I Would Drive 900 Miles But I Probably Shouldn't Drive 900 More

Bulletpoints:

  • Don't drive 900 miles in a day. It's a bad idea. You will be tired. No matter how many people split up the driving, you will be tired.
  • If you do drive 900 miles in a day, plan on sleeping someplace. This place should not be your car in a Vanderbilt University parking lot intended for faculty. 
  • If it is a Vanderbilt University parking lot intended for faculty, plan on sleeping there for more than three hours. 
  • If you don't sleep more than three hours, go back to sleep, you stupid idiot.
  •  If you still don't sleep more than three hours, eat food, because you're probably going to want to drink heavily later before the football game, and being on less than three hours of sleep and drinking and only eating an egg mcmuffin might be a bad idea.
  • If you're planning on drinking heavily, holy crap, go to sleep beforehand, because you don't want toget really tired and be forced take a nap after you've started drinking about two hours before your football game.
  • If you do take a nap, you aren't continually drinking, which means you'll begin experiencing a hangover when everybody else at Vanderbilt wants to listen to really loud country music and you don't want to at all.
  • So, that being said, Vanderbilt is awesome. We started hanging out with our Vanderbilt bros at around 11. By 2, everybody had picked up their dry-cleaning and put on their seersucker suits to attend a football game. The ones that weren't wearing seersucker were rocking button-down Madras shirts and Nantucket shorts. This is one reason why Vanderbilt is awesome. We hung out all day, and as far as I can tell, the only downside to attending Vanderbilt is apparently that there are frequent tornadoes all the time. But other than that, they're all smart, have a lot of fun, have beautiful weather, and can sleep at night despite having a bad football team. That's the life. 
  • Every time I visit another school, I'm disgusted by the fact that Northwestern has a dry campus. I'm not saying this because it hinders my personal enjoyment, although it does. It just seems extremely sensible and no school that has a wet campus seems to have problems with kids dying of alcohol poisoning. Northwestern does. But if you want to think continuing to tell kids that the best way to drink is locked up inside a dorm room, trying to keep quiet scared as hell that they don't get caught, well, agree to disagree.
  • Instead, Vanderbilt can send a police car through a couple hundred kids drinking outside on a Saturday afternoon and make sure everything's okay. I'm sad that I'll never be able to play a game involving hitting a beer can off of a pole with a frisbee again after Saturday in public at Northwestern. Pinkberry set up a free yogurt station in the quads, so they could serve drunken college kids free frozen yogurt. I don't see why this isn't the case everywhere in the world.
  • So, after all that, I decided to take a nap before the game, because I hadn't gone to sleep for a significant amount of time yet. If you're doing this two hours before a football game you want to see, this is a bad idea. If both of your friends also decide to do this two hours before a football game you really want to see, this is an especially bad idea. Everybody at Vanderbilt assured us that attending the game was the least important part of tailgating - after all, they claimed to have the best tailgates in the SEC (besides Ole Miss, which was of course followed by an inevitable "at least we didn't lose to Jacksonville State" comment) but we were determined to go. Yeah, our tickets were only four bucks. But we'd driven a long way.
  • Needless to say, we woke up at 7:15, looked around, and were confused. You probably thought I went to Nashville to give you in-depth commentary of the game. Well, did Hunter S. Thompson go to Louisville to give good commentary on the Kentucky Derby? I didn't think so. (What? I'm not as good at writing as him? And he didn't frequently post for the entire summer about the Kentucky Derby's offensive line and other tedious stuff? Oh. That explains that.) So that's why I didn't see the first 18 minutes of the game until today.
  • Apparently, if you look like horrible things have happened to you, Vanderbilt's ticket-taking people are allowed to ask you if you feel good enough to go into the game. I was offended.
  • Fun things to chant at a Vandy/NU game "U-S!" "NEWS-AND-WORLD-REPORT!" "U-S! "NEWS-AND-WORLD-REPORT!" Catchy.
  • Apparently, Vandy does this thing where all the freshmen run out on the field. From our poll of kids we talked to there, most students don't remember doing this, for obvious reasons.
  • There were a ridiculous amount of NU people there. Probably 2-3000, which is a big deal considering there's only about 20,000 at your average NU game. We began noticing this in the morning at a McDonalds, when we walked in and there were about 12 other Northwestern fans, and as we drove around Nashville, we kept seeing purple clad families. A bunch even stopped by our pinkberry sponsored tailgate to yell stuff at us. Amazing turnout. Vandy also had great turnout - full stadium, great atmosphere.
  • We had a few great opposing comments. The first came in McDonalds at 9 am, when an elderly man with a thick southern accent - the first one we encountered on the trip - walked over to my friend while he was waiting on line and said "why, you boys sure drove a long way to get your fannies kicked!" and just went on with the rest of his breakfast. 
  • The next heavily-accented comment came when we were walking down the street after the game and someone behind us outside the stadium yelled "hey, this is a bad neighborhood to be wearing that gay-ass purple, boys." He went on to comment on each of our appearances. I told him that while being gay is one thing, (and a perfectly acceptable one, you know, in the north), I'd take it any day over being a fan of a losing football team. My friend just said "sir, that's quite the funny accent you have" and kept on walking. 
  • But by far the best came while we were casually hanging out with the kids we were staying with at Vandy, talking about the various aspects of our respective schools. Girls, classes, sports, you know, just comparing. And we got to talking about basketball. And he was talking about how good Vandy was, and one of us said something jokingly along the lines of how Northwestern had never made the tournament. And he looked confused. And he kept talking, and then he paused, and looked at us and said, "wait... you guys have made the tournament at some point, right?" And we told him the truth. And he looked so genuinely sad for us. It was hilarious.
  • We had a lot of cool plans of stuff we were going to do Sunday/Monday. But we ended up being really tired, having not realized that 900 is a lot of miles. So we ate some barbecue in downtown Nashville and headed home. (Rippy's BBQ, by the way, is awesome.) Which is why I don't feel like death right now.
  • So let's recap the things I said I'd do at the beginning of the trip:
  • Waffle House: didn't get to one. Not even a Huddle House. It's cool, we ate damn well, and generally stuff I can't get to in NYC, such as Cici's Pizza. The McMuffin was the exception to the rule. 
  • Jack Daniels: didn't have any. Didn't need any. Didn't go to Lynchburg because we realized they don't give free samples because it's a dry county and because we didn't want to add an extra road trip to our "holy crap we need to get back to New York" sprint.
  • Southern food: no grits or fried chicken, but we had good Nashville barbecue. I'll settle.
  • No scenes from the movie Deliverance: I stayed within 10 miles of the speed limit the whole way for fear that xenophobic southern cops would kill one of my friends and then force me to squeal like a pig.
  • Spend under $100 bucks: didn't even come close after shaving half a day off the trip.
  • Don't die: Sorry, folks, I'm still here. 
  • If I can leave you with one thing, it's a song. In Nashville, we decided to ditch our iPods and listen to good ol' terrestrial radio. And one of the songs that came on is apparently the No. 1 country song in these here United States of America, so, with no further ado, here's Billy Currington:


So that's all I feel like mentioning. If you ever have a chance to drive 1800 miles in three days with some good friends of yours for a really meaningless purpose to eat frozen yogurt while playing frisbee related drinking games on a front lawn with dudes in seersucker, take it. Even if you don't write a blog.

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