Friday morning I had my car packed and ready; I practically had it sitting outside my classroom building with the door open and the engine running. As soon as I finished a final, I was off for the Windy City. I put the iPod on the Country playlist (old school country, none of this faux-country crap) and I made it to downtown Chicago in excellent time. I was staying at the same hotel as Mr. Deadspin himself (I know! It’s like staying at the same hotel as The Beatles!), so we cabbed it out to Schaller’s Pump together around 2:00 pm. Also, I need to be upfront about this on the front page of the article: Will, I’m sorry I’ve been pronouncing your name wrong all this time. You’re right, it’s like the blood-sucking parasite. I looked it up: it’s Scottish, not German. Sorry Will.
Update: We now have video of Raskolnikov’s performance of the night and Goathair’s awesome rendition of “Hey Ya.” Will Leitch’s (Leech) video is over at DeadOn.
Anyway, it turns out Schaller’s Pump is a total dive bar. However, all we needed was a place that served beer. Will and I immediately met Jim (Raskolnikov) and Sachin (jwalton), as we all arrived together, and as soon as we went inside PeteJayHawk, Pants Party Planner Extraordinaire, was sitting at the bar. In the corner, we grabbed a nice round table that is supposed to seat 6. Heh heh. By the time we left for the game, it was “seating” 13.
Within the next hour or so, we added Trey (Goathair), Adrian (HipHopNerd), JB (JB*), Dennis (Tuffy), Justin (AnalRapist), Michael (MDS), Paul (PurduePaul), Matt (Suss), Geoff (the Bad One) and (finally) Matt (289). He and his giant camera eventually did crawl out of bed and meet up with us. It was quite a motley crew, but I have to say that everyone was extremely nice, charming and totally not “creepy guy from the internet.” So, good job guys!
Sachin, Trey, Jim and JB.
Quick story: turns out AnalRapist is not a large black man, as I have been thinking for months now. Awhile back, I mentioned my alma mater, Truman State, on Deadspin and AR said that his brother played football for TSU. I said well I worked for the football team for two years as videographer, so I imagine we know each other. AR didn’t want to say his name on DS, so he described him as a RB from Chicago who graduated in 2002 (or 2003, I can’t remember right now). That led me to believe that the brother was a RB named Mike, who is a large black man from Chicago. Turns out, AR’s brother is Brian, a white Italian from Chicago. So when AR sat down at our table and wanted me to guess who he was, I had no idea. And when he said “AnalRapist,” apparently I got a very strange look on my face. AR and I had a good laugh about it later.
Adrian, Justin and me. Analrapist? (middle)
Not, in fact, a large black man.
We left Schaller’s around 5:00 pm and walked the mile to the stadium, then got into the “patio” area. It turns out the patio is more like a high school cafeteria (thanks for that one, Raskolnikov), but the beer, wine and food were free, so we didn’t care. Yinka Double Dare, Mrs. Yinka, Fornelli and Yostal all met up with us at the patio, so our group was steadily growing. And yes, I had noticed that no other women were there. Pete, I was promised other women!
At one point, Will, Pete, Fornelli and Purdue Paul were lucky (lucky?) enough to be present for the parade of dogs as they went to their seats. It was Bring Your Dog to the Park night. It was incredible, I’ve never seen so many. There were a few that I think I could saddle and ride and I swear to god, one of them was not a dog and was, in fact, a bear.
We managed to corral the gang in time to get to our seats for the bottom of the 3rd inning. Pete thinks we missed our Deadspin shout-out on the jumbotron, which is very sad. Maybe he’ll reveal the secret message in the comments. We managed to have seats right next to two rows of frat guys that were there together, so that was “fun.” They actually turned out to be pretty entertaining, but they were giant turds at first. The game was fine, but I don’t think anybody paid too much attention to it. We all just hung out, enjoying each other’s company. I could not get over how great everybody was. Not that I thought they wouldn’t be great, but I kept waiting for That Guy to emerge. The guy who got too drunk and was a jerk or the guy who thought he was too cool for school. But everybody was incredibly fun and chill.
Sachin and Pete, chillin’ out max
Matt, me and Trey. Everybody leeeean back.
I flitted around during the game, sitting with different people and then poof, the game was over at like 9:40. Crazy. So, we all walked back to Schaller’s to pick up people’s cars. While we waited, there was an old man and a keyboard inside the bar to keep us entertained. The barmaid also tried to find the Warriors/Jazz game for us and we ended up watching about 10 minutes of Addams Family Values. Sweet.
Finally, we had a plan in place, though. And then the real awesomeness of the night began. Tuffy directed us all to a bar called the Pontiac Cafe. We piled into cars, with AnalRapist riding in the way-back or “trunk” of Trey’s SUV. That seems appropriate. 30 minutes later we were at the bar, where they were having LIVE BAND KARAOKE! Outstanding.
At first, the band wasn’t set up yet and we were kind of milling around. I started to worry that people would get bored and go home. But eventually the band got it going and the first 5 or 6 songs were great (non-Deadspinners, though). However, the first DSpinner to sing was yours truly. It brought chants of USA from the DS guys (which is weird cause I’m Canadian) and it also brought them down to the dance floor area. WOO! (Oh, I did “Goodbye to You” by Scandal. There is video evidence and I am posting it here, in the hopes that some of the other guys will buck up and post their videos somewhere).
Will was up next with The Misfits’ “Last Caress.” It was…..a little scary. He screamed a lot and jumped into the crowd at one point. But I think once the fearless leader showed his stuff, it got everybody else motivated.
Tuffy brought it down for a bit with “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
Yinka “Billy Idol” Double Dare ruled the school with “White Wedding.”
Then we come to the performances of Raskolnikov and Goathair. Raskol did The Hives’ “Hate to Say I Told You So” and I believe I told him afterwards that it was awesome and terrifying. He was shaking and slamming around and screaming and I think I watched the entire performance with my hands up by my face, saying, “Oh my god” over and over again.
He may look all cute and innocent, but he is not.
Goathair followed that with an OUTSTANDING version of “Hey Ya.” Dude can shake it like a polaroid, I’ll tell ya that much. He tried to dance with the female guitarist, but she really wasn’t having any of it. (Sorry Trey, you’ll have to settle for dancing with me during “Back on the Chain Gang”).
That little popped hip? There was much of that happening
Yostal and Suss brought it home with “Desire” and “Too Much Time on My Hands,” respectively. All in all, we had a very good showing at the Pontiac Cafe. I’m sorry for the guys who didn’t get to sing, but if we ever go back, you’re up first.
After the bar closed down, the group dwindled. 10 of us (myself, Will, Trey, Jim, Dennis, Sachin, 289 Matt, JB, Pete and Adrian) headed for the Hollywood Grill, which I was led to believe was a bar. The walk was kind of long and I kept teasing 289 about being short and he kept grabbing my ass.
That 289, what a pimp.
Alas, it was a diner and it did not serve alcohol, so that’s when some of us called it a night. I believe Sachin, Dennis, Trey, Will and I all took off for home. I have no idea what the other 5 ended up doing, but I have seen them all comment on Deadspin since then, so I know they are all alive and well and not in a gutter somewhere. My only regret of the entire weekend is that I did not take a picture of the 10 of us before we grabbed a cab back downtown. This is my group picture from earlier at Schaller’s, right before we left for the game:
Raskol called this the ultimate “yes, no, no, yes, no” picture
Overall, it was an amazing night. All the way back to the hotel Will and I kept talking about how much our expectations were totally blown out of the water. All the guys were cute, sweet, hilarious and kind. I thank all of them for a great time. This post can’t even do the Pants Party justice because how do you convey the humor of the cellophane-packaged rolls? The Mirrored Aviator Shades frat guy? How awesome the band was, especially the drummer? Taylor Hicks singing “Teenage Wasteland?” Anyway, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for an amazing time.