I debated the merit of doing a journal-style documentation of our day at Miller Park, and I kept getting this bitter "You're just copying Bill Simmons" taste in my mouth. But I will not allow some chump from Boston limit my writing styles, and anything Simmons can do I can do better. Besides, nobody tailgates like Milwaukee (The 12-person beer bong pictured here shows that we don't fuck around), and the typical day of a Brewers' fan should be documented somewhere. So here is the play-by-play for Brewers Opening Day 2007: featuring YCS members Nate Franklin, Matt Bechtel, Gavin Soto and YCS housemate Nick Poethig.
9:43 - We have left the house. This is one hell of an accomplishment because I'm 43 minutes out of work, Nick and Matt are 30-something minutes out of bed, and we are all showered and do not forget anything. In a commercial role reversal, we're going to Enterprise to pick Gavin up.
10:27 - We are parked in the Miller Park lot, just about 2 1/2 hours before Ben Sheets will throw the first pitch. Gavin might be the only person in history to show up to Opening Day in a suit and tie. I'm looking around to see where the nearest group of smoking hot, drunk girls are and realize that we're still in Milwaukee.
10:27:10 - Beers are cracked open and coozied(Miller Lite of course, as it is somewhat sacreligous to drink anything else at Miller Park). The grill, table and chairs are set up. Bags of Doritos are opened. We're ready to go.
But we did not come as prepared as the group next to us, who have a deep-fryer. We're guessing what they're going to cook (a turkey?), but one thing is for sure: These people are not here to fuck around.
10: 40 - Bechtel's old man arrives on the scene and immediately begins criticizing Matt's grill technique.
10:58 - The group next to us are in fact cooking an 18-pound turkey, and it goes in at this time, which is significant because Gavin and I have begun an argument about how long it will take to cook the bird, since we're not the tailgate pros that these people are and have never made a thanksgiving meal in a parking lot. He says it will take 30 minutes, I say at least an hour. Stay tuned.
11:02 - The brats are on the grill. This is a good time to note that gas grills are for little girls and Cubs fans.
11:15 - Brats are served. I'm still pissed because I was going to beer-boil them last night, but Bechtel assured me that they were pre-cooked. They are not pre-cooked.
11: 28 - It's been 30 minutes and the turkey is still cooking, and they're not even checking on it yet. I should have put money on this. Also, I don't have this documented in the journal, but I have it in the camera: the preferred method of taking a piss while tailgating below.
11:33 - In honor of the newest member of the famous racing sausages, we have brought a package of chorizos. Gavin is the only one who might have had them before, but he can't be sure. Regardless, we refer to Gavin for cooking instructions, since he is "Mexican."
Bechtel is the first one to try a chorizo, and the verdict is..."It tastes like Taco Bell." Everyone else has one, and sure enough, it tastes almost exactly like Taco Bell meat. I hope we don't get E. coli.
11:40 - A hobo in some kind of makeshift clown suit is limping around the parking lot, offering to paint and glitter people's chests. We can't confirm how much she is charging for her services, but we assume it's the typical $5 that hobos charge for everything. The guy next to us (not the turkey fryers, our other neighbors) is drunk enough to accept her offer and takes his shirt off. He is the first guy I've ever seen with a lower-back tattoo. Makes you wonder...
Anyways, the hobo apparantly has no idea what she's doing, because the guy's friends keep pointing to my shirt (with the old Brewers ball-in-glove logo) and saying, "No, like that guy's shirt. Look, see how it's an 'M' on the top..." We later ran into another guy who had the same misfortune, and well...the picture says it all (Chest-painting hobo inset).
11:55 - The turkey has come out of the vat. Technically, it is three minutes short of an hour, but Gavin concedes defeat anyways.
12:10 - Bechtel is shit-faced and drunk-dialing his co-workers...while they're at work. He also leaves himself a voicemail ("Heeeeeeeeeey asshole. You're gonna get this tomorrow"). This guy is a mess.
12:30 - As if constantly drinking for the past two hours was not enough, we decide to start shotgunning beers. We get a couple of guys from the chest-paint group to join us, and some guy that was wearing some kind of uniform indicating that he was on the job, though I'm not sure what his job was.
12:37 - After two rounds of shotgunning beers, our nieghbors (who don't have tickets to the game and plan on drinking until they get kicked out) bring out a bottle of Jagermeister for shots. I think I speak for everyone in our group when I say that I am sufficiently in the bag. After shots, I crotch a couple more beers and we're off to the park.
1:00 - We are in our seats, at the top of the lower bowl almost directly above first base. Life is good.
1:07 - The first pitch is thrown, and I am officially too drunk to continue this journaling business.
The game itself was probably the best all-around game by the Brewers that I have ever seen. Bill Hall hits a homer and makes a spectacular web-gem catch in his first game as an everyday centerfielder. Ben Sheets pitches a two-hit complete game. J.J. Hardy goes 3-4 and makes an amazing defensive play (For the record: I'm not gay, but I would have sex with J.J. Hardy). Even Geoff Jenkins looked good. Brewers win 7-1 and we go back to the parking lot for more drinking. I honestly can't remember what happened with the rest of my day. Opening Day is a beautiful thing.
Brewers fans couldn't have asked for a better start, and high expectations just got even higher. Apparantly, there was some kind of basketball game last night, but I was down for the count by 6:00, and it's baseball season anyway. I can't remember the last time I cared so little about a championship game of any sort.
The games that matter...
Reds defeat Cubs, 5-1 Well, aside from letting Anthony Young throw the first pitch, the Reds did just about everything right. This game was played at the same time as the Brewers, so all we knew about it was the score. And since Cincy went up early and stayed on top, that was all Matt and I needed to make us happy. And two Adam Dunn homers a day after David Eckstein got gunned down at the plate? I don't think the season could have possibly started off any better. Quote of the day: "Not at any time was I frustrated," said Zambrano. What do you call it when you're screaming and throwing shit in the dugout? Apparantly, not frustration.
Of course, the bigger news in Chicago is the sale of the team, but I'll let one of our Chicago-based members tackle that.
Indians defeat White Sox, 12-5 Vinnie's AL Central predictions look good early. Yet another example of everything going right for Bechtel and I. It's always nice to start off the season with a walk around the bags, and after Sizemore took Contreras deep it didn't get any better for the Sox ace. While Ben Sheets pitched the first Opening Day two-hit complete game, Contreras became just the fourth pitcher since 1900 to allow eight runs while pitching fewer than two innings on Opening Day. As if on cue, Skip Bayless just forced his way onto my television screen and made this claim about the Indians: "One game down, 161 to blow." How clever. You fucking asshole. Back to Contreras: Ozzie did not approve, and said "I know he will be better; he can't be worse than that." Then he used a slew of racial slurs and implied that Contreras is a homosexual.
Pirates defeat Astros, 4-2 (10 innings) Brad Lidge was ready to start the season off on the right foot. There he was, one out away, facing Mr. X...then Albert Pujols began talking to him telepathically: "Hey Brad, I don't think my home run has landed yet. You're a bitch." And the bleacher fans have another souvenier contributed by Mr. Lidge.
Yankees defeat Devil Rays 9-5 Man, A-Rod sucks. Did you see him drop that ball? What a piece of shit. Go back to AA where you belong, you overrated clown. He doesn't even hit a home run until the Yankees are already up by 2 runs. Selfish, worthless idiot. And let's not forget that he got out three times.
Royals defeat Red Sox 7-1 Curt Schilling was recently quoted as saying that he will retire if he's ever not the ace. Well, I hope his 401 k is in order, because walking in a run in the first inning and getting shelled by Kansas City is not what an ace does. Plus, I hear this Dice-K kid is kinda good.