09.17.10

Shot (Of Polish Cherry Liqueur) Through The Heart, or Buffalo’s Forbidden Tailgate

Posted in Food, Free Expression, Gridiron, USA! USA! at 3:29 pm by

Ordinarily, I’ll start a post with a few (hundred) words of context, but some things are best just jumped into. So I’ll mention only that Brendan Flynn sent me this (amazing) link, and also further mention that the Associated Press wires are sometimes home to some truly amazing shit. So, what’s going on in Buffalo?

After 21 years of tailgating in the same lot outside Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ken Johnson plans to take his party across the street starting with the next home game in two weeks.

And with him, Johnson’s bringing along his wildly colorful and popular traditions: from the red 1980 Pinto on which he grills meat on the hood to the pizza oven made out of a filing cabinet to a chicken wing-cooking mailbox and, yes, even the long-established ceremony of drinking shots of Polish cherry liqueur out of the thumbhole of a bowling ball. It disappoints me that I have to move away from a lot where I’ve been for about 20 years, but I saw it coming a long time ago,” said Johnson…

The reality of that shift became apparent Sunday when, Johnson said, a league official threatened to shut down his party before the Bills’ season opener. Aside from his tailgate creating a potential crowd control issue, Johnson was informed by security that the league official frowned on the bowling ball shots he provides to passers-by who line up at his site. Johnson complied by plugging the bowling ball and started informing his regulars he was moving.

Ah yes, “Plugging up the bowling ball.” That old disgusting euphemism for something disgusting? wire service chestnut. There is just a lot going on in this piece, from classic wire AP-isms — the standalone grafs dedicated to tangentially related news events, which stands in here for the customary recitation of stats at the end of the piece and includes a giant stolen statue of Thurman Thomas — to some jaw-dropping info on how much Johnson (a computer programmer, of course?) spends on his tailgate.

“Two comments immediately popped into my head,” Brendan writes. “Out of all the disgusting things happening here the league frowns upon drinking booze out of a bowling ball? And then the obligatory, ‘haven’t Bills fans suffered enough?’ If a man (or entire fan base) wants to drink Wisniak, by God let them. Whatever. Fuck it.”

Yes, fuck it. Round of this shit for the house.

Leave a Reply