A while back, my best friend from Austin called to say she was coming into to town the second weekend of September. When I checked my calendar and realized it was not only the weekend of the first home game but also my LSU football loving husband's birthday weekend, I knew the stars were aligning for the perfect party storm. Sarah had never been to a college football game let alone a LSU game, so I jumped at the chance to show off my alma mater. My husband, Matt and I were students at LSU during the late 1990's and rarely missed a home game in the student section. Seeing as we had a first-timer with us, we felt compelled to recreate some of that magic. We decided to party like it was 1999.
Unfortunately, as the parents of three small children, we were going to have to work a lot harder than we did back then to make it happen. In 1999, my student season tickets ran me about $7 a game. We would walk to the stadium from a friend's house while drinking a $6 daiquiri and depended on the kindness of strangers for the rest of our drinks. The amount of planning and money it takes to attend a game these days, or anything for that matter, could rival that of a wedding. My oldest went to my sister's house, and we called the babysitter for the twins. It took us a few weeks to find tickets, but thanks to last week's loss, we scored four in the south end zone for $100. So after a few hundred bucks for tickets and babysitting, we were well on our way to partying like it was 1999-ish.
We left at noon with a fifth of vodka and a six pack. I had planned on carrying all of this in my mom purse, but we were informed in the parking lot, thankfully, of the new stadium bag rules. Lucky for us, my husband had embraced his dadness that day and was wearing cargo shorts. If a pair of shorts that holds six beers, two water bottles, and the personal effects of three people is wrong, then I don't want Matt to be right.
After a two-mile hike and a small case of heat exhaustion, we made it to campus. Matt had drank four beers, and Sarah and I were halfway through that bottle of vodka, so we were all doing our part to reenact 1999. Tailgating was pretty light for the first home game, but we managed to meet up with a few groups. I'd like to say we were beer-ponging and keg-standing like it was 1999, but the reality was that I was playing phone tag with my 80-year-old grandparents because we were supposed to catch up with them to watch the team and the band march into the stadium. Unfortunately, I was way too drunk to be navigating a meet-up with old people on the phone, so we decided to hang out until it was time to go in.
Sarah found out that alcohol isn't sold in the stadium and started to panic. She put the water bottle of vodka in her bra and was convinced no one would notice. I finally talked her out of it by making her aware that if she wasn't allowed in the stadium, Matt and I still planned on going. I'm not sure what she was expecting to happen in there that required her to be blackout drunk, but she insisted that we chug the rest of the vodka. I'm sure other stuff happened from this point until we got to our seats but all I can visualize is this...
Thanks to the rain delay, we were able to sober up a bit and visit my grandparents at their seats. We almost missed Pregame, but we walked out into the stands right as they saluted our corner. Sarah and I attempted to pay attention to the first quarter, but Matt says it was best that we were a little out of it. Apparently, I kept asking him why no. 7, the quarterback, on Jacksonville State's team was always getting the ball, and Sarah didn't understand why the yards didn't count even when the pass was incomplete. When things picked up in the second quarter with the quarterback change, it was way easier to be a drunk fan, because it's just a lot of jumping up and cheering.
I was able to enjoy the band's touching tribute to the flood victims before my hangover started and continued for the rest of the game and the long walk back to the car. In 1999, this would not have been a problem. In fact, I would have looked forward to crashing into my bed and sleeping until Monday morning. Instead, the twins woke us up at 7 am, the four year old was grumpy from her late night sleepover, and Matt was packing to leave town for the next few days. So after partying like it was 1999 last weekend, I have to admit that I'm looking forward to sitting on the couch like it's 2016 this weekend.