Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Men Worry About

SNAP: The calm before the storm.
Back story: For Oklahoma’s first game of the year against Tulsa, a few of Lindsey’s friends showed up ninety minutes early to SNAP (the new OU bar on 14th Street), and still couldn’t find a seat. This game (Florida State) was 1000x bigger. I told them I’d show up at 5:30, by myself (kickoff was at 8:15). They all laughed. I wasn’t kidding.

Back story 2: At 5:00, my cable went out, and when I called Time Warner Cable to figure out the problem, nobody picked up. Nothing gets my blood boiling like Time Warner Cable. If you ever have ANY alternative – FiOS, DirecTV, aluminum foil – take it. Time Warner Cable will pry your heart from your chest like a linebacker forcing a fumble.

5:32: I arrive at the bar, 2 minutes late, and on edge about my cable. Not sure if you know this, Time Warner, but they play football on Sundays, too, and now I have no TV.

I’m the first one at the bar. Waitress shows me the nine tables reserved for the OU game. Tells me I can sit at any of them, then watches curiously as I sit at all of them, testing optimal viewing angles.

5:36: I choose the center table, which was my first instinct. It’s benches (instead of chairs), but it's close enough to all the surrounding TVs to watch without squinting, and there were 3-4 afternoon games I was still interested in.

5:37: Another OU fan shows up. See?? 5:30 wasn’t so early after all. We chat for a second before retreating to our tables. She says “I didn’t want to take any chances after last time.” I pretend like I was there last time and nod. Neither of us want the conversation to last any longer than it has to.

5:39: She secures a corner table. Terrible choice.

5:58: Katie, president of the OU alumni club and friend of ours, comes in and grabs a center-right table, decorating it with crimson pom-poms and other assorted OU swag. Katie is no joke.

6:07: More and more OU fans shuffle in, and Mike isn’t one of them. He promised me he’d be here by 6. How am I supposed to save 3 tables and watch 3 games at the same time? This isn’t some fancy dinner or Broadway play I don’t want to see. I care if you’re late.

6:09: A couple OU fans grab one of the tables I was hoping to save. I don’t try and stop them. I’m alone and helpless.

6:10: Waitress asks me if I want anything. Yeah, for Mike to show up. 

"OU was your REAL school, Mike, and you're taking it for granted!"

6:11: A girl sits at the other table I wanted to save, but is suspiciously interested in the Virginia Tech game. I have a hunch she went to Virginia Tech. I ask her. I’m right. She apologizes for sitting at one of the OU tables. I tell her don’t be sorry and don’t ever get up. This was the break I needed: She’ll occupy that table, and then leave when the Tech game gets out of hand. And the Hokies are up by three touchdowns.

6:12: Manager comes by and asks how many people I’m with. ‘A lot,’ I say. He asks how many ‘A lot” is. I say 20. I have no idea how many people I’m with. I just want him to go away.

6:13: I text Mike: “You better have a good excuse.”

6:17: Val arrives with Jenny. THAT A GIRL, VAL!!! I had no idea she was considering coming this early. Lindsey and her friends joke that Val’s perpetually late. Not when it counts, she isn’t! I sit Val and Jenny with the Virginia Tech girl.

6:21: Mike shows up with Chris and Shrode. You’re a real bastard, Mike, but sit down. Let’s watch some football.

6:23: Lindsey shows up, seven minutes EARLIER than she told me she would. Impressive performances from all the girls today.

6:31: It’s getting pretty crowded, and the manager asks me if he can put some “loose change” (OU fans who didn’t know anyone and weren’t here with a group) at our table. No.

6:35: I have to pee, but I worry if I get up he’ll put the loose change there anyway. I look at Lindsey. She’s stressing too.

Lindsey: My hands are dry.

6:40: Greg texts and says he'll be here at 7:15 with a few friends.
6:41: Chad says he’ll be here at 8.
6:42: Ramsey texts from Philadelphia and tells me he can't see.
6:50: Maria asks why we chose seats without backs. I don’t respond.

7:00: I reluctantly go to the bathroom, wishing I had taken the drug Lindsey works on.

7:05: Lindsey says she now has to go to the bathroom. I tell her not to linger. Maria won’t sit down, either. I ask her why she can’t just sit and stop mingling. “I’m the Vice President! I have to mingle.” Fine.

7:15. SNAP is packed. Hundreds of OU fans, and still an hour to go until gametime. Mike asks me for an offensive and defensive key to the game, and an MVP.

Landry Jones taking care of the ball, containing E.J. Manuel’s scrambling…and Me.


NC State/Cincinnati vs.... Nothing (Thurs, 8:00 ET)
Come on, College Football. Lindsey makes dinner plans and this is the best you come up with? Oh well, guess I'll be watching.
EDGE: NC State/Cincinnati

UCF/BYU vs. Going Out to Dinner (Fri, 8:00 ET)
See? Even this game would've been better.
EDGE: Going Out to Dinner

USC/Arizona St. vs. Johnnie's Birthday Party (Sat, 10:30 ET)
Me: They don't happen to have TVs at this bar, do they?
Johnnie: No.  
Me: : (
EDGE: Johnnie's Birthday Party