USC vs. Alabama: Preview and Historical Analysis

In what likely is the marquee matchup of the 2016 college football season’s opening week, no. 20 USC and #1 Alabama will face off in Jerryworld. The game is tomorrow at 8:00 on ABC. Southern Cal is searching for a post-Hollywood identity, while Alabama has yet to identify its starting quarterback.

For further analysis, this historical footage of the two schools’ 1980 tilt should prove illuminating:

Take Me Out to the Brew Game: The Summer of Beer and Whiskey

If there is one constant in the world of baseball, from its invention in the 19th century to the present, it must be its inextricable link with beer. The connection is almost Pavlovian: When I watch a baseball game, my mouth tells me it wants a beer. (For someone who watches baseball professionally, this can raise quite the occupational hazard.) I’m not sure what about the game inspires such a yearning. Maybe it’s the spring air, the smell of cut grass, all that Ken Burns business. Maybe it’s the dirt and dust. Maybe it’s the fact that half the stadiums are named after brands of beer. Now that I think about it, it’s probably that.

The connection is no accident, as historian Edward Achorn makes clear in “The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game.” The book documents the creation of the American Association, a league of ballplayers ostensibly founded to rival the National League but in fact brought into existence almost entirely as a way to evade Puritan liquor laws in order to sell beer. That guy in the bleacher with the T-shirt that says baseball is his favorite beer delivery system? He’s more right than he knows.

The essential founder of the American Association was a man named Chris Von der Ahe, a German grocer and beer-hall owner who lived in St. Louis. He didn’t really understand baseball—though he did love the game—but desperately wanted a way to move product on Sunday afternoons. The National League, led by a persnickety Chicago moralist named William Hulbert, was renowned for banning Sunday baseball, limiting alcohol consumption, keeping ruffian players from its ranks and booting owners who didn’t get on board, even if they owned teams in major cities like New York and Philadelphia. Von der Ahe and his fellow American Association owners (many of whom were beer barons themselves) took advantage of this. Their league would be the ribald troublemaking alternative. … Read More

(via WSJ)

(HT: Mitch)

The Memphis Grizzlies have the best promotions

Last fall, the Memphis Grizzlies were offering free game tickets (and gas cards!) in exchange for guns. Now they’re straight up giving away beer. From the Memphis Business Journal:

The Memphis Grizzlies and A.S. Barboro, the Memphis distributor for MillerCoors, are doing their part to take the edge off of tax season while celebrating the Grizzlies’ upcoming 2013 playoff run.

Beginning at 11 a.m., April 15, the Grizzlies and A.S. Barboro will be giving 300 fans a free 24-ounce Coors Light in the plaza of FedExForum.

“We looked at a couple of different days, but we decided we could ease the pain from tax day with some free beer,” [Steve Hegdale, general manager of A.S. Barboro,] said. “We’ll say a few words, check some IDs and give away some free beer.”

Fans can begin arriving around 10 a.m. for an identification check to ensure they’re old enough to drink beer. Once that’s taken care of, fans will receive one of 300 limited edition Memphis Grizzlies 24-ounce cans of Coors Light. The giveaway is limited to one can per person.

“If there are two things in life worth celebrating, it is finishing your taxes and Grizzlies playoff basketball,” Chad Bolen, vice president of corporate partnerships with the Grizzlies, said. “Our friends at A.S. Barboro and Coors Light can help you quench your Grizz-sized thirst with a Memphis Grizzlies commemorative 24 oz. can of Coors Light. We encourage all basketball loving, tax-paying, Grizzlies fans to join us for a cold one.”

What could go wrong?

(Read the full story here.)

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Memphis to accept guns in exchange for Grizzlies tickets

2-4-1 Beers with Bryce Harper and Sir Charles

When a certain Nashville restaurant decided to stop being an obvious organized crime front and take the business above board, one of the succession of attempted ventures in the space was a sports bar so desperate for customers it was almost giving away beer. The question was, is “two-for-one” beer the same thing as half-off beer, and if not, which is preferable?

Anyway, you need not choose, because here in a single post are two quick hits about beer and guys who don’t want any of it. First up is the now “viral” (HT: Laura) Bryce Harper:

Straight up Gongshow.

Next is a guy we hope isn’t viral, even if his late-night driving errands suggest he’s at an increased risk:

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to revoke the Round Mound’s knighthood.