“If you don't like what you got, why don't you change it?”
Many thanks to Trooper
by Matthew Dorrell
Marc shakes me into consciousness and unsteadily drags me out of a small pool of beer and into a sitting position. A long and impressive line of spittle connects me to the puddle of booze like a glistening and toxic umbilical cord. I wipe it away. I am in a state of some disrepair and the only thing running through my head are the lyrics for Trooper's “Raise a Little Hell,” which was played near the start of the game – perhaps as a tribute to the visiting B.C. Lions – when I was more fully conscious.
“If your world is all screwed up, rearrange it” I tell Marc as I close my eyes and slump backwards in the bleachers.
“C'mon. The game is over. Let's go.” He says this whilst hauling me to my feet, where I teeter briefly as I become re-accustomed to standing upright. Someone has smeared Vaseline over my eyeballs and it is very difficult to see.
I blame Sherwood Schwartz. Partly because it is an excellent name to spit and mumble as I stagger down toward sea level, and mostly because it is his fault. Mike Lysko, the CFL commish, was against the pre-game parties thrown by the Argos from the beginning. If you don't like something you see, he thought, why don't you fight it? If you know there's something wrong, why don't you right it?
Schwartz, the Argos' owner, buckled under pressure and decided the pre-game parties would have swimsuit competitions and not girls from Whiskey A-Go-Go in wet t-shirts as he originally promised. Me? I try not to be too hard on Schwartz. In 2000 the Argos had the worst attendance in the league along with the second-to-worst record. The Argos needed to convince someone to buy the season's tickets, so along come the bikinis and cheap beer, followed by an unimpressive number of men in that all important eighteen to thirty-five age bracket. Men like Marc and myself.
And so Marc and I began what would become the Argos home game tradition. Pre-pre-game beer at his house, pre-game beer at the pre-game party, game beer during the game, post-game beer at the post-game party at one of any number of local sports bars. We were supporting Canadian Sport, and we congratulated ourselves on our civic-mindedness. Today however, as I stumbled towards the exit, wringing beer from my Pinball Clemens home jersey, something seemed wrong.
In the end it comes down to your thinking. I decide this sitting in the cab on the way to the bar, trying to keep my head from slumping into my chest – my body from tipping over.
“Man, push over to your side. You smell terrible.” Trent is grumpy and not as viciously addled on booze as I am.
“There's really nobody to blame,” I reply.
On the way into the bar I have recovered somewhat and begin singing:
“When it feels like your ship is sinking, and you're too tired to play the game,” then stop.
“Hey, Trent. Who won the game?”
Matthew Dorrell is a fan of all Canadian music