I'm letting you in on a little secret I picked up going to college football games: some of the people there don't even like football. See, while the practice of enjoying an adult beverage or two before a live sporting event is time honored tradition, kids these days have turned tailgating into an art form, complete with insane grill spreads, an endless supply of beer, and drinking games with rules a lot more complex than Spanish 101. Yes, the modern tailgate is a thing of beauty, the closest we can get to mimicking a drunken Roman bacchanal, at least until President Bachmann re-opens the Fighting Pits in 2014. So why are those big fat jerks at the Rose Bowl cracking down with a whole bunch of party-destroying rules?
Well, a guy did get stabbed in the face. So, yeah.
From the Pasadena Star-News:
"Eight months after two men were stabbed in a parking lot before a USC-UCLA football game, Rose Bowl officials approved tailgating guidelines Thursday for all major events.
The rules, approved by the Rose Bowl Operating Company Board, are designed to provide 'a safe, family friendly and clean environment for fans' during pre-game tailgating activities, officials said."
So what, exactly, do these new rules change? For starters, they've banned all "[p]laying of games that involve the consumption of alcohol or use of alcohol-related paraphernalia," so kiss goodbye to your beer pong, flip cup, funneling, gin buckets, double-straw beer helmets, shotgunning, and Das Boot. They're opening the parking lots two hours later on gameday, cutting out some extra drinky time, and once the game starts, drinking alcohol anywhere in the parking lot will be a strict no-no. So to enforce these rules, which will carry penalties of possible arrest, fine, or being banned from the game itself, Rose Bowl officials are creating a mini-army of "tailgating ambassadors," who will ride bikes up and down the parking lot narc'ing on bros who don't follow the law. If Vegas will take odds on "a tailgating ambassador is going to get punched in the face," make that bet immediately.
[Photo via] If we're going to play a little drunken Devil's Advocate here, tailgating and football are intertwined activities and time-honored traditions. Surely there's a middle-ground solution that could keep our precious children from being exposed to fratboy nonsense (alcohol-free 'family sections'?) but still allow me to play a stupid drinking game if I want to? Nobody deserves to be stabbed, but filing a $25 million claim that the city "deliberately decreased security in an area creating a dangerous condition on public property which caused or allowed the attack causing injury," as the guy who got stabbed in the USC-UCLA brawl did, is kind of overlooking the level of personal responsibility that someone who was a participant in a drunken brawl might want to own up to, no?
Another good suggestion? Instead of outlawing beer pong, outlaw knives. That way, nobody can get stabbed. Just a thought.