A week ago on Thursday night I drank Natty Light and it sucked. The Cavs won, Kyrie dropped 57 and I drank beer made for 18 year old high schoolers. It took me back to the years of drinking in my friend’s basement while his parents are out of town for the weekend. It was gross. It was awesome. It brought back memories. Loved and hated every second of it. If you’re unfamiliar with our Cavaliers Drinking Game, I suggest you enlighten yourself and read up on it STAT.
It was Thursday March 12th at around 7 pm. I was feeling good. Jordan Cameron had just signed a 2 year deal with the Browns, the weather was warmer than 30 degrees, and I was on my way to the gym (it’s almost beach season, gotta burn off the Whoppers and Doritos Locos Tacos). The Cavs were about to play the Spurs on national TV and I had just gotten done putting together a photo gallery of Tim Duncan’s girlfriend (total smoke btw, ol Timmy out kicked his coverage big time, go view the gallery here). My roommate texted me on the way to the gym:
Welp. One of my favorite Browns (who apparently just signed a deal with them an hour before this) was heading to South Beach to play with Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins. Fuck everything. Cleveland lost a good player and got a lot less sexy in the process with the departure of Jordan Cameron. There’s about a -150 chance Jordan gets with Lauren Tannehill but that’s neither here nor there.
What was I going to do? How was I going to cope with this loss? I decided I’d do what every man in their mid 20’s would do… Drink a fuck ton of alcohol until I couldn’t feel my feelings. Yep, that’s what I’d do to forget the emotional coup that I, along with many Browns fans, just experienced.
I’d put my money where my mouth was and play the Cavs Drinking Game that was created by this site about a month earlier. Ya know, do some Gonzo journalism and experience the drinking game firsthand. Dive head first into the game and see what where it would take me. Just like Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Ever heard of it? It was then decided I’d be drinking the nectar of the Gods, the real Champagne of Beers- Natural Light.
Why did I choose Natty Light? I don’t know, maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. Maybe I like to make shitty situations even shittier. Maybe I was missing college and wanted to create a Thirsty Thursday atmosphere. Whatever it was it was a dumb choice but I’m happy I did it.
I tried to keep a running blog in Microsoft Word but that didn’t go so well:
Luckily, instead of documenting my experience through words, I kept track through pictures:
30 rack of Natty Light. We’re back in college for a night, baby!
Dog is not impressed by the choice of beer
Halftime snacks- mini pizzas. Ate 4 of ’em.
“Mike you’re a dumb fuck. Drink real beer you Nancy boy”
Pretty over-dramatic tweet here. As you can see I was rattled
Decent pace. Dog still hates Natty
Really bittersweet shot here
Didn’t throw up. Got hungry instead
The final body count
How do you cap off a night of drinking? With cardboard, salt, and broth, duh. Ramen’s still got it no matter how old you get. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
My Utopia: Sitting on a recliner, drunk, slurping up Ramen noodles in my underwear
Analysis and Recap:
Was I expecting to down a 12 pack during a routine regular season basketball game? No, not really. I didn’t think the drinking would be as aggressive as it was. It seemed like every minute or two something was happening and I was gulping down Natural Light. I was expecting more of casual sipping than having to chug a can of beer beside my dog at 11:30 pm on a Thursday night. It didn’t help that this was probably the worst game ever to pick. I felt myself slowing down in the middle of the third quarter but I couldn’t quit. As I sat there bloated from mini pizzas and shitty beer all I could think of was the Herb Brooks speech from Miracle: “Screw ’em, this is YOUR time”
FPF: Focus Passion Finish
The 4th quarter came around and I felt myself getting stronger with every Kyrie Irving made basket and every defensive stop. In the back of my head I KNEW the game was heading to overtime but I wasn’t sure if I would make it there myself. Stomach was full, eyes were heavy. I was beginning to dread every time the Cavs would do something good on the court.
When Kyrie hit that shot to send the game into overtime I shot out of my recliner but quickly realized what was about to happen. 5 gulps for a buzzer beater. “Finish your beer” if the game goes to overtime. I’d be doing both. Fuck. The beer I had in front of me was only about 20% full so the 5 gulps would be easy to do… but that meant I’d be finishing a full beer during the commercial break leading into overtime.
My eyes watered. Gagged about 4 times. Face was red and sweaty. It looked as though I had just spent an hour alone in a small room with Ahtyba Rubin. But I got the beer down and kept it down. It was valiant. It was courageous.
After the game ended and the Cavs won I rushed to the kitchen, got 2 packages of Chicken Ramen noodles and threw them in the microwave. I thought back to my Mount Union days: NOTHING quenches a Natty Light buzz better than hot bowl of microwaved Ramen.
Am I a hero for playing the Cavs drinking game? I don’t know, that term gets thrown around a little too loosely, but what I did was absolutely 100% heroic. A lesser man would’ve been brought to tears and folded… but not I.
I came. I saw. I slugged Natty Light, ate mini pizzas, and guzzled Ramen. I conquered.