Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"There are sober kids all over who don't get Guinness on St. Paddy's Day"

[This is a long post.  Feel free to not read, but at least look at the pictures, they're a pain to post.  Also, there was a video but because facebook is bad, it didn't work and I erased it]

The last two or three days have completely kicked my ass.  That river is wider.  I really need some cheering up.  Since How I Met Your Mother is for some reason not working, I am going to move on to my next two favorite things...beer and Irish.  I'm gonna spend some time going through St. Patrick's Day (fuzzy) memory lane.

It all started as a young'n in college at SUNY Albany where the St. Patrick's Day tradition was Kegs 'n Eggs.  Which meant wake up at 6 am and start drinking immediately.  The entire University takes part, each bar has a breakfast party, each house has an afternoon Beer-BQ and it's just a general messy affair.  But as 18-21 year olds...it was glorious.

My Senior year was the greatest St. Patrick's Day of my life.  In fact, that was the greatest two weeks of my life...March 3-18, 2006.  It began the weekend of the 3rd when my closest college friend invited about 12 of his friends from home to visit and spend the weekend.  I basically lived at that apartment.  What resulted was a 48 hour long party, which was incredible.  Just, so much fun.

The following weekend was the America East Conference championship game.  Albany (us) vs. Vermont.  I remember being at Washington Tavern that Friday night and people were discussing possibly showing up Saturday night around 10pm to camp out for tickets to the game.  You see, Albany had never been to the NCAA tournament before...but we were the favorites this time to win the conference.

The following morning me and three or four of my buddies headed to the gym to play some basketball.  The ball somehow ended up going out an open door towards the football field.  When I ran outside to grab it I saw 4 or 5 tents already set up...it was about noon.  I walked inside and told everyone to get in the car we were going to Wal-Mart.  We were back a half hour later and set up our tent...tenth in line.  By midnight that night there were about two thousand people there and probably around 300 tents set up.

You put two thousand college students in tents with the prospect of a big sporting event the next day, you have a party.  Each tent had a cooler.  Every hundred feet or so there was another stereo set up with a group of people dancing.  There were chants of "not a real state" - of course, about Vermont - going on all through the night.  The security guards were sharing in the beers.  Everyone even behaved themselves.

The next day I was first in line to get into the arena and me and the friends were there 2 hours early sitting in the fourth row behind the hoop.  Several thousand people (small arena) chanting "not a real state" and when the dean told us to be respectful, we chanted "we respect you".   And then we won and got to rush the court. Some of you may have gone to big schools where big sports happen and this may not seem like a big deal.  But to a die-hard sports fan who once signed up for SUNY was resigned to never rushing a court/field, it was one of the greatest moments of my life.  I have something in my eyes right now just thinking about it.

Then, the following week me and all my friends were able to attend the NCAA tourney game against UConn in Philadelphia.  It was St. Patrick's Day.  We arrived early and spent a couple hours in McFaddens Philly before going into the arena.  We were the 16 seed playing the 1 seed. We were winning by 11 points with 11:23 left on the clock.  This would quite literally be the greatest upset in major American sports.  A 16 seed has never defeated a 1 seed.  We lost by 13.  I still have nightmares about Rudy Gay.

Then we moved on from college and St. Patrick's Day moved to New York City.  The day begins at around 9, we have our morning bombs and don't speak to each other until we do.  In 2007 we were wondering why St. Patrick's Day isn't treated as Christmas is...so we decided to make it like Christmas. We wrapped "presents" woke up and opened them.  My friend Dan (6'4", 250) surprised us with a grown-man onesie.  

St. Patrick's Day has always been my favorite holiday.  All of NYC gets together for one purpose and all of my friends usually make it.  I've shown people their first real St. Patrick's Days and I've shared several with some of my best friends.  Below are some of my favorite St. Patrick's Day memories. Some are embarrassing.  Some are funny. Some are just special.  All make me smile.

2007 - My Fav. St. P's pic of me

2005 - Night Pong
2006 - at the Tourney
2010 - Shutup
2008 - Where's Timbo?
2009 - They be short
2010 - Why?  How do you roll?
2007 - I'm 6'1", he's 6"3 - I could see the parade
2009 - I'm an idiot
2008 - Irish and English getting along
2007 - Parade
2008 - Stop interrupting our bombs
2010 - Hate the game.
2008 - Bombing
2006 - Yup.  St. Patrick's Day