(They may take our keg, but they will never take our desire to drink!)
June 4, 2011
My phone buzzed that Friday around 3:30pm while I sat in my cubicle:
USA-Spain game tomorrow. Foxboro, MA.
"Well…why the hell not," I thought, so I ran home at 5pm, packed a bag, and hopped on a train up to Connecticut to meet my friend Ricky who was stationed at the naval base in Groton. He and his Naval friends had an extra ticket to the USA-Spain soccer match the next day and needed some help emptying the keg they purchased for the tailgate. I was happy to lend a helping hand…or stomach?
A caravan of 3 cars made its way up to Massachusetts on a glorious warm blue summer day. When we finally arrived at the Gillette Stadium parking lot we set up camp. We put ice in a bucket, lifted the keg in, and tapped it. The first cup of foam hadn’t even been poured when stadium police descended on us.
"No kegs allowed in the lot, sirs" The scrawny teenager in the bright yellow SECURITY shirt told us.
"Really? We looked it up online and it didn’t say anything about no kegs" My friend stated. "We don’t mean any trouble, we just thought it was the most economical and ecological option".
"Well, I understand, but I’m going to have to report this".
Damn. We’re not there any more than 5 minutes and the Foxboro Police Department swarms our small tailgate. The Massachusetts State Police join soon thereafter.
"OK guys, you can’t have this here, we’re going to have to take this"
"But Officer," Ricky pleaded, "We’re not doing anyone any harm, there’s quite a large group of us so it’s not a problem of over consumption". He was grasping at straws. Even with the 10 or so guys we had, if we finished that keg 100% we’d all be way to smashed to drive home even after the match.
"Well, that’s just too bad. Stadium policy is no kegs in the parking lot. You’re gonna have to load this in the back of our paddy wagon". This comment was especially ironic to me - this same paddy wagon would soon be home to anyone too drunk or disorderly to get home. Throwing a keg in to the drunkard wagon seemed like a poor life choice.
Ricky played the military card - he could see his deposit on the keg going down the drain. The cops weren’t having it. We loaded the keg in the back of the wagon.
"You can pick it up tomorrow morning," the officer said.
A blow was dealt that day to the cause of drinking at tailgates, but we were determined. We tracked down a local liquor store, purchased several cubes of beer, and began the time honored tradition of creating a Wizard Staff (pictured above). The goal is to eventually drink enough beers and tape them together so that they are taller than he/she who consumes them.
USA won the match (USA! USA! USA!) and we made our way to Boston to stay with a friend since we had to wait until the next morning to pick up the keg from the Foxboro PD. The night was more eventful for some than it was for others….
The next morning, we pull in to the Foxboro Police Department station, to see several mothers chewing out their underage sons for getting arrested for drinking at the match/getting underage drinking tickets that required a court appearance (“But officer, we don’t even live in Massachusetts!” Like that will work on the judge, lady…).
"Hi officer, we’re hear to pick up our keg" we tell the front desk jockey.
"We don’t have any kegs here" He blurted out.
Ricky and I were puzzled…and fearful for our full keg.
"We loaded it in the back of one of your vans yesterday at the stadium, we were told this was the address to pick it up"
"Nope. Try the State Troopers"
So we got in the car, drove over the troopers station only to find 1 officer in the empty station.
"What? We don’t do that sort of thing. Did you try the Foxboro PD?"
Were the cops trying to pull a fast one on us? Did they maybe…drink the entire keg the night before?
We drive back to the Foxboro PD. “You have our keg, sir. It’s in your paddy wagon”
"OOOO….was it a full keg?"
We answered in the affirmative. He radios back to someone. We’re told to pull around back.
What transpired next was something I hate myself for not documenting. We pull back to a garage where two police officers pull our keg out of a van and hand delivery it to our back seat. It was a great moment of triumph - gone were the days when cops would take our kegs, never to be seen again. Now, cops hand deliver kegs to your car…for you to then drive home with.
Party on, Cops. Party on.