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Surfing the White River: Saturday Night Colts Party
This fall, it’s become a ritual for Kerry Collins, Pat McAfee, and Curtis Painter to come over to my place and get trashed every Saturday night. As best as I can piece it together, this is how last Saturday night/ Sunday morning unfurled.
* * *
“I wonder what Andrew Luck is like, you know, as a person,” Curtis Painter is saying between deep tokes of weed. We were watching Oregon thrash Stanford on TV. Painter coughs hard, shakes some lanky strands of greasy blond hair out of his face and stares vacantly at the wall. He had on muddy work books and a Phish concert shirt.
“If he’s a prick, not cool. Those Stanford guys never let you forget how smart they are, man.”
Meanwhile Pat McAfee was wasted; shades on, Jagermeister bottle dangling from left hand. He wore a navy blue and gold t-shirt that read, “I GOT NAKED WITH MY COUSIN IN WEST VIRGINIA” across the front and had a picture of his mug shot on the back. He was wearing a white long-johns underneath it and a Jamaican wool hat.
Kerry Collins sat in the corner on the floor, badly concussed from a hit he took six weeks ago versus Pittsburgh. Painter had just put a floral shirt on him and said, “Look, ‘Weekend at Bernie’s, Part 3.’” Collins wasn’t saying shit, though.
“I’m so wasted!” McAfee said, laughing and banging a Converse All-Star against his skull repeatedly. “Let’s go get some barbecue in Mooresville.”
* * *
These three guys like to hang out in my Section 8, government subsidized apartment in Beech Grove for some reason. We watch my 19-inch flat screen and ignore my broken patio door. Sometimes Collins stays over for days and I forget he’s there until I find him in the closet or behind the couch
McAfee: “One time in Morgantown, I climbed a radio tower at three in the morning and get this – I wasn’t even high!” Everybody laughed except Collins.
Painter: [Now lighting a meth pipe] “I wonder why my throws are so off lately. Reggie Wayne’ll be open and I’ll miss him by a good ten yards.” Collins uttered the first words he’d spoken in like five weeks. In a raspy whisper he said, “You suck, Painter.”
* * *
There were about three hours there were things get pretty hazy. Painter said he'd like to gamble on dog fighting like Michael Vick did. McAfee told him that was a bad idea. Painter sobbed uncontrollably until McAfee assured him he was “a valuable human being.” We drank lots of Jager. Then we carried Collins out to my Toyota Yaris and put him in the trunk. Painter sprawled out on the backseat and McAfee drove to find barbecue and a radio tower. We found neither but eventually wound up at the banks of the White River. It smelled foul. Several fish floated by on their sides.
“I’ll bet we could surf it,” McAfee said. Painter agreed. We got Collins out of the trunk and then put him back in. We drove back to the house McAfee shared with five college students in Broad Ripple, got some surfboards from his kitchen, and headed back toward the White River. Only we couldn’t remember how we found it the first time. McAfee saw a radio tower but nobody wanted to climb it anymore. We got some tacos.
* * *
When I woke up Sunday morning, McAfee was passed out in his rec room on the air hockey table. It was blowing cool air on him. Painter had crashed on the couch, using the drapes as a blanket. I couldn’t find Collins anywhere. (In my hungover state, it didn’t occur to me until later he was probably still in the trunk of my Yaris.) The Colts game against Jacksonville kicked off in an hour and forty-seven minutes.
One of McAfee’s roomie’s came to and made some killer omelettes. I threw together some strong Bloody Mary’s and got Painter and McAfee to down them in my car while I drove fast toward downtown. I got them to The Luke twelve minutes before kickoff. They weren’t in good shape. We got Collins out of the truck almost as an afterthought and an equipment manager pointed him toward the field.
* * *
The game was ugly. Painter threw only two completions but had seven interceptions. McAfee punted twelve times for an average of 26.8 yards per. He had one punt blocked and another ran back to the house. We were down 68-3 at halftime.
At half, I took McAfee a cigarette and an $8 stadium beer. He looked green.
“After this game, while it’s still light, we gotta surf the White River, man. It’s all Painter keeps talking about in the huddle. Pierre Garcon wants in on it too.”
Next week: Coach Caldwell gets a Prince Valiant.