Part one of one man’s account of the most Scared he’s ever been, and how he found himself there. Loosely based on Hunter S. Thompson’s classic The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, but not really at all. Kind of just liked the name and wanted an excuse to use it.
Strutted off the plane in Louisville looking fresh as fuck, with wide eyes looking towards the weekend of a lifetime when I heard two brothers chanting my name from the 5-star Chili’s Too near my terminal.
"WILL! WILL! WILL!"
I’m pretty sure I immediately began raising the roof, because that’s what white people did in 2011. They raised roofs out of excitement despite it not being cool since the 1990s, when I’m pretty sure it still wasn’t even cool.
The day began innocently enough with Mike Limas Mike Limas Mike Limas at the airport before we decided to pile into a baller-ass Mercury Mariner and head to the weekend’s Kentucky Derby Headquarters (KDHQ). Upon arrival, our gracious host had set out a decanter of bourbon as well as stocked the fridge a whole slew of Mike Limas. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, Mike Limas are fucking Miller Lites. As if drinking Miller Lites isn’t bro enough, we did in fact have to come up with a nickname for them. Long story short, we got after all of it pretty hard before one of us accidentally shattered a light on our host’s porch and we realized that maybe we came into the weekend a little too hot.
Just kidding, we were just settin’ up.
Our plans that Thursday night revolved around one thing and one thing only: The Detroit Red Wings playoff game against the Anaheim Ducks. Because this bro-squadron all hailed from the beautiful state of Michigan, we have all been trained and conditioned to love everything that people from Michigan love: The Detroit Red Wings and Kid Rock.
After listening to “Young, Wild, and Free” by Wiz Khalifa on repeat for about two hours (as token white bros do), we made our way to Buffalo Wild Wings for the game. Now, I know what you’re thinking - “Dude, even though Buffalo Wild Wings has amazingly delectable food and a really unique, classic atmosphere, why would you watch the game there? Wasn’t there anywhere else to go?”
No. As it turns out, once you go south of the Mason-Dixon line and delve into Kentucky, it’s surprisingly hard to find somewhere playing the Red Wings game. And honestly, we were probably the only Red Wings fans in the tri-state area.
When the maître d’ seated us at our table, we noticed two things. First, we were legitimately the only people in the restaurant wanting to watch this game. Secondly, some poor soul next to us was wearing an Anaheim Ducks hat. He probably only bought the fuckin’ thing because he loved the movie series and had no intention of actually watching this game, but he quickly became Public Enemy #1 purely out of guilt by association.
As the game wore on and it was clear that Detroit was going to prevail, we may have done some things that we aren’t, well, proud of. Did we yell at this poor man the entire game? Yes. Was he called names that I can’t repeat? Maybe. Am I 100% positive he was even a fan of Anaheim? Scarily, no. But that didn’t stop him from being ridiculed all motherfucking night. Slight Scaries over that? Yeah. But whatever, when you’re on a Kentucky Derby bender warpath, you can’t let minute details hold you down.
After leaving that fine eating establishment, we did what any group of people do when they need to get around a city they’re unfamiliar with. We stood on the side of the road and hailed a dude driving a black pick-up truck and asked if we could all pile into the back bed of his truck and head back to the KDHQ.
When it all comes down to it, I don’t truly remember what we did that night at the KDHQ which either means we didn’t do anything of note, or it has to do with the insanely cheap topshelf Jim Beam we bought with our pick-up-truck-friend-turned-chauffeur. But, I don’t think it really matters because the next day was the Kentucky Oaks.
And this was simply the calm before the storm.
Editor’s Note: After being reviewed by a member of the 2011 Derby team, it was brought to my attention that I left out a major moment of the Thursday before Derby - “Getting wide”. When one “gets wide”, it is where you simply spread your legs apart as far as they can go. It’s like a male version of the splits. When you get wide, you really have to rep that you are getting “wide as fuck” no matter how wide or not-wide you are actually getting. Getting wide still occurs today, and members of the Derby team were asked to leave a bar in mid-October because the bouncers found it patronizing and disrespectful.