It was an epic homecoming game, a classic, the sort of game that made-for-television movies are made about, and there were still empty seats at Kehoe field last Saturday . lots of them.
While senior Gharun Hester and sophomore Dave Paulus were orchestrating scoring drives left and right on the field in front of about a thousand fans, a nearly equal number were in the parking lot below, getting drunk for the thousandth time in their college lives, listening to that damn Eminem song for the millionth time this week and missing a game that will never happen again. To me, at least, this hardly sounds like an even trade-off.
Maybe I’m just a sports nut, but I would not be able to justify missing a game of that caliber just to have some watered-down beer, (the lot was literally re-paved with Busch Light cans) which I’m just going to have more of later that night anyway. And it’s not like the atmosphere is all that unique either. Block Party is just around the corner. In short, you will have the opportunity to drink in the same environment again in two weeks.
I have nothing against drinking. I love beer. Anyway you cut it, drinking is a part of college life no matter how much we delude our parents otherwise, and I have no problem with that. I do not criticize the practice of tailgating either. I always tailgate when I go to concerts or sporting events, but then I actually go to the concert or sporting event.
My gripe is that the alumni and students who were tailgating only tailgated and did not attend the game. What should have been a glorious Hoya victory amidst a throng of fans was significantly downgraded to a thrilling win before a group of faithful fans. Homecoming is more than a game; there’s no doubt about that. It’s a whole day of celebration, properly beginning with a tailgate party, continuing on to the game and then ending with campus parties at night. That’s a lot of partying, and that’s a lot of drinking. Is it really so much to ask that people stop for three hours to watch the event that is (or at least should be) the focus of the day? It’s not like I’m asking a lot. The game is a pleasure to watch, especially this one, chock full of exciting plays from two explosive offenses and a score tighter than my mother’s pocketbook.
It is quite well and good to indulge in some spirits, but we have a tremendous opportunity to see some first rate athletics here on the Hilltop, and we should take advantage of it. Our football team is coming off of a 9-2 record last season and is gearing up for the tougher opponents it will face next year in the Patriot League.
The volleyball team appears headed for another great season and yet another berth in the NCAA tournament and possibly another Big East Championship. Our men’s soccer team was nationally ranked earlier this season, our field hockey team is unbeaten and men’s basketball will field its strongest team in recent memory. Still, this might not be enough to fill the seats.
Last year, students often didn’t attend basketball games on Saturdays due to the early start times and the fact that they drank enough to incapacitate a Yeti the previous night. In all honesty, I can’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to wake up early if I was that hungover either. On the same note, if you want to go to the game, just have a couple the night before. Don’t keep tossing them back until you try to mate with a DPS officer or until you strongly believe that you’re a cat named Juanita.
One of the reasons you go to college is to experience the school as a whole, athletics included. Drinking can be done more or less any time, anywhere. You won’t always be able to rush the court after the men’s basketball team beats Louisville on a last-minute fadeaway by senior Anthony Perry and a steal by junior Kevin Braswell or witness a 57-56 point shootout ending in a gritty, tension-filled Homecoming football victory against Butler.