What happens when a copy editor gets drunk and watches sports

BY
Copy Desk Chief

When you go to a sports event, alcohol is almost always procurable. Drinking at sports games is basically commonplace — I’ve drunk (and been a little drunk) at both Baltimore Orioles games I’ve been to this past year.

imagejpeg_0 Courtesy of Bridget Dolan
Bridget Dolan (right) with Philadelphia’s favorite bodacious beast, Gritty, at the Oct. 27 Flyers game. Gritty is dressed as “Gritty in a bathtub.”

Granted, I’m a lightweight. Three beers are enough to get me just on this side of drunk. Six glasses of wine is my max, as far as I can tell. My meds — which I can safely drink on — mixed with alcohol makes it all hit me faster and harder. It’s a fun time, to be honest.

It also seriously changes how you watch the sport, so here’s a brief rundown on my experience watching baseball, football and hockey while drunk.

Baseball

Baseball is, for lack of a better word, boring. You sit there, and most of the time, the batter doesn’t even swing the bat. Plus, I’m an Orioles fan, and they totally suck, which kind of puts a damper on the whole experience. But I digress.

It’s hard to pay attention to a baseball game. It’s exceptionally hard when you have ADHD, like me. I sit there, I chat with my best friend and I keep on missing when the guy actually hits the ball.

A couple of cans of Redd’s in, and I don’t care that they’re losing. Every time the bat makes contact with the ball, I’m on my feet, screaming “Run, run, run,” at the top of my lungs along with all the other drunk fans in the stands. I’m yanking my best friend to her feet too, and the joy from such a tiny accomplishment as making it to first base ripples through Camden Yards.

When the other team gets a run, I’m booing, too, and the stands echo in unison. Everything is great when you’re drunk at a baseball game.

Hockey

Hockey is fun, and by far, my favorite sport to watch. But drinking while watching only complicates it.

Hockey is fast-paced, and alcohol makes your brain go about as fast as a sloth on methadone. Following the puck becomes about a thousand times harder.

Watching on TV helps; the camera does most of the puck-following for you, but when you have a full view of the ice, trying to keep your eye on a tiny piece of rubber that jumps across the ice from stick to stick is near impossible while drinking.

The last time I was drunk while watching hockey, the Washington Capitals lost 7-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. It led to a very fast, very efficient way of getting rid of a bottle of pink moscato.

When your team is winning, though, you don’t even care that you can’t see the puck. You whoop and clap for every hard hit and jump up when the goal lamp is lit. It’s adrenaline and weak beer and forgetting your worries for a hundred minutes while satisfying that deep, primitive need to be a spectator to violence.

Football

I’m not a big football watcher — I text and play on my phone during the Super Bowl whenever the commercials aren’t on.

Before now, I’ve never drunk-watched football. I set aside a Thursday night for the experience, and I had my mom record a Washington Redskins game for me. I didn’t even look up what the score for the game was in order to get the “full experience.”

The Sunday before, I put fruit and gin in a tupperware containers as my own fruity alcohol experiment — raspberries in one container and blackberries in the other.

To start off the experience, I pre-gamed with a gin and Dr. Pepper mix I call a “slutty handshake.” I accidentally made it way stronger than I meant to.

Then I watch.

A penalty is called early in the first quarter. I have no idea what it is for nor what the consequence is.

A guy does a rolly catch, but apparently it’s not good. Play keeps being stopped, and I don’t get why. I do a shot.

The recipe worked, and the shot tastes fairly good, but good lord, it is strong. The fruit that’s been sitting in the alcohol is pretty tasty, too.

It’s been about half a minute and another guy gets a minor penalty. I still don’t know why nor what happens next. Play stops again. Now I understand why the recording is 200 minutes.

It’s kinda cool when they jump and catch the ball though, but I’ve already had enough to drink that following who has the ball is getting difficult.

Number 46 gets the ball and goes wild, running all the way to the end zone and doing a little hip shake. He has, according to the announcer, gotten a touchdown in an opening drive. I have no idea what that means, but I know about 10 minutes are left on the clock for the first quarter.

I am confused and not even alcohol is able to make this exciting. Mostly it’s just making me sleepy and progressively more confused.

“High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco is playing during a commercial. I thought I had finally escaped that when the Stanley Cup Playoffs ended. Also it is apparently now the second quarter. The score is 7-0 Redskins. I am drunk and confused but at least the ‘Skins are winning.

More confusing penalties. It is seriously ridiculous how many stops and starts there are in football games. No wonder people drink at them — they’re fairly boring otherwise. The running into each other is nice though. It has the same effect on the cavewoman-esque part of my brain as hockey.

Halftime is the most interesting part of the game for me, and I don’t even give a heck what the announcers have to say. The stop and start of the play kills me; ADHD and a slow sports game is a match made in Hell.

I cave and Google the score — the Redskins won by three points. I do another shot to celebrate no longer watching the game.

The final verdict: drinking while watching football makes the game slightly more entertaining.

I delete the recording.

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