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The TV Tailgate: A Better Way to Watch

By Brian Cullen
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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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I sat on the couch with my college roommate, a man whose nickname was “Drunk Brian.” I should stop right now, because many of you are saying “but — aren’t you Drunk Brian?” And, oddly, the answer is no. But I wasn’t Sober Brian either. That was another Brian (who, incidentally spells ‘Brien’ with an ‘e’). But no, Drunk Brian was a completely separate entity. And he earned his nickname the hard way. And I, frequently, was right by his side for every misstep.

We were channel surfing when we landed on a network then known as “CMT” — Country Music Television (Note: This network may still exist, I don’t rightly know). And on a Friday afternoon around 4 PM, on CMT, we saw a promo that said “Welcome back to The Dukes of Hazzard marathon! Yer watchin’ 72 hours of the Dukes — now through Sunday night!”

Drunk Brian’s head and shoulders slumped. Something about that promo crushed him. Like, “Steve Bartman catching the foul ball” level of crushed, which makes sense considering he’s a Cubs fan. After a long pause, DB stood up and went into the other room. I heard a few keystrokes on his laptop. Then the trademark shift and whir of an early 2000-era printer. Then he shuffled out of the room and tossed some papers my way. Before I could look at them, he made his way to the fridge, and before I knew it, there was a 30-rack of Coors Light in front of me. And the papers? “The Dukes of Hazzard Drinking Game.”

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

I looked at Drunk Brian. He didn’t look at me. He looked, rather sadly, at the television.

“Hey.” he said. “Luke’s driving. That’s half a beer. Page 2.”

I opened my beer, and I drank.

***

Depending on how you’re keeping score, that was either one of the best — or worst — weekends of my life. I don’t remember much of it, outside of the fact that I cursed the episodes where Catherine Bach wore full-length pants, Uncle Jesse appeared without his red cap, and that bastard Abraham Lincoln Hogg — Boss Hogg’s twin brother — showed up. But the one thing I came away with (outside of a life-altering hangover) was the realization that drinking while watching TV is a hell of a lot of fun. So much so that I’m confident that we can apply Brian Cullen’s Unified Theory of Tailgating to the World of Television. And here are some of our favorite shows to tailgate during.

Photo Credit: Roby Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Roby Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Any Awards Show

Now, as a matter of full disclosure, I personally have sworn off awards shows until the Andrew WK Awards become a reality. But the fact is that plenty of people get their drink on while taking in an awards show. Of all of these, however, the most prominent is almost certainly the Oscars. How popular are Oscar parties? Well, you could find out the hard way by checking out your Facebook wall feed 72 hours before and after the Oscars. Or, you could pay a visit to the Oscar website, which has a full rundown of suggestions regarding your Oscar party. Now, I haven’t delved too far into the list of suggestions, but I’m pretty sure the drinking rules include:

  • #6 — if an EGOT (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) happens in one calendar year, everyone gets naked, and
  • #14 — in the event of a Vanessa Redgrave wardrobe malfunction, everyone has to drink until they die.
Man Men

Some devious monster decided that the absolute best time to air a show about hot, classy people drinking the world’s supply of bourbon and gin was Sunday nights at 10 PM. Have you ever tried not drinking during Man Men? It’s like not drinking during a wake. Sorry, universe. Not happening. But some industrious individuals have jumped on the bandwagon and started hosting Man Men parties, where, ostensibly people drink hard liquor and treat everyone who’s not a straight white male with all the respect and dignity of an empty whiskey glass. And yet, they’re still somehow popular.

How popular are Mad Men parties? The AMC website actually shows you how to throw one of your own. Still, if you want to hit up a Mad Men-themed bar instead, here’s a list of places in NYC.

Photo Credit: Brian Cullen

Photo Credit: Brian Cullen

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Granted, you can’t find an It’s Always Sunny party everywhere. That is, except for Mac’s Tavern in Philadelphia. Now, to be clear, this isn’t the same as Paddy’s Pub from the show. No, a visit to Mac’s is more akin to visiting Cheers in Boston (more of a spiritual location than an exact physical replica). But, while at Mac’s you will get the chance to check out the show with other fans, all under the roof of a place owned by Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olsen, who star as Mac and Dee in the show. The bar is chock full of little subtle nods to the show, such as a door marked “Pirate” instead of “Private” (which, all cards on the table, I may have slept in once). When the show is in season, patrons are known to show up, toss back craft beers, and watch Danny Devito sink even further in his career.

The NFL on CBS

Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL on CBS

Can football count as a TV show? In the United States of America it can! Besides, even the most seasoned tailgaters can’t make it out to every game — especially away games. So what better way to practice for the season than by grilling and drinking in your backyard, and then tuning in to watch all the action? Added bonus: pants are 100% optional.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Have you ever tailgated for a TV show? Hit us up in the comments and let us know!

Check out Brian’s Tailgating Top 10s.

Stop in at the Man Cave Daily, where the women are hot and the beer is cold.

Brian Cullen will find just about any excuse to drink beers during daylight hours. Follow him on Twitter @bucketcullen.

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