For this story, we need to go way back to the prehistoric ages of 2005. Names of every school have been redacted because about two to three times I year I daydream about abandoning the glamourous life of an accountant and go back to what I nearly became: a history teacher and football/golf coach. Can’t burn too many bridges, right?
So it’s a crisp October Friday night and I’m coaching OL at (redacted 1). Things are about to get dumb because we beat the everliving fuck out of (redacted 2) in the section finals to get to the state tournament. I mean “we’re playing Freshmen in the 4th quarter because it’s just a goddamn bloodbath” levels of ugly. Anyway, the coaches get everyone back to the school, showered, and picked up by family, then we go to a house in Bloomington and start drinking while waiting for the KARE 11 Prep Sports Extra to see who we get from Section 7 between a 1-loss (redacted 3) and a 4-5 (redacted 4) team. By the time Randy Shaver shows up on our TV, we’re in pretty rough shape when we see that (redacted 4) somehow won it, and everything gets turned to 11. Allegedly grown-ass men having races to see who could chug the most from bottles of Jack. Pounding shitty domestic light beers. Juggling shot glasses and having to do shots if you dropped one (I can’t juggle). And then at around 1 AM...my sober cab arrived. After about 15 minutes of goodbyes and more shots and me getting shit because “Benny’s mom came and got him,’ we leave and I am getting worse by the minute. We get to the intersection by Bloomington Kennedy and it’s time to evacuate. I have her pull over and then barely get the door open in time to puke for what seemed like hours. Was it the smell of the nearby Burger King? Was it the idiotic amount of alcohol I consumed? Who knows, but it felt like the Krakatoa of vomit. And my sober cab wasn’t concerned with me, just her car and if the Bloomington police officer sitting in his car at the gas station nearby was going to come introduce himself (he didn’t).
The next morning was just as blissful I had to get up to initiate the film exchange (because I was the youngest member of the staff and that’s why you keep young idiots around) and call my HS coach while spectacularly hung over to get tips because they beat (redacted 4) by 35 points in the regular season. The old bear took pity on me and only bellowed into the phone at 3⁄4 of his normal thunderous roar while I trekked across the state with a bottle of pedialyte, some coffee, and 3 VHS tapes of dubious quality (I learned how to provide the worst “acceptable” film possible from an old math teacher/QB coach that fall). It was worthwhile, because we had 2 more opportunities to celebrate like idiots that fall before losing in the title game.