Fraternity boys across the South must be pinching themselves today. Is it really true? Might the SEC allow beer sales during college football games? They are at least going to take a look at it.
SEC officials plan to discuss the subject during league meetings this spring, with an eye on perhaps allowing neutral site games such as Georgia-Florida and Arkansas-Texas A&M to sell beer at those venues.
Many believe this is a first step in allowing beer sells campus wide. LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva is one who is open to the idea.
“(Selling beer at football games) would enhance the fan experience,” Alleva recently told al.com. “I don’t think that’s something that would necessarily be a negative for drunkenness and it might curtail the drunkenness if you sold beer.
“Right now, they drink excessively in the parking lot before they come in because they can’t get alcohol inside. Perhaps if they had access in the stadium, they wouldn’t drink as much when they come in. I think it’s something we have to talk about.”
I’m shocked it’s the LSU guy who’s leading the charge.
Of course, if you have enough money, drinking is allowed at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It has been for 25 years. Just pony up the 60 grand for a private suite and you can drink until you drop. Believe me; I’ve done it – as someone’s guest.
There was a time in my life where I’d been turning back flips at the suggestion. Now I’m not so sure. There are already enough morons sitting around me that come in juiced up prior to kickoff. The idea of them drinking for four more hours is something that gives me pause.
A lot of people bring in their stash now. I’ll never forget the time I was behind the young student pushing his friend through the gate in a wheel chair. The chair bound student handed the attendant his ticket, while a blanket draped his legs.
There was nothing unusual about it until they got 25 feet inside, at which point the handicapped student rose from his chair, chunked the wheel chair and out came a keg of beer that quickly disappeared into the student section.
I stood there in astonishment and admiration. Do we really want to take that kind of ingenuity away from our young people by making beer sales legal?
The discussion suggests a complete 180 degree change from the SEC’s past policies on alcohol. Just eight years ago, the league asked CBS to stop referring to the Georgia-Florida game as The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Now it’s looking at taking the party inside.
In an era where season ticket sales are on the decline due to the advent of inexpensive big screen, high definition television sets and satellite providers who carry every league game, schools are looking at ways to enhance the game day experience.
The fact that commissioner Mike Slive has been quiet on the subject suggests that changes may ultimately come.
“Up to now, we like our rule,” Slive said. I think this is an area where we want to walk slowly and carefully.”
That’s a long way from being opposed.
Financially the move makes lots of sense. From a common sense standpoint, it’s completely idiotic. We all take our football too serious in the South. Allowing beer drinking to move inside after a long day of tailgating will cause big problems. Ask the NFL.
When families stop coming, the sport will suffer. I’m all for having a beer or six before the game. But let’s keep the party outside. Who needs to keep drinking when you’ve got Gus Malzahn’s team on the field?
There’s nothing that can top that.