The 2012 Olympic Games were a blast, weren’t they? Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older, but I enjoyed them this year more than ever before. From opening to closing ceremonies I sat with remote in hand and a toddy at my side. The games even got the best of me at times, as I’m still nursing a bad shoulder from trying to go Aly Raisman on a makeshift living room balance beam. Unfortunately, though, the 2012 London Olympic Games officially ended Sunday night, much to the disappointment of Americans nationwide. Patriotic chubs are finally subsiding as our Olympians head back home to some semblance of normalcy. Four more years until the next summer games. That’s a brutal stretch. Our arrogance and pride, on the other hand, have only intensified as the reality of our global superiority further sets in. The games were filled with beautiful, gutsy, record-breaking, inspiring stars and stripes-donned performances, and the final results showed it: 104 total medals; 46 gold, 29 silver, 29 bronze – tops in each medal count.
One thing we’ll certainly miss is the national comradery. Something about the colors red, white and blue create an unbreakable bond among all of us, but we’re not on the same team anymore, at least in the sporting arena. Those colors are being traded in for crimson, gold, orange, purple, or any one of many other team colors. One of the catalysts for partisanship in our country is college football. The fall season is brutal. It tears us apart. The domestic division is a welcomed price to pay for many, however, and that’s because it coincides with the greatest sport of all: college football. But that national pride and Olympic spirit just won’t go away. They’re still lingering and pumping through my veins like a goddamn runaway freight train, and it’s on a collision course with the corner of 15th and Trinity in Austin, TX. That’s where I get down on game days.
I know I’m not the only one still stuck in this mindset. All this Olympic spirit is about to be unleashed onto tailgating scenes from Corvallis to Coral Gables, and in the form of hot-headed, inebriated assholes who are all convinced they’re the best washer throwers/rib smokers/beer funnellers/shit talkers on campus.
It’s now time for the lesser heralded American sportsmen to shine. The kind that take over campuses nationwide every Saturday. The kind that don’t even train for their events. The kind that are commonly in embarrassing physical condition. The kind who can’t win graciously or accept defeat proudly, and the kind who refuse to hinder their abilities with sobriety. It’s time for the 2012 Tailgating Games. Approach them with the same vigor Michael Phelps did in the pool, and express the same confidence the 2012 Dream Team did on the court. You’re not taking home any medals, but you’ll be claiming the tailgate-wide championship, so you’ll have that going for you, which is nice.
The events are almost totally comprised of partner games: washers (in ground and 3-hole), corn hole (or “bean bags,” depending on region), ladder golf, horseshoes, etc.
These events are more of an art form, really. A beer-in-hand, muscle memory art from. In all of these games, a cold one occupies our off-hand like a vital counterweight creating a perfect, familiar tailgating homeostasis. It’s as much a part of our tossing tool chest as the business hand. An empty beer, or God forbid, no beer, can completely throw off our ability. My washers team, All Three Holes, will be looking to defend our 2011 title. Any and all challengers are welcome.
Overall Medal Count Favorite
The overall medal count is to be awarded to the university that best demonstrates the most earnest devotion to tailgating. Not just in the games involved, but the total package. Similar to the Olympics, each tailgating participant is ultimately representing their school (country), fighting for tailgating supremacy. The favorites would more than likely come from the Top 10 Tailgating Destinations, and for my money, I’m going with the Bayou Bengals. They play big league ball in Baton Rouge. The food, the lay of the land, the people, the unique cultural subtleties, the average BAC: it’s all gold medal quality.
In the wake of America’s reign of Olympic terror, intense and heartfelt competition is to be expected, but when it comes to tailgating for college football, we’re all winners. And we’re just over two weeks away.
Follow me on Twitter @RogerDornTFM