Chad is drunk. Chad is a huge football fan. On game day, Chad starts drinking way too early and by kickoff, Chad is belligerent. Before halftime Chad is either throwing up outside or getting kicked out of a bar. Not to mention, Chad has been drinking so much, you can smell it permeating from his jersey. Chad will be lucky to make it home with memories of the final score and without getting his ass beat. Whatever you do this gameday, don't be a Chad. *Cue next gameday commercial*
It's that time of year again. When the familiar smells of vomit, urine, beer and grilled food fill the air in Uptown Charlotte. That's right, that's the smell of football season. Close your eyes, take a deep a breath and let the nostalgia run through your mind.
I'm not going to lie. I've never been much of a sports fan. But there's something about the vibe in a bar on gameday, whether we're talking football or any other sport, that I can't resist. The energy is just so overwhelming that I find myself actually looking forward to the start of the game.
In fact, last weekend I couldn't wait to pull out my Kelvin Benjamin jersey (I know, I know, RIP). And I was only getting in my car to go home and visit my family for the weekend. I had so much #fomo as I watched my Charlotte friends' Snapchat stories of being at a Panthers tailgate or standing on the field at Bank of America Stadium, it was ridiculous. And yet I missed the majority of the game because I was cooking dinner #priorities (or #fakefan).
Nevertheless, there's nothing like a game in B of A stadium to remind you just how serious football fans can get in the Queen City. Not to mention how serious they get when they have a four-day weekend.
This past weekend was a prime example. Tennessee and West Virginia fans took over Uptown for a good ol' game of football on Saturday. No, I didn't watch. I witnessed the aftermath at my favorite watering hole. And I'll be honest, that's enough prime time television for me.
I laughed as familiar and unfamiliar faces sauntered around Uptown in their drunken states. Some were carrying takeout boxes timidly, nervous they were going to drop their "last supper." While others couldn't wait for an opportunity to taunt someone wearing the jersey of a team they couldn't stand. Fans in West Virginia jerseys were clearing have the most fun, as their team trouced all over the poor Tennessee Volunteers, 40-14 (ouch).
But this year, I've traded in my dated Panthers jersey to become a Wisconsin Badgers fan. Why, you ask? Welp, in the spirit of football season and genuine friendship, I received a gift following the Tennessee v. West Virginia game.
One of my boo's friends wore this ridiculously comfy flannel button up that I would steal every chance I got last fall/winter. And it just so happens the primary colors were red and black — perfect for him to wear during a Wisconsin Badgers game.
After he'd been drinking all day long, I thought for sure he'd be wasted. And I thought that was confirmed when he left he bar for a short stint and returned on a LimeBike with a gift wrapped in Christmas paper in the basket.
He sat down at our table with the gift in tow and proceeded to talk about a "house divided." Now, I'm very familiar with the concept during football season, however, the boo and I are not quite concerned with dividing our "home" over the Duke Blue Devils and the South Carolina Gamecocks. So I began tuning him out, chalking up his spiel to his drunken state of mind.
He then proceeded to say that whoever took the gift had to agree to be a Badgers fan all season long. I heard some of the boys listening chuckle, as he'd just purchased a Panthers surf poncho for someone while he was in Cancun. "I certainly don't need a poncho," I thought to myself as he handed me the box.
Dazed and confused, I opened the present while everyone watched #awkwardturtle! It felt like an eternity had passed by the time I finally opened the box to the exact same red and black flannel I was stealing last winter! He and his wife happened to go by the J. Crew outlet where he'd purchased it forever ago and it was still there! I could have cried. It was just another reminder of what the spirit of football is all about! Go Badgers!
But alas, the badgers are a college team, so I can still remain partial to my home team Panthers.