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WEEKEND BY THE BOTTLE, PER YOUR SOMMELIER

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Glug 'n football

The match between football and beverages goes back as far as time immemorial, or at least to the first college football game, which as we all know was on September 8, 1990, when Florida beat Oklahoma State 50-7 in Steve Spurrier's first game. At that game fans brought beer, whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, industrial cleansers, Everclear, Drambuie, kerosene, whole jugs of an unidentified liquid found behind Shands Hospital, and quarts of Glug to the game to quench their thirst and foster brotherhood among men and the women who wouldn't sleep with them otherwise. And lo, it worked wonders, and has ever since that fateful day.

Football without alcohol is inconceivable--almost as inconceivable as pairing your upcoming season with the wrong beverage. Like a gourmet meal, your season needs proper accompaniment, not just a haphazard matching with some tooth-eating liquor poured off the crack of a dragon's fiery ass into plastic bottles. (Unless you're Tennessee fans. Then, by all means, proceed with that.) We play sommelier in part one of this potentially repeating bit.

Florida.

Opponent: Troy.

Drink: Cognac.

Glug 'n football

Why: 'Cause I see some ladies tonight that should be having my babay. Meaning that the hard stuntin' has been done, and it's hard to stay motivated with all the greenie green of all types we see in this room. Piles of yayo at the airport, straight through customs in that pipeline we worked out. (Stole that from Da U, naturally.)

Our in-state competition's on the rebuild. Trophies? Shinin'.

Oh, sure, other people are pickin' up the slack out there. This is the afterparty though, lawya. We cruisin' for a spell before 2008 rolls around and we have to get all Black Album and comeback mad with y'all. For the moment? Pouring 'yac on the titties and watchin' 'em shine, even as our dbs threaten to give up bombs and cost us three games or so. When you got cheese like this, let the rats nibble once in a while. We got time.

For now, just look at them titties. And think about next week (TENNESSEE BLOODRAGEHATEAARRRRGGHHH!!!), while allowing the Troy Trojans (very imaginative nickname, there) to run up too many yards on our offense, defense (dammit!) keep things maddeningly close with the passing and running of Omar Haugabrook on a young and inexperienced defense in what could, for a few instants in the late first quarter, feel HOT HOT HOT in a way you really, really won't like Florida fans.

Reserve extra cognac, player, just in case you need to light yourself on fire after Kyle Jackson takes a bad angle and allows a long touchdown to make things too close. FSU had to sweat blood through a 24-17 game with Troy last year. Being drunker than Ludacris on NBA All-Star Weekend can only help ease the pain, as well as slow down your ability to process the ugly information your eyes will be sending to your brain. Cognac makes the ugly go away in all facets of life, football included.

Yes. Thinking bout 'them titties indeed.

Syracuse.

Glug 'n football

Drink: Industrial solvent 3110.

Why: Because it will your eyes on contact, provided you mix a heaping cupful in a quart of water.

Yet this will not be enough for you, Syracuse fan. Burning is nothing compared to what your uniform does to your eyes each Saturday, and is a familiar sensation to your offensive line, whose pants are scorched with each play against a semi-competent defense. As it passes the throat, you'll notice the powerful sensation of something very wrong occurring, as if your offense were taking the field to go three and out, as it does on nearly every single possession against all but the most vertigo-stricken of opponents.

Finally, as the corrosive solvent begins to eat through your stomach and into your intestines, you'll reach shock, a place not unlike the atmosphere in the third quarter of most games in the Carrier Dome, where you watch WVU, Louisville, Pitt (even Pitt, my God!) and other teams who chose coaches more wisely than you outpace you in the Big East.

Even pedestrian Iowa, fresh off scoring 16 points on NIU last week, could run up thirty, dare we say forty points on you this week. If you run out of your stock of corrosive solvents, check nearby barns for pesticides. They'll have the same desirable effect, though with the grassy tang you've come to know after years of drinking anything at arm's reach to dull the pain of your football program.

Notre Dame.

Drink: Appletini.

OOO so heartbroken sensitive and smart but not threatening!

Why: It's green. It's cliched no matter how ironically you serve it, or how sincere you may be in your love for it--it's still an appletini, and thus mockable. And it's a drink that comes with low expectations no matter how ironically your order it, too, an appropriate point of sympathy with the humble fare for the Irish in '07.

It also, as Notre Dame should be in a week and a half against Michigan, be on the pointy end of a nastily sharp transitive property stick when they lose to the Wolverines, meaning they, too, lost to Appalachian State, henceforth referred to as "Transitive Property Herpes."

Proposed:

Appalachian State>Michigan>Notre Dame>The next poor group of souls in this horrific equation.

Cluster studies from patient Zero--Michigan--will follow.

Additionally, you lose whenever you are associated with Voice of a Generation Zack "I Am The Voice Of Your Heartbroken Generation" Braff, whose character downs only appletinis on Scrubs. However, no drink can compare in suitability to the 'tini for ND's purposes: tart enough to cut through the fatty cream sauces of defeat you'll down against USC, but could also have a dessert wine effect during the cupcake course of Air Force, Duke and Stanford. A versatile accompaniment to a diverse, challenging menu, and will ease the cheeks up for the difficult power bottom role ND's likely to get over the next few weeks until they get some legitimate work doing commercials or underwear modeling, you know?

It remains a fact that you must play Penn State, and you must lose, save for a regression of Anthony Morelli that would require severe brain damage to the Penn State qb. Tom Zbikowski, your mission has become clearer than ever.

USC

Diet tonic, please.

Drink: Tanqueray and Diet Tonic.

Opponent: The winless and undefeated bye.

Why: Because Tony Sinclair and his ambiguously sexual man-aura demand it: gin and tonic is the new vodka tonic, though go diet because with skinny jeans still not dropping of the map, you don't want to get meringue effect 'round the old waistline, porky! JUST KIDDING OMG!!! Get the new Maroon 5. It's got this electro-anal-glam ABBA-meets-Stevie-Wonder in an roller rink wearing short shorts feel to it.

Seriously. We're offsies this week, but who's going to beat us? Oregon? Please. Day-glo hos. Washington? Bitches. UCLA? Luckster poor public school types. Cal? Hippies smell. Notre Dame? They lost to lumpendork Techies, for chrissakes.( Check my Facebook page for some ripping pics of Evan Sharpley eating turf, btw, along with my tight picks of me standing next to Kim Kardashian! Bitch. Is. Hot.)

Our superiority is as obvious as the fizzies in my glass. Which needs refilling, prole. BOOTY FOR HEISMAN!!! (Drops pants, reveals "BOOTY" painted on waxed, flawless ass.)

Texas Christian University.

Don't ask! Drink!

Drink: Stuff.

Opponent: Texas.

Nerves? Again? For our fourth...fifth...whatever it is game where you're supposed to be the giant killer? The BCS buster? David gone Goliath? What's in that bottle over there? Fuck it. (Gulp.) And that one, too. Drink 'em both. That smell? It's ether. Never mind if the window's closed--it's supposed to be, dammit.

Was that Murphy's Wood Soap, you ask? Whatever, you'll sweat it out in a fine, flawless sheen that will make your skin resemble a well-buffed row of mahogany church pews. Drink this, too. It's liquid PCP. You'll be exquisitely violent, or just stare at the sun masturbating until your eyes burn out and your hand cramps into a palsied, useless claw. Either way it's great tv.

Taste that? (gulp.) They don't make liquor like that anymore these days, son. That's because it's not liquor. It's mustard gas. Breathe it in just before the play, rush in as a substitute, and breathe it into Colt McCoy's face. It'll tickle a little, but champions push through times like that for the greater good.

Mustard gas? Did I say mustard gas? Just kidding. It's actually Sarin nerve gas. Should kill him dead. You? You'll be fine.

Roll up your sleeve. What's in there? Who the hell knows. We bought it in Tiujuana and tested it on two chicken. One chicken is now captaining the U.S.S. Nimitz, has six mistresses in Martinique, and can hump a hole in a kevlar vest in eight seconds. The other's dead.

Questions! Again, there's no time for questions! Just stick out your arm. The Longhorns are coming, and you're o-fer on the whole BCS-buster thing that journos have saddled you with for three years running. Go out there and kill someone, Frog. It's time. And if you take all of this shit...well, there's no question. Don't worry about killing someone, kid.

Because on all this stuff you're totally killing someone tomorrow.