This past Saturday, Dan and I went to the Michigan alumni bar down in Federal Hill (a neighborhood in Baltimore that is southwest of our neighborhood, on the other side of the harbor, for those of you who are not too familiar with our fair city), to watch the Michigan-Purdue football game. We don’t have cable, so unless the games air on ABC (which they rarely do in Maryland–we’re always stuck with crappy ACC games), we have to go out somewhere to watch our team play. Per usual, it was a frustrating game to watch, but we did end up winning and, for this season at least, winning is all that matters. It doesn’t need to be pretty, we just need to get it done. It was one of those games where you exhale loudly as the clock ticks down, say thank God we didn’t blow it and then just move on with your day, safe in the knowledge that the season can’t end any worse than 7-5, which was really what you were hoping for at the beginning of the season anyway. That is what happens at the end of this kind of football game.
Unless, apparently, you’re the rest of the people in the bar that day. The minute the game ended, the television sound was cut off and that horrible song that goes shots shots shots shots shots, over and over again in between what basically amounts to just lists of drinks was blasted through the bar at full volume while some girl jumped up on the bar and proceeded to pour watermelon pucker or some other sickly sweet liquor into everybody’s open, expectant mouths. It was a scene of complete asshattery.
For starters, let’s get a little perspective people. I was there the weekend before when we beat Illinois–a team that is better than an incredibly crappy Purdue team–in triple overtime. There was no blasting of music after that game and no watermelon shots. Purdue is a terrible football team. We did not beat them handily. We had lots of turnovers. We played pretty terribly throughout that game. This was not an occasion for thumping music and standing up on the bar. The reaction to this victory was the bar equivalent of rushing the field. I mean, yay for the win, we needed that, but let’s try to be a little more discerning in what constitutes a field rushing victory.
I know I sound like a major killjoy and ultimately, I don’t really care how people choose to celebrate a win; stand up on the bar and go crazy. As long as we’re not lighting stuff on fire, the celebration is pretty reserved by college sports standards. Mostly, I’m irritated by the use of that shots song. It so perfectly epitomizes what music has become lately, especially music played in bars and clubs: assaultive. Seriously. Listening to that song is like being repeatedly smacked in the face by sound. If only music could be given a tangible, bodily structure, I would punch that song in the throat. It drives me freaking crazy. If we were to create a spectrum of mind-numbingly irritating, overplayed bar music, this stupid shots song would be on one end and Sweet Caroline would be at the other. I would name this spectrum, Reasons Why I Should Never Leave My House. And then I would take this spectrum and light it on fire, because, you know, we’ve got a football win to celebrate.