Preakness is perfect for those who measure fun by the pint

March 29, 2010|By Kevin Cowherd

Remember the good ol' Preakness tradition of getting so hammered you can't see and staggering around the infield starting fights and making lewd remarks to women?

Well, guess what?

It's back!

Yep, apparently the Maryland Jockey Club's decision last year to ban outside alcoholic beverages at Pimlico Race Course was too much of a downer.

Attendance at the Preakness dropped nearly 35,000. The infield was so empty you could land 747s there.

Sure, track officials brought in the big-name rock group ZZ Top to perform.

And there were a bikini contest, pro beach volleyball, simulated sumo wrestling and other gimmicky forms of entertainment.

Still, it just wasn't the same without an army of howling drunks out there, was it?

But this year - ta-daaa! - it's party time again.

Get this: Race officials are cutting the cost of admission and letting you pay $20 for 16-ounce mugs of beer with - here comes the good part - unlimited refills!

Yes, I said unlimited!

Now if you want to drink 10 or 15 or 20 beers and stumble around until you pass out - hey, no problem.

Now if you want to wake up caked in mud or sunburned, with your head throbbing and a cop slapping a pair of handcuffs on you, the Preakness is the place to be.

Baltimore's Biggest Frat Party is back, baby!

Why, I bet this new all-you-can-drink deal even revives the infamous "Running of the Urinals."

Remember that classy event?

People running across the tops of the portable potties while those on the ground threw full cans of beer at them?

Now that's entertainment!

Or maybe we'll even see a repeat of that legendary incident in 1999, when a glassy-eyed fan jumped the infield fence, ran onto the track during a race and tried to punch a horse.

Oh, to be honest, the rest of us get a little nervous when the day is over and you guys and gals stumble out to your cars for the ride home.

Some of us are even under the quaint notion that climbing behind the wheel with half the contents of a brewery sloshing around in your gut might be, well, unsafe. Think you might want to consider a designated driver?

But, hey, the important thing is that you're having a good time, right?

And who can enjoy a day at the races without getting tanked up?

Now, I hope what I'm about to say next doesn't hurt your feelings or anything.

But some of us thought last year's ban on bringing alcohol to the infield was a good thing.

See, some of us thought things in the infield were getting out of hand.

We thought it was bad for the image of the Preakness to have thousands of drunks milling about, brawling and stripping and engaging in all sorts of raunchy shenanigans.

So now we think the Maryland Jockey Club pretty much caved in to you yahoos with this new all-you-can-drink policy.

And we think it's a big mistake.

I know, I know ... are we a bunch of killjoys or what?

Anyway, none of that matters now. Because with 10 bucks off the admission price and unlimited beer, the good times are back, right?

Sure, maybe it's not as convenient as taking in your own stash of Bud Light 30-packs and cases of Miller and Natural Light.

But to get blotto now, all you have to do is rise unsteadily to your feet, lurch over to the beer man with your mug and say: "Hit me again, brother."

And you can do it as many times as you like.

Is this a great country or what?

You think they're having this kind of fun anywhere else in the world?

Not a chance.

Listen to Kevin Cowherd on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with Jerry Coleman on Fox 1370 AM Sports.

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