We know, we know, this is the stuff you’ve waited for all your lives. To be completely honest, this is the result of what happens when us ‘writers’ get a bit of downtime and end up hanging around on the Slack channel for too long. You’re welcome.
“Hey, Boilerman! Haven’t seen you in awhile! How’s it going? Here’s a little something for you!”
It was 2012 and Purdue had been blessed (unless you’re Morgan Burke) with a 4 PM kickoff. The weather was perfect. The tailgating lots were relatively full. I, in my proud tradition, was in the golf course, in what’s known as the D Lot. My buddies had sent me their extra tickets and I was more than happy to meet one of my friends from my days (daze) working at the Athletic Dining Hall. My reward for such generosity? A bottle of Gentlemen Jack.
Now, I enjoy whiskey. I enjoy football. I enjoy tailgating. Mix all three together and well, not so great things can happen. I shuttled back and forth between whiskey and Miller Lite for the 6 hours of tailgating prior to kickoff.
“Hey, we should probably get to the stadium.”
After the customary pre-kickoff Jagerbomb, we were off. At that point, I was feeling absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. I had switched to bottled water to begin the sobering up process and had another liter awaiting me when I made it back to my vehicle post-game. At least, that was the plan.
Now, a bit of background. At this point in time, I had lost quite a bit of weight. A combination of cross-fitish type working out and calorie counting had me down to a weight I’d not been at since I was 15. I also didn’t realize that my metabolism had skyrocketed so my body was processing the alcohol in my system quite quickly.
“Hey, man, I’m gonna hit the bathroom.” “Alright, see you in a bit.”
This is the last coherent thing I remember for the next two hours. I remember the first quarter. I remember walking to the bathroom at Ross-Ade. I don’t remember much else. I woke up in the bathroom stall sometime in the middle of the third quarter. Rather than figure out how to make it through the rest of the game, I stumbled, somehow, back to the golf course. Based on the number of people still around, the game wasn’t going well (Danny Hope’s crew got boatraced). I climbed in, cracked the window, turned on the engine, reclined back, and fell asleep.
“Hey, Boilerman, you alright?”
My buddy had managed to make his way back to my vehicle with his wife. He knocked on my window, waking me up. The game was over and the tailgate lot was less than well populated. I was still good at this point. I chugged some water, looked around with a bit of headache and realized, I was already hungover.
“Yeah, I’m good. Sorry about that.” “Hey, it happens, good to see you. Take care.”
Those were the last words my friend and I exchanged as I climbed out of the vehicle, gave him a bro-hug, and realized it was time to head home.
Now, this is where I stop. I legitimately felt fine. Outside of the headache, I wasn’t buzzed, I could walk in a straight line, and my speech wasn’t slurred (according to my buddy). I seriously thought I was fine. Looking back on it, this was an incredibly stupid decision to try and drive home.
I chugged the liter of water, climbed back into my car, threw it into drive, and made my way out along with more than a few angry Purdue faithful. I called my loving wife and informed her, I was on my way home. We small-talked for a bit before I turned onto Indiana 25 and all was well.
Now, at the time, State Road 25 was under heavy construction. They were in the process of turning the two-lane hell between Lafayette and Logansport which feels like you’re driving for hours to cover 30-ish miles into four lanes, making it a little less hellish. Due to this, most of the side roads were closed. I made the halfway point of Delphi in decent time and chugged some more water. As the lights of Delphi dimmed in my rear view mirror, my stomach made that feeling no one wants to feel.
I knew I wasn’t going to make it to Logansport. There was simply too much traffic and nowhere to pass. I found a sideroad where the Road Closed signs were back far enough to squeeze my car in and jumped out. In the glow of my headlights along that stretch of hell, all the water came back up. I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown up that much water before. I didn’t know that much water could be held in one vessel. I just thank the Almighty that I managed to find a spot to pull over and let it fly because that would’ve been a complete shitshow had it happened inside my car.
Let this be a lesson to all of you. Bad football and whiskey DO NOT MIX.