When it comes to sports, I am here to tackle the tough issues. Performance Enhancing Drugs, labor disputes, athlete paychecks, beer. That’s right: BEER.
And no, I’m not just talking about how expensive it is ($9.50 at 49ers’ games) or how you'd better hurry up and get your fill before they cut sales off (7th inning, end of the 3rd quarter, etc.). What I’m talking about is that moment when you realize that you’re holding a beer in one hand, but you also want to:
- Use your binoculars.
- Take a picture.
- Zip up your sweatshirt, etc.
- Jump up and down without spilling.
- Take the high five to a whole new level with a high 10.
There are really only a few options for navigating around this tricky situation if you’re unlucky enough to be in a stadium without cup holders. You can put your beer down on the ground, tuck it carefully into the crook of your arm, or ask the person you came with to hold it for a second. Each of these solutions, however, comes with potential problems.
Beer on Ground:
It brings me too much pain and sorrow to think about the number of beers I’ve lost because someone accidentally kicked them over during the frenzy following a touchdown. There’s nothing worse than celebrating a big play only to look down and see a puddle of YOUR beer rapidly spreading across the ground. I know what you’re thinking: put the cap on the bottle. Unfortunately, most stadiums don’t allow this as a capped beer is a potential “weapon.” It’s just a risk in life you have to take and sometimes you end up crying over spilled beer.
Beer in Crook of Arm:
This one takes practice and is really only recommended for experienced beer drinkers. A beer in your arm crook gives you the freedom to applaud, whistle, zip things up, eat a hot dog, whatever. However, it also comes with great responsibility, as it is imperative that you never forget about it. One wrong arm movement and that beer will go tumbling to the ground and be lost to you forever. FOREVER. I recommend practicing this move while not doing other things to start off with and slowly working your way up to multi-tasking. Unless you’re one of those geniuses who can pat her head and rub her tummy at the same time. In which case, you’re all set.
Asking a Friend to Hold Your Beer:
This is only permitted for tasks that will take a few seconds: snapping a pic, putting on a sweatshirt, getting something out of your bag, etc. Clearly, it would be incredibly rude to ask your friend to hold your beer while you high five everyone in your section to celebrate the home run or interception. However, this is a viable option for quick tasks and most people who’ve gone with you to a game will be happy to oblige. (I like to take a sip or three of their beverage while I’m holding it as my payment.)
For most quick tasks, this is actually the easiest choice. Just hand your beer to the person sitting next to you, take a pic, and have him hand it back. Voila. It’s such a simple solution that you might not even realize it comes with serious dangers -- consequences that could, in fact, get you booted from the game. After all, what if the person sitting next to you is your 15-year-old son?
I think almost any rational human would see no problem in asking his teenage son to hold his beer for one second while he took a picture. Alas, that thinking would be wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Unfortunately, one Arizona Cardinals season-ticket holder had to learn this the hard way.
This happened a while ago, but since there are still lots of football games left in the season, it's worth bringing up. A month or so ago, John Coulter took his son to the Cardinals preseason game against the Cowboys. At one point, he handed his son his beer so that he could take a picture. Within moments, two undercover cops swooped in and told him he could be arrested.
Coulter, like any normal citizen, thought he was on Candid Camera. Instead, he and his son were escorted out of the game with a warning. “Providing” alcohol to an underage person is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The offender can receive up to two years in jail, three years probation, and a $2,500 fine. Or they can just be kicked out of the game they paid hundreds of dollars to attend. (Sad fact: season ticket holders have to pay full price for preseason games, despite the fact that tickets can often be found for $20.)
I’m a pretty rational person, and even though I was lucky enough to be able to “buy up” (do the kids still call it that?) when I was underage because I lived in places like SF and New York, I get that adults shouldn’t give kids alcohol -- unless it’s a glass of wine at home, or whatever. Not that my mom ever gave me that. Meanie.
But to kick a father and son out because the dad asked his son to hold his beer for a second? Are you kidding me? It’s not like the son even sneaked a sip. He simply held the beer for eight seconds and then handed the beer back to his dad when the dad’s hands were free again.
I get that the police officers were just doing their job. But in a day and age where we can’t even bring opaque bags into an NFL stadium because of terrorism and violence, it seems like maybe they’d have better things to do than waste their time on something clearly and completely innocuous. Or maybe that’s the “benefit” of everyone carrying see-through bags. Now they have time to waste…
What do you think? Should the dad have been kicked out of the stadium? Would you ever hand your drink to a minor to hold for a second? Let's discuss in the comments.