Best. Punch. Ever.ShareThis
There’s something unique about every city in the world, but no place has unique like Alaska. When my uncle moved from New York, he had to have an NY parking ticket to commemorate his years there.
When I left Alaska, I wanted a couple of items to commemorate my time, too. I’m still two items short of completing my mission. One is a WLFHKY vanity plate from the Geo Tracker that my roommate and I spent $400 total dollars on and drove for three years (we left the car as a tip for our waitress on the way to the airport. For real. Title, registration, paperwork and all. Thanks for the good service).
And second, for which I’d like to enlist the help of an Alaskan reader, if there’s anyway you can send me a placemat from Sea Galley, I’d be extremely grateful. Our team ate pregame meal there for four years, and the mat lists everything you need to know about the state of Alaska, which of course we memorized as a part of our meal-time trivia game routine - if you were called on, you had to answer the state bird (Willow Ptarmigan), flower (Forget-Me-Not… I did), state gem (jade) and a million other things about the state that you weren’t aware it had an “official” one of (I had to google two of those three… embarrassing).
Also, as a mini-trivia question to those of you from Anchorage… what other facts are on the Sea Galley placemat?
The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves do a rookie party like no other. And I mean literally, because no other school has the option to drive you into the middle of the wilderness by a glacial river. And let the record show that “drive you into the middle of nowhere” means stay on the Seward Highway for about 22 minutes from downtown, then decide that’s not “middle” enough, and continue on for two more unnecessary hours.
Here’s how the greatest punch I’ve ever seen got thrown:
Rookie party all starts back at the dressing room the day before the weekend, when the older three classes pair up, put the rookies in as many layers of sweatpants and sweatshirts and jerseys as possible, then stick them in the sauna while conducting a draft. The sauna part is totally unnecessary, it’s just funny for the other guys cause the rookies need to leave the room for a bit anyways.
The oldest seniors get to draft the first overall rookie. That lucky rookie (and everyone after) has to buy all the food and booze for an overnight trip for the three of you. It’s about a 100$ hit, but after your rookie year the trip is free, so whatever. The trick is to draft a rookie with rich parents so you can get steaks and good beer over hotdogs and Natty Light (those “are your parents rich” questions seem awkward the first week).
Upon your arrival in nowheresville, Edward 40hands is the first go-to drinking event of choice for most guys.
That’s when a 40 oz. beer is taped to both hands with duct tape, and can’t be untaped until both are empty. It makes having to pee a difficult situation, so you better drink that second one quickly.
The night is highlighted by rookie olympics, which is essentially explained best by the sentence ”here, drink this, spin your head on this, run there, and drink that”. The theme, if you’re still missing it, is that you drink a lot.
Billy Smith was a rookie (plays at Northern Michigan now) with Jolly (both born and bred Alaskans, which you can tell from a ten minute conversation with either of them), and neither of them tended to drink all that much all that often. So chalk it up to that, cause these guys generally really liked each other.
I was walking by Smith when I heard him make a joke to Jolly. Like a genuine, big smile, joke. And while Billy smiled, Jolly pulled his left hand back, and in a smooth, natural, football throwing motion, punched Smith dead square in his mouth. For no reason.
Smith fell back like he was about to make a snow angel. Thinking there was gonna be trouble, someone went to get between the two when Smith bounced up, lips bleeding, smiling, and gave Jolly a big hug, then went on his way. Happy drunk, huh? End of event. Nothing further. It was the dudiest dude moment I’ve ever seen.
It’s the rugged Alaskan in them both. Hell, I woke up my rookie year in a sleeping bag by a river – it had to be below freezing, maybe 7 a.m. I moved my eyes, not my head (which was covered in frost), and there was a moose about 50 feet to my left. This was my first month in Alaska, and my first “what the hell did I do to my life?” moment. At least I didn’t get socked in the mouth, I guess.
Alaska. Where dudes punch dudes near moose. Now there’s a goddamn official state slogan.