Suburban Wino 2: The Wordpress Experiment

Leisure Sport: Folly of the Redneck or Savior of Society? | July 22, 2009


“…college men from LSU; went in dumb, come out dumb too; hustling ’round Atlanta in their alligator shoes; getting drunk every weekend at the BBQ…We’re rednecks…we don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground.”

-Randy Newman, “Rednecks”


An all-too-common site at a Saturday cookout in the suburbs.

If you listen to all the lyrics of this (extremely) satirical song, the ubiquitous “southerner” is portrayed as a racist imbecile. And while Newman correctly implies that prejudice exists everywhere, the perception of the drunken, ignorant Georgia/Alabama/Mississippi boy persists. However, as cities (like my beloved Atlanta) are becoming more and more cosmopolitan, I sense a rift manifesting less between the North and South, and more between city-dwellers and the “aw shucks” yokels living in the suburbs. Indeed, if this hypothesis has no truth to it, wouldn’t I have something better than an Applebee’s as a dining option? …strategically placed near my suburban home by the expert marketing minds in the city centers; demographic reports dictating my palate can handle nothing more exotic than “extreme fajitas”. Marketing Exec: “Brilliant! You’ve done it again, Jenkins. Let’s go celebrate with a microbrew and some tapas!”

So the question is posed: despite all my banter, are we suburbanites really fighting the good fight to combat this barrage of undue judgement from the urban scholars, transcendentalists, and marketing goons? Well, no. We’re not- especially the part about “getting drunk every weekend at the BBQ.” Sometimes, there isn’t even a BBQ. Not even BBQ potato chips- or crisps, as they’re sometimes termed.

Yet, like the complexity of salty snack-nomenclature, there is much more to the story here. Indeed, while the intellectuals spend their weekends pontificating on the plight of the commoner and deriding the aimless pleasure of us “lessers”, we in the ‘burbs are slowly SAVING THE WORLD with, yes, leisure sports.


“Bat Hunter” Ben Hagood expertly tosses a cornbag, the proverbial grenade of the leisure sport generation.

What is a “leisure sport”, you must be asking? Leisure sport is simply the athletics of the nonathletic. Horseshoes, cornhole, ladder golf, beer pong, foosball, table tennis- all offer the thrill of competition without the unpleasantness of physical exertion. Furthermore, all can be played with beer in hand; some would say an essential element of qualifying for “leisure sport” status. And while suburbanwino.com is often a wine-centric blog, the entities here concede that beer is the drink of choice on a hot, leisure-sport-Saturday.


Leisure sport: where the obviously-nonathletic can experience the thrill of competition.

But besides sparking the flame of competition for those who probably rode the pine or managed the equipment in high school, these games are needed as a critical piece of the human social network, especially in the suburbs. In a place where fences are erected as if Pat Buchanan were the governor of New Mexico, folks can too-often sink into hells of solitude…all with neighbors within 5-10 feet of their homes. Such anti-social behavior potentially creates rampant xenophobia; creepy, unwelcoming homes around Halloween; and trench-coat mafias. If you don’t buy this, keep in mind that American Beauty was written by guys in the northwestern Atlanta suburbs…about the northwestern Atlanta suburbs. Yes, it seems at times that everyone is paranoid and fearful and waiting to be robbed, mugged, or raped. Fear and isolation is a powerful cocktail…


The most violent occurrence in leisure sports: a fierce wildcat impression from a not-so-fierce competitor.

…Bringing me to the whole, profound, “Saving the world” point. When great friends, along with new friends and neighbors, can get together for a day of games- cook some food, have a few cocktails, laugh and enjoy human interaction- well, that’s pure conviviality at its apex. I’ve always tried to make a point that food and drink can bring people together, and it has for ages. No doubt, sport can too. I suppose the Olympics wouldn’t be the spectacle they are otherwise (although I’m a little miffed why beer pong isn’t yet an Olympic event). So this is why we’re acting like buffoons: drinking and laughing and enjoying each others’ company on the weekend. We’re interacting; we’re being human, and we’re surely not causing any harm doing it (besides perhaps irreversible damage to the liver, kidneys, heart, and brain). So call us idiots and drunks. I know this: while we’re coming together as a human race with the help of food, drink, and sport, one of the critics is loading bullets in a gun. Which deodorant are you buying?


Becky and Kansas: gracious hosts emeritus. Also, wearers of stupid t-shirts.

So I want to take a moment to thank the Becky and Matt “Kansas” Draytons of the world, who go out their way to put on “Señor Kansas’ Dia del Torneos” every year. To Michael Blank, founder of the “Blankmasters Fishing Challenge”; to Karla and Dave Zisook for their annual “Brews & Shoes” horseshoe tournament; and to all those out there who are firing up the grills, icing down the drinks, and putting together the tournament brackets. You’ve not only given our binge-drinking and cholesterol-gorging a greater purpose, but you’ve brought people together; people who will no longer isolate themselves and eventually demand that the “lotion be put in the basket.” You- my friends, along with your leisure sport tournaments- are saving the world. Take that, city-slickers.


Big smiles and Wolf-shirts. A sure sign you’re participating in leisure sports.


What says “love your common man” more than putting his face on your shirt?

Not a frown in sight. Thank you, leisure sports.
Until next time, Cheers, Sláinte, Salud, Prost, Skål, Konbe, and Kampai!
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