Beer and football

Torrin Thatcher

I like drinking beer. My friends like drinking beer. We love drinking beer while watching football together. Shoot, I like drinking beer and watching football with people I don’t even know. On my 22nd birthday, I didn’t go home to celebrate with friends or even stay in the frat house to celebrate with other the guys. Instead, I meandered downtown at about 10:35 a.m. to drink all the free beer and watch all the football I could enjoy in one day.
I went to open the door to Anduzzi’s around 10:45 a.m. and the bar’s doors were not open. Excuse me, but aren’t you supposed to be a sports bar? Games kickoff in 15 minutes, and your doors are still barred. I think I will move on.
Walking down to The Bar it became quite apparent that some bars actually know how to be open on college football game days. The sidewalk was sprinkled with Badger gear-wearing people catching some of the morning sun before they nested on barstools for the remainder of an afternoon spent nibbling on wings and fries.
I walked in, smiled with delight as I knew I was surrounded with football fans and watched the bartender come over with a napkin. I let her know that it was my day of birth, slapped on the “Official Birthday Button” for free tap beers all day, and propped myself up on the stool.
The Badgers did win, but it was an ugly enough game that for a while afterwards some folks were planning a rally to fire Bret Bielema anyway. With the Badger game over, I was expecting to catch the Michigan and Notre Dame battle with the kind of average college football fan that doesn’t care about either team during any game that doesn’t involve Charlie Weis blowing his ACL.
Much to my surprise, the place was soon populated with Wolverine and Fighting Irish fans. A few Irish fans plopped down next to me, and we soon began discussing the game at hand and dissecting each matchup. Before long, a few more fans had sat down next to us. Soon after that, we’d combined two tables, ordered a couple pitchers of brew and were watching the game with excitement.
There I was on my birthday, surrounded by complete strangers with only two familiar subjects in common: beer and football. Throughout all of the excitement, high-fiving, yelling, and beer ordering, time was actually taken to snap photos of our group and jot down e-mails. I was fortunate enough to get a picture of three Notre Dame alumni hands with class rings — 1978, 1998, and 2004 — shining brightly.
Unfortunately for some, the game did not result in a victory for the Irish, but all of us still had a grand time with our football and our beer. One guy even mentioned that he had recently broken up with his girlfriend because she could not understand why grown men would get together on Saturdays to watch “boys play football.” It goes without saying that she never stood a chance.
And to even further prove the love of football fans for beer, I’ll just quickly mention the recent events at the University of Memphis. Until this year, they had disallowed the sale of alcohol at home games in an attempt to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents.
Well, someone must have folded, because starting this year, they’re selling beer at home games. This has nothing to do with the expected $261,000-per-year loss in general operating costs for their new $5,000,000 stadium, right? Right.
How’d it go? How do you think? In the opener against Ole Miss alone, the Tigers sold $114,576 worth of alcohol — approximately 40 percent of their goal for the whole season! I think we can agree that they can stop looking under their $5,000,000 cushions for money now that they’ve found this route to happiness.
Was it really a surprise that football fans are glad to spend their money to buy beer?