In the case of Nevada football game attendees, the game has been modified: Every time the team suits up, chug a keg — or two.
This new and utterly disappointing game was demonstrated in all its glory Friday night when the University of Nevada, Reno’s Wolf Pack took to the field to whoop the California Golden Bears’ behinds.
Sure, it was a good game and a stunning victory for the Pack, who cannot often bask in the glory of beating a nationally ranked team. However, the behavior of Nevada fans might have hit a low point only comparable to the annual rivalry game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Before the game even started, fans were stumbling into the stadium and even fighting ticket takers and security guards who asked them to leave alcohol outside the gates. The best study in human behavior comes when said fans must sit next to someone rooting for the other team. I’ll let you paint the not-so-pretty picture.
UNR has taken actions to curtail excessive drinking at its home games, including not allowing people to buy more than one drink at a time and ending alcohol purchases at the end of halftime. I am beginning to wonder, however, how much it has helped end the absurd number of aggressive incidents at Mackay Stadium.
On Friday night, there were more than enough alcohol-induced fist fights to go around, students vomiting in the stands and plenty of people being escorted out. All of whom continued to stumble, with little doubt in my mind, to their vehicles and drive home.
What is disappointing is the fact that people seem incapable of even attending a college football game without getting drunk. The excuse I heard more often than not when I attended UNR was that if you’re drunk, watching the Pack lose didn’t hurt as much. I wonder if the hangover the next morning did?
However, that excuse no longer applies. The Pack is doing well this year. As always the team needs more than a little work before it can play football with the big boys (translate: Learn to play defense!) but the team is coming together and kicking ass.
Let’s face it: Nevada’s population is saturated with people over the legal limit for more than the majority of the day. There has been a deplorable increase in DUI cases, often featured in big newsprint about intoxicated parents with children in the car or alcohol-induced crime (e.g., stabbing at Oski’s about two months ago). Amazingly, it doesn’t seem to be a behavior that people want to stop.
What could be a family-friendly night out at a football game has become a dangerous game of avoid the drunk. So, UNR, what’s your game plan? Because the current strategy is receiving a failing grade.
Cortney Maddock is reporter for the Sparks Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.