Last night's debut of the 2009 college football season was . . . well, how would you describe it? "Underwhelming" would be one way; South Carolina and N.C. State were collectively outscored by the Yankees-Blue Jays game going on about the same time, while the ugliness of the debut of Oregon's offense under new coach Chip Kelly was exceeded only by the ugliness of the non-sportsmanship exhibited by Duck RB LeGarrette Blount afterward. But all this was mitigated by two factors: One, it was FOOTBALL, and even shitty college football beats 90 percent of whatever else they could put on TV, and two, you drink enough and even N.C. State's offense looks good.
Yup, the start of CFB season means the drink-drinkiest time of the year is upon us, and if, like me, you spend a typical Saturday splayed out on the couch watching not only your own team's game but as many other games as you can possibly consume from the end of "College Gameday" through the WAC nightcap that closes out the day's slate, you need some kind of an alcohol game plan. As something of an expert at this, let me help you kill two birds with one stone by offering this week's +5 up as My Five Favorite Alcoholic Beverages (And The Perfect Circumstances In Which To Consume Them).
These, by the way, will all be liquor-related; I know I don't need to remind you that beer can be guzzled anytime. Why, I'm fixing to pour some on my breakfast cereal right now.
Early-afternoon pre-game pick-me-up: Kir royale
Sometimes it's too late for a mimosa but still a wee bit too early to be really pounding the bottle, so here's a light, tasty, and very classy solution: champagne and blackcurrant liqueur, a/k/a crème de cassis (though the Kir Imperial, which uses raspberry liqueur instead, is probably better known to Americans). Not only is it a particularly festive way of celebrating the blessed return of college football after a particularly long and stultifying off-season, but both the Royale and the Imperial have a reddish tint, so they're a perfect way to show your Georgia colors at a tailgate.
First-half draaankin': Maker's Mark
A fellow Dawg blogger who should remain nameless (though you probably know whom I'm talking about if you're at all acquainted with the Georgia blogosphere) has turned gameday Maker's consumption into an art form. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's the kind of rocket fuel that makes for superbly lusty early-game cheering and ref-cursing, and it's smooth enough that it requires no mixers whatsoever. (If Maker's is a little too rich for your blood, bottom-line-wise, George Dickel No. 12 makes a fine substitute.)
Second-half stretch run: Gin & tonic
Other than the iron-willed blogger I mentioned earlier, not many people can keep up a constant Maker's drip for all three and a half hours of a football game. By the time you hit the critical late drives, you may be flagging, so it might be time to bust out the Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire and ease back a little to a crisp, refreshing gin & tonic, particularly good for those early-season games that take place when it's still hot as balls outside. Depending on how intense the action on the field is, and thus how closely you need to be paying attention, you can regulate the gin/tonic balance accordingly to keep you from being too completely blotto to follow those last few plays.
Postgame celebration: Vodka martini (straight up with a twist)
This is my absolute favorite drink, the Champ Bailey of cocktails: a strong drink of not-water that conducts its business with class even while it's knocking you on your rear end. This is the celebratory beverage that says "I care too much about my team to toast their victories with Natty Light." You know that if James Bond followed college football, this is how he'd celebrate.
Last drink of the night: Bailey's on ice
As any truly talented dipso will tell you, you don't want to just shut the consumption off and go cold-turkey. You need to back off slowly before collapsing into bed and losing consciousness for the night, and here's one way to do it: Bailey's Irish creme, stout enough to count as a drink (not to mention substantial enough to qualify as dessert) but with a light enough alcohol content to bring you down gently off your preceding marathon day of boozing. Kind of the drink equivalent of that late-late-night WAC shootout you'll more than likely fall asleep in front of.
Hey Jenny Slater advises you, of course, to drink responsibly. All that said, na zdravie, delinquents. Here's the Ten:
1. BT, "Embracing the Sunshine"
2. David Holmes, "Sick City"
3. DJ Shadow, "What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 3)"
4. Divinyls, "I Touch Myself"
5. Dr. Dre, "The $20 Sack Pyramid"
6. 3rd Bass, "Sea Vessel Soliloquy"
7. U2, "If God Will Send His Angels"
8. Underworld, "Five Ft."
9. Pet Shop Boys, "Miserablism" (Electro mix)
10. The Chemical Brothers, "Life is Sweet"
It's a great day to be alive! Please feel free to expound upon your own Random Tens and/or liquid weapons of choice in the comments.