Cold Ones With Matty Ice: What Not to Do When Going to a Game

Matthew GalkaCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2009

ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 20:  A man lies on the ground as race-goers walk past him on the first day of Royal Ascot, at the Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2006 in Ascot, England.  The event has been one of the highlights of the racing and social calendar since 1711, and the royal patronage continues today with a Royal Procession taking place in front of the grandstands daily.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

I began the week thinking, “I have nothing to write about.” How wrong I was.

What you are about to read is a true account of my adventure to Rentschler Field to take in the Uconn Huskies versus my beloved Syracuse Orange football game this past Saturday. The adventure is not for the weak hearted.

I wish the story would be about one of my many other adventures to games as the away team supporter, because I have had some doozies.

Opposing student sections have singled me out to chant at me, and Red Sox fans have had a field day with me when I’ve been to Fenway decked out in all Yankee gear.

The basis of this story, however, rests solely on me.

The tale will begin with how the day actually began, but then it will diverge into two separate stories: what I think happened, and what actually happened.

4 a.m.: I am just getting home from a trip to the casino with my buddy John.

After shooting craps and playing blackjack, and going on two incredible runs that saw me double up my money only to lose it all, then subsequently win it all back and then some. I returned home breaking even.

In hindsight, 4 a.m. probably should not have been when I was going to bed, considering my friend and I were planning on getting to Rentschler at 8 a.m. to promptly start tailgating. Oh well, some sleep is better than no sleep.

7:15 a.m.: Alarm clock buzzing, me cursing life, what a wake-up.

I pick up the phone to text my friend Jay to see if he’s awake, 15 minutes went by without a response, he clearly wasn’t.

I call him at 7:45, 15 minutes after we were supposed to leave. A groggy Jay picks up the phone, and promptly tells me “dude I went to bed at 5.”

Glad we’re in the same boat.

I give him 20 minutes to get his act together and go to pick him up, instead of arriving at 8 we’d be arriving at 8:30, not a big deal.

We stop at a gas station to pick up 7-Up, cups, and a candy bar, only the essentials. I haven’t eaten anything and neither has he, but Jay reassures me that his family has food there. My empty stomach will come into play later.

8:30 a.m.: We meet up with our two other buddies, both fellow Syracuse supporters.

Now, one of my favorite things in the world is tailgating.

I don’t know what it is, I enjoy the build up for the game, being outdoors, the booze, the food, everything.

On this day, I would be enjoying it too much.

They break out a couple of beers, and I go to the trunk to break out the big guns.

What I am about to say I in no way condone; my tailgate started, and technically finished, with 7 and 7’s at 8:30 in the morning.

Everything was going fine, me and all of my buddies are exchanging stories from Syracuse, having a good time, and jamming to the Zac Brown Band, all while UConn fans pass by and give us odd looks, but nothing too bad.

While tailgating, beer is usually the best option for people, but for some reason I felt like swinging for the fences with my adult beverage today.

11:00ish a.m.: Still haven’t eaten, but at this point do not seem to care.

Jay’s family has our tickets waiting, and they also have food, so it seems like a good idea to go find them.

On our walk, while every tailgater who’s been there for a while starts getting more rowdy, we receive loud “BOOOOO’s” from the UConn fans for wearing our Syracuse gear, but my friends and I love it.

We stumble upon a group of UConn fans who have a full bar, an actual full out bar you would see on a night out, outside their pickup truck. They quickly offer us shots, and who are we to refuse.

Probably something I did not need at that point.

11:30ish a.m.: We find Jay’s family, and that food is great. They had steak tips and pulled pork and all the like. I was in food heaven.

Ideally this would have helped me the rest of the day, but at this point I am beyond food being able to save me.

Here’s where it starts getting a little hazy.

Jay and I wind up with some more UConn fans that graciously give us some more booze, and we decide to head in to the game.

The walk is a long one down an old runway where Rentschler is built.

I do not remember this walk.

12:00 p.m.: We enter the game, find our seats, and by the time we sit down, Syracuse is already down in the game.

I do not remember the score.

I would love to tell you some highlights of the game, like who threw a touchdown, had a long run, etc.

I do not remember these facts.

What I do remember is Jay and I buying a little more beer while in the game, and going on a nacho run, which at the time I thought were the best nachos I’ve ever had.

At this point let me take the time to say no one who was drinking drove home, I do not condone driving under the influence or anything of the sort, and my friends and I were smart enough to not do this.

With that being said, the game is a blur, a literal blur. UConn won, Syracuse lost, we had some beef jerky on the way home, and that’s about all I remember.

What actually transpired is much funnier, and the way I went about finding is a little more than odd.

I woke up Sunday thinking, “Saturday was fun, and I hope I did not do anything stupid.” A couple days went by, no news from my friends about being mad or having to apologize, so I thought the issue was dead, until Tuesday night.

I got a message from a friend saying, “hey man, heard you saw my parents at the game Saturday.”

I have no recollection of this.

Panicking, I immediately message his girlfriend, who is a good friend of mine, and ask if he mentioned anything about me. I figured if something went down, he would have told her. She says, “No he hasn’t mentioned anything.”

Phew. “I must be in the clear,” I think to myself, but just to make sure I go ahead and text Jay, asking if we saw our other friend's parents at the game. His response was not as reassuring as the gf’s response.

“Yea we saw the Dad,” he said. “You were mumbling nonsense and he sort of just walked away.”

“What! You’re kidding! What else did I do?” I ask, with nothing but sheer embarrassment overcoming me.

“We were eating with my aunt, and my cousin said something to you and after that you just refused to eat.”

“What did he say?”

“Something about ‘loading up barbecue sauce’ but you thought he meant you were loading up on food, so you pouted and didn’t eat.”

“Oh my God,” I reply. “Anything else?”

“You blurted out F-bombs in front of Doug’s parents about 20 times,” he said.

I am not Tucker Max, and I do not take pride in debauchery like this, so obviously I was a little in shock.

“What? Why would I do that?” I asked.

“I don’t know, drunk?”

That about summed it up, as none of this rang the slightest bell.

I apologized to my friend who’s parents I swore in front of, and all he could do is laugh and say “don’t worry about it man, it makes for a great story.”

With that, my embarrassment went to a smile, and I started feeling a little better about the situation, until I got a message from Jay that sealed the deal as the day being a success.

“It was a great time, man, I elbow dropped you,” said Jay.

“Really? You elbow dropped me?” I asked. “I guess the day couldn’t have been too bad.”

“It coulda been a ddt.”

He’s right, and I consider myself lucky it wasn’t.


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