For OTP, the Natty took place over three days, 95% of which was awesome. Here is day two of The Natty Diaries, cobbled together from the sober brain cells that control my memory.
Sunday, January 9, 2011: When the booze is free, it gets consumed
8:30ish a.m. I probably slept five hours max. My friend who flew in from New York has a snoring habit. Frankly, I don’t know how anyone can breathe so violently and with so much force, yet sleep perfectly well. However, I learned a neat trick. This is how I got it to stop:
Tired, cranky me: “gkgkgkgkgkgkgk!!” <–That’s me simulating a snoring sound.
Still tired, still cranky me: “Louder!”
Tired me with a louder voice: “You sound like a rhinoceros!”
Snoring friend: “Was I snoring?”
Me: Ah, problem solved.
10:33 a.m. We’re at some mall in Glendale where we’ve been told the concierge is handing out free passes to the VIP tent inside the Bud Light Fiesta where all the pep rallies take place. This is a $50 value and it involves drinking as much as you want. Yes, I’ll have one of those, please.
11:00 a.m. Nike is sponsoring a town hall with the guests of Oregon past. Dan Fouts is the host. Max Unger, Jairus Byrd, Jonathan Stewart, Dennis Dixon and Joey Harrington are on the panel. Stewart seems especially loquacious. I always pegged him for a shy guy. Joey is Mr. Analytical, breaking down everything in great detail. But it’s Dixon who has the best line. Asked what he first thought of Darron Thomas, he said, “Is that me?” Yes, Dennis, it is, except this version comes with a knee that didn’t leave me in the fetal position for 43 days.
12:00 p.m. Okay, we’ve moved into the p.m. half of the day. Let’s go check out this VIP tent and get a drink.
12:23 p.m. Yeah, can I get another?
12:59 p.m. Yes, please, I’ll have another.
1:37 p.m. The Auburn pep rally starts at two and it has become very orange. The VIP is money, though. Everyone outside the gates is practically hugging each other. There are people lining every inch of all three levels of the adjacent parking structure. Inside the fence, though, we roam like a herd of elephants on the African plains destroying watering holes and livers all at once.
1:45 p.m. Some Auburn fan: “War eagle!”
1:45:05 p.m. Me: “Roll Tide!”
1:45:10 p.m. Some Auburn fan now with an incredulous look: “What?! Don’t say that. That’s not cool.”
1:53 p.m. They are playing a shit ton of country music.
2:00 p.m. The Auburn pep rally starts. It’s a fairly boring event. Old guys saying stuff. Pomp and circumstance all around. Wareaglewareeaglewareaglewareagle. Beer please!
3:00 p.m. They are herding us up like cows. Our VIP passes are only good until three. The next session is at four and we don’t have passes. Problem is, we’ve been getting free drinks for three hours and are pretty sure that it is our God-given right to be in there all day long.
3:00- 4:00 p.m. I run into some family members who no doubt take note of my level of intoxication. In fact, I would receive an email from my brother a couple days later. “So, I heard you were pretty hammered…”
4:00 p.m. The VIP is open again. We’re all certain getting back in is easy.
4:15 p.m. Security won’t be bribed. What kind of VIP is this? A few people in our party manage their way in and enjoy another drink. I see an opening on the fence line. Security is looking the other way aaaaaannnddd I’m in. Damn, that was easy.
4:17 p.m. I’m in the beer line, happy as can be. I’m going to take in Sebastian Bach and Supwitchugirl from the comfort of VIP. Free beer, a chair and no lines to the bathroom. Love it.
4:18 p.m. Mean head honcho guy: Let me see the other side of your pass.
Me: Oh, this, Yeah, okay, here.
Mean head honcho guy: Get out. It wasn’t that easy was, it?
Me: No sir.
Within the next 20 minutes, everyone that’s not supposed to be in the VIP is rounded up and given the boot. Well, except for one man we made friends with. He escapes the watchful eye of security. We have an inside guy.
4:50 p.m. Man, this beer line sucks. And I have to use the bathroom, but there’s 100 people sandwiched in each square foot of space. Truth is, I would have bought a VIP pass if they weren’t sold out. That place was worth every penny.
5:00 p.m. Oregon’s pep rally starts. It’s way cooler. We have Neil Everett and Ahmad Rashad. Sebastian Bach. Supwitchugirl. On The Rocks of recent NBC fame. Most importantly, there is no country music.
Whenever the show ended: Up on Camelback Mountain, Nike is projecting the ‘O’ across the face. It alternates with a swoosh and the “Just Do It” slogan. Freaking cool.
7:30 p.m. Or maybe it’s 8. Or 6:30. I have no clue: It’s dark, there is a pretty decent band covering tunes everyone knows. It’s a festive atmosphere. I run into my distantly related cousin and his crew of people. We have a good time. But they have VIP passes and we don’t. Are we really going to do this again?
Sometime into the night before 9 pm: We are back in the VIP. The food is better this time around. Truthfully, I stopped drinking long ago. Responsibility is a bitch.
11:30ish p.m. WOTB…she had fun and with her dignity in mind, I’ll leave it at that. We got her to bed where she can sleep one off. My snoring friend and I go find an In ‘n Out and eat up. Somehow, we end up sleeping before midnight. These are no longer the days where all day drinking can be tolerated. I’m too old for that.
2ish a.m. That snoring is happening again and all three of us are awake for the next three hours. It’s the anticipation of Monday, the snoring and the early bed time all rolled into one.