having fun. It’s about something much more serious. More important. It’s about getting drunk.
I’ve been playing in various leagues since I first moved to Chicago, and while neither the team nor the sport has been consistent, my commitment to being drunk for every game is. Whether it’s bringing Faderade (vodka-Gatorade) to flag football on Sundays or taking down several glasses of bourbon at work before volleyball Thursdays, I refuse to play a game unless my BAC is at an appropriate level. I’m just a competitor like that.
Doesn’t combining alcohol and sports make you a worse athlete, you ask, in your nasally, nerdy voice? Of course it doesn’t. I’m athletic as shit, and alcohol only makes me play better. And I can prove it. Here is my official drunk sports highlight reel.
3. Blacked Out On The Beach
If there’s any sport you can play decently while drunk, it’s volleyball. You don’t have to run much or catch anything, and it’s acceptable, even expected, to fall down. I played the whole season with a decent buzz, and not to brag or anything, but we made the playoffs (along with literally every other team). Unfortunately, round one of the playoffs landed on the same day as my company’s famed summer party. Fortunately, said summer party was at a beach bar literally 30 yards from where my game was. You can see where this is going.
I took full advantage of the open bar my bosses were paying for, because I refuse to waste an open bar no matter the circumstances, and by game time, my blackout was imminent. My last clear memory was having to be reminded to take my shoes off because I was so drunk I was stumbling around the sand court in my Nikes, so I think it’s safe to say I did not perform at the highest level. My teammates recaps of the game included phrases like “you couldn’t hit a serve to save your life,” and “you talked so much shit after we lost that I thought the other team was going to fight us.” So all in all, a little worse than usual.
2. Lost In The Backfield
Let me paint your mind a picture. It’s a brisk Sunday morning on the flag football field. You see two teams, lined up and facing each other, ready to go to war. Now shift your vision about 15 yards behind the quarterback. What do you see there? That’s right, me. Weighing in at an intimidating 5’9” and 165lbs, wearing a cutoff shirt and a headband, and wobbling ever so slightly on my feet.
But why was I so far behind my own quarterback, you ask? Were we about to attempt some sort of RB handoff? Was it a trick play? No and no. To be honest, I had no idea what down it was and thought we were on defense, so I lined up in my normal spot at safety. Not until my QB turned around and yelled “What are you doing? We have the ball!” to me did I realize that, perhaps, I had over hydrated. Did the other team laugh at me? Yes. Did I end up catching that pass for the go-ahead touchdown? Also yes. This is a highlight reel after all.
Honorable Mention: Too High To Skate
Unfortunately, this doesn’t make the reel because it a.) didn’t occur during a rec sport, and b.) I wasn’t drunk, but one time in a high school hockey tournament in LA I got so high before a game that I forgot how to skate backwards. Like, I lost all muscle memory on how to accomplish one of the most basic parts of the sport that I had been able to do since I was a child. I skated back to the bench after one shift and told my coach that “something was wrong with my knee,” which I’m confident looking back, he 100% did not buy. Oh well.
1. Absinthe is a PED
Like many of you, my involvement in soccer began, and ended, before my balls dropped. I have nothing against the sport, I just think it’s boring, slow-paced, and rife with pussies. Maybe I do have something against it. So needless to say, when my roommate told me they needed a goalie for his rec league playoffs, I jumped at the chance. After all, the one time I was forced to play goalie during my hockey career I let in 13 out of 14 shots, so at least I had some quality experience.
However, if I was going to play a sport I knew nothing about with people I didn’t know, I needed some encouragement. Liquid encouragement. There wasn’t time to pick up booze, but luckily my roommate produced a bottle of Absinthe his mom had picked up on her recent trip to Europe, which I proceeded to apply liberally to my mouth until I was ready to go. By the time I walked out onto the field (pitch?), I was fully sauced up. I had decided to wear my receiver gloves in the hopes that they were close enough to goalie gloves (they’re not), and an oversized Italy jersey in the hopes I would blend in (I didn’t).
But none of that mattered. Because the Absinthe coursing through my veins was all I needed. I stopped 17 shots over two games, including a penalty kick that was called against me for “tackling outside the box” (soccer is for wimps), and managed to get my adopted team into the championship game. Which we lost. But that part isn’t important. We’re talking about how great I am, not the rest of the team.
If this doesn’t get you fired up for your respective leagues this week, then I don’t know what will. Stay tuned for updates to the reel after my debut at axe throwing later this summer. I have no doubt that will end well..