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“Guys, I kinda want to get into a bar fight today.”
My hands stilled as I reached for another mimosa. I’d decided to forego my typical routine of sitting at home and falling asleep at halftime in favor of making the trek into enemy territory for my alma mater’s rivalry game. Unfortunately, clear bag policies and constant rain don’t mix. Fortunately, pre-gaming at a friend’s and watching at a bar do. When I looked up at my friend’s innocent, eager face, his words echoing in the sudden silence as everyone realized how unlikely we were to find a friendly bar in a 30-mile radius, I felt something. Deep down in my cold, beaten down soul I felt a tremor in the stillness.
Several drinks and one blessedly inexpensive Uber later, we ducked into a bar with some unwelcome decorations. Undeterred by posters or pennants, we strode confidently into the back room and promptly ran into wall of shirts and sweaters in the wrong color. I immediately regret every life choice that led me up to that moment. Somewhere between the cool glares in front of me and the warm, cowardly hands of my friend pushing me in first I found my courage. Like a brave newborn iguana sprinting for the rocks, I made a sharp turn towards the safe familiarity of the bar.
My friend, in his continuing wisdom, challenged the bartender.
“I’ve never backed down from a beer tower and I don’t plan on starting now.”
Distinctly unimpressed, she slowly panned her eyes across our outfits and blinked. “You know, there’s a tax for fans like you here,” she drawled.
“Don’t worry, we can afford it,” my other friend chuckled, doing nothing to dispel the stigma of scruffy trustfunders bestowed by our collegiate sweaters.
In that moment, I decided he was on his own in the fights he’d undoubtedly instigate.
There was no “tax,” but we did promise to buy (ourselves) a round whenever our team scored. In retrospect, the bartender probably decided to hedge our misery against our money. My last clear memory for the next few hours was a familiar apprehension after celebrating our third touchdown. Thankfully, any misgivings were quickly washed away by that special kind of happiness only a degenerate college fan can feel when their alma mater is dominating and also Fireball.
The next few hours are a blur best left to obscurity, but some truths are unavoidable. In no clear order, I:
– Was politely asked to leave an Uber after saying, “yeah, one of us is probably going to boot.”
– Dislocated a finger.
– Booted in a McDonald’s.
– Had my friend relocate my finger against good judgment and even better knowledge of physiology.
– Sent an attractive near-stranger my phone number (apparently, offering to cook a girl dessert is a much better line than “sup?”). It’s unclear if this will pan out but I’m lining my springform just in case.
– Decided against getting a burrito Postmated because “I’ve almost got a 6-pack.” I ate two the following morning.
– Blatantly and unsuccessfully tried to cheat my way to a victory in Bananagrams.
Thankfully, early kickoffs mean early hangovers, and I made it home in time to feel subhuman all night in my own bed. Despite needing two days to recover physically (still emotionally broken), it was all worth it. Is it because I’m a garbage human? Some unconscious masochistic streak? Faint hope at getting a text from that girl? Yes, but also because there’s a beauty in the chaos of really letting loose for the first time in a long time. And nothing says chaos like rivalry weekend.
And also Fireball. .
Image via TFM