Like most white, educated suburban men, I devote an unhealthy amount of time to sports. I don’t think obsessed is the right word, but let’s just say I spend more time on ESPN than CNN. I’m not apologizing, just setting the context for my main point. Sports and beer are probably the most underrated pair in the history of the universe. The world even.
Think about it. Scan your brain for your greatest sports memories, and this is where I lose most of the female readers…wait is that sexist? I digress. Take your greatest sports memories and tell me there isn’t a beer involved.
A quick run down of my own:
October, 1986 – Granted, this is my worst memory in sports, possibly my life, but still. World Series. Red Sox-Mets. Me and two high school buddies “borrow” a 12 pack of Coors Light from somebody’s Dad. I’m holding a cold one, ready to make a toast, but Bill Buckner has other plans. I never drink another Coors Light.
January, 1987 – Again, not quite legal drinking age. But it’s the Super Bowl in Pasadena, and I’m there with my Dad and older brother. The Giants have just crushed the Broncos for the first Super Bowl win in the history of the franchise, and New Yorkers break a 200 year streak and are actually kind to strangers. Grown men are weeping and buying beers for anyone with a mouth. I happily join the celebration with a couple Bud Lights. Dad pretends not to notice.
October, 1992– I’m not a Braves fan, but I’m living in the ATL sitting in a sports bar when Sid Bream slides into home to send the Braves to the World Series. I can honestly say, I have never seen a scene like that. Complete and total bedlam. Beer was involved, but mostly it was by total strangers pouring it over each other’s heads. Bedlam.
September 1999 – The Ryder Cup in Brookline. The greatest comeback in the history of the sport. Again, the crowd was in a frenzy. We followed Payne Stewart and Monty up the 18th fairway, the Cup already secured. The winning American team came out on the balcony to celebrate with the fans. They were spraying champagne. We were drinking beers.
October 2004 – Back to the Red Sox. Not the World Series. The comeback from 0-3 versus the Yankees. Oddly enough, I am living out of a hotel room that month in Manhattan. When the Sox win Game 7, I’m out on the streets like a bloodhound searching for a Sox-friendly bar. I hear “Dirty Water” and know I’m home. I drink Sam Adams on tap, buying and receiving rounds from strangers (a common theme). For one night, the Sox own New York. Beer is good.
So there you have it. I’m sure I left a few out, but you get the idea. Sports and beer – here’s to you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go buy some beer. There’s March Madness on tonight.