Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"How Could That Be Worth It?"

Do you see the title of this post? Well, I heard many variations of that question last week as Kerry and I prepared to head (Mid)west for the final iteration of Notre Dame-Michigan over the weekend.

More precisely, I heard many variations of the question "How the hell could that possibly be worth it?".

Well, as of Friday night, I agreed that it might not have been worth it. We left New York at about 4 on Friday afternoon and -- aside from the normal George Washington Bridge traffic -- we were cruising on I-80 for most of the evening and night. Then, somewhere near Bumblefuck, Ohio, the skies opened up. Suddenly, I-80 was virtually indistinguishable from the Cuyahoga River. I honestly thought we might have to ford the highway, Oregon Trail-style.

The weather pushed us to a highway-side Motel 6, which I guess was better than a Motel 5. Six hours of sleep and some cold complimentary coffee later, we were back on the road.

We finally made it to South Bend at 11 on Saturday morning, and our patience finally began to pay off. As we pulled up Notre Dame Avenue, we saw my sister-in-law Megan and her fiance Rob with Rob's Michigan buddies and family members on the lawn of their rental house. We parked the car and I was once again participating in the wonderful sport of tailgating. As people streamed toward campus, they heckled maize out of the Michigan fans, making fun of their low reading levels and things of that nature.

We spent the rest of the day partying in the yard. Here are some of the (mostly drinking-related) highlights from the tailgate:
  • Some dude on a pedicab took a video of us playing beer pong, presumably because he was going to rat on us to the owners of the house. Or maybe he just loved the way we moved.
  • Kamchatka Vodka somehow affectionately came to be called "Cha-cha."
  • I ate six brats. 
  • The other food was pretty phenomenal, as well. (Even though it made for a bit of a shitty Monday, if you know what I'm saying.)
  • Rob and his brother Jay wore belt buckles that looked like this...
...so that was pretty cool.

  • In the first round of flip cup, the Michigan crew took down my Notre Dame team. Later on in the day, ND won Round 2, dispelling the common notion that Irish people can't hold their booze.
  • A local news crew showed up and we all clamored for our 15 minutes of fame. (More on this later.) 
Then, it was on to the actual football game. I've been to my share of Fighting Irish games now, but that schmaltzy Rudy clip still epitomizes the way I feel when I walk in:

As of this season, the "grass" at Notre Dame Stadium is actually FieldTurf, but the sentiment still holds. I'm going to Notre Dame-Syracuse at Giants Stadium* in a few weeks, but that experience won't hold a candle to seeing a game on campus.

*Yes, it will always be Giants Stadium.

Anyways, you've probably heard what happened in the game. If you didn't, you can read about it here. Or you can just watch the following clip and you'll get the idea:

On Saturday, Notre Dame was Sonny, Michigan was Connie's boyfriend, and Everett Golson was the garbage can lid. So, yeah, we had fun at the game.

When we came back to the house after the game, we turned on the news. Which we were on:

Yup, that's me on the left, stifling laughter like a sixth grader whose teacher just read a math problem with the number 69 in it. And that's our buddy Pat on the right, avoiding eye contact like a 4-year-old who just crapped his pants.

Good times. To recap, we saw a ton of friends and family, drank a ton, ate a ton, became famous, and watched Notre Dame win by 31.

So, hell yeah, it was worth it. The 24 hours in South Bend made the 22 hours in the car exceedingly worth it. 

Of course it was worth it this time. But that still leaves some questions in the back of my mind. Will it still be worth it when I'm 45? Will it still be worth it when we have a few kids? When I go to bed on weekends long before the start of Saturday Night Live? When my hangovers prevent me from functioning the following day? Will it still be worth it then?

God, I sure as hell hope so.

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1 comment:

  1. Well, after this week's shameful tailgating performance at West Point, I think that you should cherish these memories.