Monday, May 19, 2008
The Greatest Drinking/Sports Event In The Midwest, If Not the World: The Indy 500
I have never been to a Super Bowl. I've never been to a World Series, an NBA Finals game or a Soccer game for that matter. I hear the World's largest outdoor cocktail party game between Georgia and Florida is great. But I can only speak of the experiences I have had personally, and for my money, it doesn't get any better then the Indianapolis 500. There are several reasons why, and some you just can't appreciate unless you're there to experience it. But I'll do my best to give you an idea of what the Indy 500 is like from the 5 times I've been there, and try to convince why you must go to the largest sporting event in the world.
1. Even if you hate racing, you will still enjoy it.
Before I went to my first Indy 500 back in 2001, you couldn't pay me to watching any form of racing. NASCAR, Open wheel, fuck, you could have topless girls driving..and wait...ok I'd definitely watch that, but you get the point. Well, back in 01' I was not of legal drinking age. But I did enjoy throwing shit at the people who passed out on the lawn below our seats.
Anyways, on Sunday when you go to the race, you'd be better be at the track waiting in line to park by 6am, or else you're going to be walking your candy ass a long ways. A friend of mine's dad has been going to 500 since '61, and has only missed two or three years. He has a secret street that he uses to get by a ton of the crowd, and would probably kill me if blurted it out on here. I'm not sure if the street really saves you that much time, but even saying the street's name out loud in the car pisses him off.
When you finally pull into the area in which you're going to park (we generally park in a huge grass field near turn 3). You can A: sleep in your car for a couple hours, B: Set up shop and start making breakfast, or the ever popular C: Start drinking like a fucking maniac who's sure to pass out on the golf course adjacent to the track.
Now being of age to legally crush Miller Lite cans on my forehead after finishing them in the field, I usually go with option A, followed by B and C. This is because I'm still drunk from the night before when we go drink at a pub down the street from the hotel we always stay at. At around 8:30, it's time to get up. The race doesn't start until around 1, so you have plenty of time to drink. Remember, the race is fucking long, and YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BRING COOLERS INTO THE STANDS. let me repeat that; you can bring as much alcohol as you please to the metal bench you will sit on.
Once you get inside the race, it's an amazing sight to see 300,000-400,000 people within a 2.5 mile radius of you. It's probably even more amazing how much alcohol is being consumed on the day alone. But what's most amazing of all is the sound of the engines.
I cannot begin to tell you how fucking loud they are. Imagine a billion bees that have little rockets on their back, are really pissed, and are going around in a long cirlcle. That's the best way I describe it. Once the race starts, you have 15-20 second intervals to talk. In other words, start a sentence, wait...finish it. For husbands, this is 3 hours of having your wife shut up and not asking you questions.
And holy shit are those cars fast. Watching 230 mph Indy cars = boring. Watching them in person = crazy. I don't how those fucking drivers do it. The second they come into your turn, they are gone just as fast. And while you're wondering where they went, they've already passed you again.
Right around when the race might start to get boring is when the people around become their show. Keep in my mind that most of these 'people' are going to somewhat hickish, and double digits deep into the Budweiser. Whether its tits being flashed, the beach ball bouncing around that knocks over an old person walking along the concourse, or the 4 year old boy standing outside of a men's last year holding a Busch can looking pissed off, there's something for everybody.
Last year during the rain delay, we went to the top of our section and screamed down at women to flash. While you take the good (20 year with a nice rack) with the bad (saggy 50-year old fatty titties), tits are still tits.
2. Drinking is cheap
Let's face it; you want to get the most bang for your buck and get shitfaced. That's makes tailgating for baseball so important. I certainly don't enjoy paying 6.25 for a cup of Miller Lite if it's my first beer. Me, Noce, and our buddy each drank a case of beer over the course of 12 hours.
Needless to say, I banged my knee into the metal benches at some point, and later looked down to find a Mississippi River of O+ positive mostly alcholic blood stream down to my shoe. Not having any napkins, I just Macgyver'ed my a portion of shorts by cutting them and making a little turniquet. Did it work? Not really, but shit I was proud of my handy work.
I spent 13.99 for that case of beer. I drank every last one of them. Your wallet will thank you, but your liver sure as shit won't.
3. Pick a horse and hope to win
This is Dan Wheldon, winnner of the race and IRL in 2005. He's British, so he talks like a douche, and has the gayest hair ever, which makes him more of a douche. But, boy can the motherfucker drive. I would never root for this tool. But I did in 05' when we cut up the Indianapolis star with the all the drivers, and drew randomly for $3 bucks a car. I ended up winning 30 bucks. Not a ton of money, but mostly fun for the fact that you can have some to root for even when you have no clue who the fuck anyone is.
Going into this year, I still don't have a clue about most of the drivers in the field of 33, but I recognize some of the names. I guess when you think about it, it doesn't really matter who wins the race. It's me. I'm the winner. I get to spend my entire day outside, enjoying multiple cold drinks with my buddies. Just writing this post has excited for Sunday. I'm going to be bringing my digital camera this year since I never fucking use it, and I'll get as my photos as possible to pass along to you.
My Pick to win: Tony Kanaan.
My Pick to crash first: Danica Patrick