Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Day I Became a Spartan 

or: One of the Most Fun Weekends of My Life

or: Why I am Really, Really Tired Tonight

Last weekend, Jeff invited me to travel with him this weekend to E. Lansing to hang out with a lot of his friends from growing up and tailgate at the Michigan/Michigan State game. We drove out yesterday afternoon and got there around 8pm. Now, only a little over 24 hours hence, it seems as if I was gone for at least a long weekend; that was how much fun we had.

Once we got there we checked into the hotel and immediately headed out to the bars to meet up with Jeff's sister, Kim, and some of her friends, as well as a bunch of Jeff's friends, and some girl that goes to State who Jeff met in Chicago a couple of weekends before and was hot for. Now, in E. Lansing, which appears to be a very nice town dominated, of course, by the University, there are about 4 bars along the main "strip". That's 4 bars for about for 40,000 full time students. This causes a problem - lines. Having lived in Chicago for a few years now, I guess I've been spoiled; if one bar is too crowded, you just go to the next one. But no, not in E. Lansing. We stood in line for over an hour to get into this bar called Harper's. Everyone else was already well on their way and it was almost 10:00 before we had our first drink. We met up with everyone and proceeded to have a legendary night. Towards the end of the evening, Jeff said he was going to walk his girl home and that I should just get a cab back to the hotel. Not a problem, thought I, but oh, no, it was far from that easy. I stood on the damn corner of Grand River and Abbott for 2 hours waiting for a taxi. I called one to come, but that company couldn't make any promises they said. I hailed the first cab I saw after standing there about 45 minutes and he refused to take me "all the way out" to where the hotel was. I decide that was bullshit, and needed to take a break, a burrito break, the standard cap to a night of legendary drinking. So I pop into this joint named Panchero's and fight through about 3,200 students to get my burrito. I try my luck at hailing a cab again. In the entire time I stood there, only three cabs drove by. Again, I guess I was spoiled by Chicago, but honestly, is the city of E. Lansing trying to encourage D.U.I.? Finally one pulled up and I saw another group making for it, so I broke into a sprint, burrito and all. Pride be damned, I was running for a cab; I was tired and didn't care. It's after 3 by the time I hit the sack and at about 7:15 the alarm goes off - time to get ready for the tailgate. Jeff never made it to the hotel, but I assumed he was just fine.

After some directions negotiating I made it to a parking garage near the campus and met up with everyone. We began to walk towards campus and once we crossed onto the campus proper a great sound of popping went up. Apparently, on Saturday gamedays, you can drink open container on campus. Kim thrust a beer into my hands and a legendary morning began. Really, it was all one legend with a 4 hour nap in the middle. The tailgate was set up, replete with grill, two full coolers, a tv, a football, and about 50 people. Oh wait, that was only at Mike's car, the rest of "our" friends were at the adjacent 4 cars so there were about 400 people right there at our tailgate. Wake Forest might have boast 375 total in the tailgating area. Out there there were well over 150,000 people tailgating and having the time of their lives. I joined right in. It amazed me how genuinely nice everyone was. You walked past complete strangers and they gave you a high five, a smile and chanted, "Go Green!" (To which I quickly learned the response, "Go White!") We received everything from handshakes and high fives, to hugs and back rubs from complete strangers, the majority of whom were hot girls.

The tailgate was such a blast! I realized my college experience included nothing like this and had a moment of remorse. Wake Forester's were far too much into their own diva-ness to have fun of this caliber, myself likely included. I stopped drinking fairly early on, knowing I was going to have to drive back after the game. We tossed the ball around, cooked some burgers, met lots of cool people, and can I say it again? had an absolute blast!!! When we got ready to leave after the disappointing OT loss by the Spartans, we literally had people begging us to stay on for the night. The one time in my life a gorgeous girl looks me square in my face and says, "Tell me the truth. What can I do to convince you to stay?", is the one time I absolutely cannot stay (have to be back for the big St. Francis Day Fair at St. Luke's tomorrow). So, I had to settle for making a promise to return soon (I hope it'll happen but we'll see). Jeff and I made the drive back reliving the weekend the whole way. It honestly doesn't feel like only a 24 hour period - you can't have that much fun in only 24 hours, it isn't legal. I was made an honorary Spartan and I can say now with pride that I have a Big 10 favorite. Go Green! Go White!




Welcome to MSU, Ryan! Glad that you had a great time - except for the bar...but that is the college scene there...

Not that I'm doubing your sex appeal, but I'm wondering how sober that gorgeous woman was. (Not that MSU is known for lots of drunken/sex parties...) Oh, well...must have been just another nice girl welcoming you to campus! Too bad you couldn't stay to take her up on her offer...

Also - I have a new song to teach you! (And then you can sing it to Susie!)



By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:01 AM  

Does this mean you're less than welcome at Duffy's now? I seem to remember alot of memorabilia from another Michigan school floating around...

By Blogger BrotherBeal, at 7:46 AM  

You must be wanting to give Susie Shaeffer a heart attack

By Blogger The Archer of the Forest, at 9:59 PM  

GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!

I'm glad you had a good time in enemy territory, also known as, where I live now, sorry I missed you. And, I'm very glad you didn't get caught in any of that rioting that MSU has a rep for...

Oh, but - Not at ALL sorry about that loss. Ha Ha Ha. And, really, don't bother to learn Heather's song.

By Blogger Susie, at 2:47 PM  

HAILING a cab in East Lansing? Bwah ha ha ha ha!

Anyway, this is Scott, a fat MSU alumnus who enjoyed reading about your enjoyment of your trip to East Lansing. I liked the town enough to move back there for about 12 more years. The campus is the most gorgeous anywhere. Right, Heather+? :)

By Blogger Scott, at 8:38 PM  

Hi Scott,
Thanks for commenting. Yes, if this whole priesthood thing doesn't work out, I kow I can make a fortune by opening either a bar or a taxi cab company in East Lansing.


By Blogger Ryan, at 1:04 AM  

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