For Preakness newbies, Infield not as legendary as expected

May 21, 2011|By Matt Vensel

The Infield shenanigans at the Preakness are legendary -- and they were years before Kegasus came along with his whole “Be legendary” spiel -- but for young newcomers who came to Pimlico today to see yahoos running on porta-potties or drunks playing dodgeball with full beer cans, the Infield is much tamer than expected. Score one for the Maryland Jockey Club, which has succeeded in cleaning up the Infield.

“I saw pictures and videos online and it looked like an [expletive] [freak] show, but it’s a lot calmer and a lot nicer than I expected,” said Mike Snyder, a Pittsburgh resident. “Granted, people are still messed up and I’m halfway there myself, but I like this much better than what I saw in the photos.”

I ventured over to a group of porta-potties to see what security was doing to prevent the reincarnation of the “Running of the Urinals” and there was at least a dozen security guards hovering 10 yards away.

Yes, I sought out the urinals.

Yes, I know I’m creepy.

Megan Rhodes, a Richmond resident who just graduated from Roanoke Colleage, came up to Baltimore for the weekend with a bunch of college friends to attend Preakness for the first time. She said that she has seen plenty of drunk people, but nothing extreme. The Infield was tamer than she expected.

“I heard about the urinal running or whatever,” she said, “but I haven’t seen anything too wild.”

Tim Deegan, who is from New Jersey, said that “it’s the older crowd that has been really drunk.”

“We saw a few old guys passed out on the lawn,” he said.

His buddy, Matt Bober, agreed. But that doesn’t mean he is disappointed.

“I feel like it’s tamer than I thought,” the Virginia native said. “We knew going into it that it’s not the Kentucky Derby. It’s been fun. The mug club has been great -- no lines whatsoever. If you’re 21, it’s awesome.”

 “The music has been great,” Deegan said. “Bruno Mars is going on stage soon. We’re just having a blast right now.”

But are these newbies bummed out because they won’t witness the legendary “Running of the Urinals?”

“I would love to see it,” Rhodes said. “I wouldn’t do it, but I would absolutely, 100 percent want to see that.”

Update: Apparently the "Running of the Urinals" made a "brief" return on Saturday, though no beer grenades were lobbed. Check out the video here.

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