I’ve written before about getting psyched up for a date. It’s difficult to do. I’d say it’s fairly comparable to the sports world. You’re sitting in a locker room before a game, going over what needs to be done. You want to get pumped up, but you don’t want to get too pumped up. In the dating world? Pre-game locker room is you getting dressed, maybe dabbing a little cologne on (for the love of God, don’t use Aqua di Gio) and trying to decide if three glasses of wine before you meet up is too many.
Pro tip: It is. Never show up to the first date rocking more than a two drink buzz. Nothing kills the mood faster than you slurring your words.
Last night, I went to a bar with a few friends to watch the Red Wings. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t catch a figurative and literal buzz last night. As you know, I live in Chicago. They do not like the Red Wings here. I hate the Blackhawks, and all the bandwagon fans who started loving them the second Patrick Kane hoisted his first Stanley Cup. Congrats on being relevant for five or six years. At my core, it’s probably 90% hatred of Blackhawks fans, and 10% hatred of the actual team. There’s no denying that the Hawks are really, really good. But you can imagine the hate behind the bartenders eyes when I asked kindly if he would mind changing one of the million TVs at this bar I was at to the Wings game? He reluctantly did it, as me and one other guy from Michigan sat there entranced, watching with Miller Lites in tow. My friend rocking a Konstantinov jersey, me going with the tried and true Stevie Y. road sweater.
“Is he seriously wearing that in here?”
I heard it from behind me. She thought her friend was the only one who heard it, but I have ears like a goddamn hawk. It was a perfect “in.” She threw me a goddamn meatball right down the middle. Of course, I’m going to try and talk to you. I hadn’t even taken a sip of my beer yet. Here is, verbatim, the conversation I had last night with this girl.
“Let me guess: you’re a huge Blackhawks fan?”
“Cool. Are you free tomorrow night?”
And that was it. I handed her my phone, she threw her digits in and I turned around and went back to the bar to watch my game. I’m currently negotiating terms for our meetup tonight. Food or just drinks? Downtown or Northside? Are you into buttplay? Just kidding on the last one I didn’t ask her that. Although I might later tonight.
So now, I’ve got a date tonight. We’re basically at the pre-game show. The lead up to The Chase, if you will. This is a biggie. It’s not your run of the mill Bumble date. I wasn’t on the train or lying in bed haphazardly swiping right on every picture (which, by the way, is a great strategy). I got this girl’s number at a bar in real life. I was sober when I did it too. Like I said, I hadn’t even taken a sip of my first beer when I sidled up next to her and asked her out. It was a thing of beauty. Poetry in motion. All I’m going to say is that I’m stoked about it, and I have the Detroit Red Wings and the entire cast of Friday Night Lights to thank.
I was pumped after the Red Wings W, as any Michigander would be. So what did I do when I got home? I threw in Friday Night Lights starring Billy Bob Thornton. A two-hour tour de force of moments that will make you cringe, groan, and cheer as Permian, a powerhouse from the oil fields of West Texas, tries desperately to salvage a season. A season that began with state title aspirations but crumbles to simply making the playoffs after Boobie Miles goes down in the first game with an ACL tear.
But this isn’t about Friday Night Lights (which is light years better than its television counterpart, in my humble opinion). It’s not about the Detroit Red Wings either. This is about the date I have, and just how difficult it is to get in the zone leading up to it. Last night, lying on my couch, I started the prep work. Friday Night Lights was perfect for that.
Who am I going to be tonight when the bright lights come on? When I’m sitting five feet across from a stranger who I arbitrarily picked out at a bar last night and hit on unabashedly. Am I Mike Winchell, the quarterback who isn’t sure of himself? Am I Billingsley, the live fast, die hard fullback who might have a substance abuse problem? Or am I Boobie Miles, The overconfident jackass who says he doesn’t need to lift weights or come to practice because his abilities are God given? Well I think anyone who reads my stuff knows who I am. I am the overconfident, bragadocious jackass at any all events. So wish me luck tonight. Or don’t. I really don’t give a shit. Call me Terminator X. To quote the great Boobie Miles — “This is God-given. Only thing I gotta do is just show up.” .
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