Tuesday, September 5


First Week ‘o Class, More Drinking, and the 1st Football Game

Long time, no write. But you’re not surprised, are you? Hello? Anyone here?

Last week was once again busy, and I guess we can assume that every week will be busy for me until after Christmas. We had our first days of class Wednesday and Thursday, and the amount of workload the teachers announced seemed to be inline with what I was expecting, i.e., more than my Kaiser-damaged brain can handle at the moment. Hopefully, I’ll be able to ramp up my ability to think before it’s too late.

Thursday night, I met a bunch of other MBA students for some drinkies at the weekly Think n Drink. This week, the location was Fado. I’d never heard of it, but apparently Fado is a national chain of Irish bars. In exchange for feigning interest in the graduate rugby club, I was given a wristband that entitled me to $3 drafts and well drinks. I didn’t even mean to sound that excited about rugby. I merely told the club prez (who also doubled as the discount wristband distributor) that my older brother had played rugby at Cal Poly. That simple admission made me one of the more appealing rugby candidates. Well, that and my square jaw, rock hard physique, and imposing receding hairline.

Anyway, I chatted with a bunch of new bestest friends forever in the program at Fado for a couple hours. We later headed to a nearby bar partly-owned by Austin’s favorite son who in no way never ever took any performance-enhancing drugs ever (never!), Lance Armstrong. It’s called Six, so named after Lance’s sixth Tour de France title. (Why he hasn’t opened a complementing restaurant named "7" nearby, I don’t know.) It’s early in my tenure here, but Six has become one of my favorite bars, mainly because of its rooftop bar with views of downtown. Its groundfloor bar reminds me of West in NYC, but I haven’t spent much time there because of my unabashed love for drinking on rooftops. I spent a few hours there imbibing and winning over the hearts and minds of strangers. I later headed to a classmate’s downtown loft for a cocktail before getting home around 3:45 am.

Friday was spent running errands, working out, and resting in anticipation of the first UT football game of the season on Saturday. As you may know, UT football is an absurdly important aspect of life in Austin. Because Austin has no pro sports team and the hometown University of Texas has one of the largest and most well-rounded (and well-funded) athletic programs in NCAA, the town treats the UT athletic program as its pro teams. And UT football is far and away more important than UT basketball, baseball, or any other sport. I’ve been hearing daily stories about who will replace Vince Young at quarterback since I got here. (For the record, red-shirt freshman Colt McCoy is starting ahead of true freshman Jevan Snead. You need to know this.) There is probably a UT football story on the frontpage of the Austin American-Statesman twice a week. In the world of Austin sports, UT football is first, second, and third. Everything else is a distant fourth. Perhaps I’m being too subtle so I’ll just come right out and say it: UT football = big deal in Austin, and in the state of Texas as a whole. Sorry for beating around the bush. (I’ve never really understood what that cliché means.)

This past Saturday’s game started at 11am to accommodate Fox Sports. Therefore, the tailgating started early in the morning. The b-school tailgate started at a somewhat restrained 9am. One benefit of being in the b-school (among many!) is that we have sponsors who provide free food and drink at the tailgate party before each home game. Miller Brewing provides the beverages each week, and a host of other sponsors pay for the food, tent, security, etc. Off-duty Austin police officers work the door to ensure that none of the riff-raff gets in. You know who you are.

Tania, myself, and a few others didn't leave the tailgate until all of the beverages were dusted about 20 minutes after the game began. We decided to take our time because UT was playing such a patsy. Your defending national champion Longhorns hosted the surprisingly gentile Mean Green of North Texas. I believe North Texas' football history begins and ends with "Mean" Joe Greene (Hall of Famer, 4-time Super Bowl winner, and cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s legendary "Steel Curtain") who played at North Texas in the 60’s. We arrived midway through the 1st quarter with UT up 7-0. (Is that all?) By halftime, it was 28-0. It was also hotter than hell. Everyone left their seats at halftime to get a drink and some shade underneath the stands. And I have not yet spoken to anyone who returned to their seats for the 2nd half. Everyone I know went to Scholz Garden a few blocks away to have a few beers in the shade. UT ended up winning 56-7, Colt McCoy reassured the entire state by throwing 3 TD passes and running for another in his first start, and the state of Texas now salivates for Saturday’s home game against top-ranked Ohio State. And that’s about where things stand in Austin at the moment.

Oh, also, I have this alarmingly weak neck-beard going:


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your blog is enjoyable.

i'm rocking a ruffian beard myself. i look like some kind of radical social worker or something.

thanks for the mail present!
Fado is a fun place. There is one in Chicago. These bars are usually on a short list that serve true Irishman approved Guinness.

Any stories about the big game this weekend? Did Ryan find his way to the freshman dorm?

You can't compensate for a receding hair line by growing out that patchwork quilt on your face. It just isn't business-like.
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