The Commish was our eyes and ears down in Daytona this year. What follows is a first-hand account of the revelry. It is unedited, unabashed and possibly unwarranted. But at the end of the day, it’s all in good fun.
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Let’s begin with a disclaimer.
Most of what went down in Daytona Beach, Florida during the week of May 8 to May 12 ain’t making it to print. This is not to say that people were powering through narcotic induced nose bleeds or that UD students were fleeing for the border, just that after two solid weeks of living in the library on a steady diet of coffee and Chipotle, combined with five straight days of unprotected sun and chlorine/urine soaked beers, things are going to be hazy.
So for the crew that represented ManLeagueU (Among others – the Commish, Train, JF, Evan, Patch, Kamp, Al, Oak, Kaiz, Scotty, Monty and Weigs) it was to be the final chance for some newly minted alumni to destroy a brand new professional career like only Dayton2Daytona can.
Our adventure begins with the scene at the airport where the Commish, Train, Weigs, Kamp, Kaiz, Oak, and Al are awaiting the 8:30 a.m. out of Columbus. Early morning travels began in Dayton, so instead of acting like actual college students on their way to spring break, people are working on their best ‘old man sit’ while chugging coffee and catching flies in a deserted terminal. There may have even been a Wall Street Journal amongst the group. After landing in Atlanta the crew begins to come to life with some $9 beers and discussion about the first day approach. Given that the MLU crew was arriving one day prior to the start of the actual Dayton2Daytona festivities, putting yourself into Day 3 shape by getting too hot before Day 1 even starts is a move that a first timer would pull (Right…). Not this crew.
So with that – the $12 shots become an afterthought and its back to the terminal to await the noon flight into Daytona.
Even though the flight in is accompanied by rain, touchdown into Daytona brings cheers and whistles from a decent number of UD students who decided to make the trip a day early. By virtue of the MLU’s connections to the top brass of the D2D committee, prime location in the first hotel means that we are on the pool-deck by 3:00 with a modest number to enjoy some carousing. Things take on a more dangerous tone, however, when people slowly begin to make a startling revelation about the infamous baby pool.
There are no football bros present.
See – D2D has always supplied a healthy number of UD football student-athletes who operate under the belief that they are not only world-class athletes, but socially revered. This translates to some annual shirtless behavior in and around a 12’ x 12’ baby pool that truly transcends description. So with that, many of those present begin to congregate around the pool and reenact some of their favorite football bro highlights of yesteryear. JF even breaks out and nails the Pachino speech from Any Given Sunday to unanimous approval (“Life’s this game of inches…).
By this time, the sky is clearing and things eventually heat up while a couple of cases are knocked out around the still occupied baby pool. The evening would go on to take a generally more festive, uneventful outlook at the classy Daytona establishment of Razzles. Subsequent ventures into that sordid abyss would prove quite different, however.
Day 2 begins with total anarchy. Dayton students are all funneling in at an alarming rate and hotel management begins to understand that their U. Phoenix degrees don’t mean shit in times of bug-eyed kids just looking to drop their bags somewhere and drink. As such, the MLU room becomes home to about 35 unknown suitcases. You have to love that first day reckless attitude: ‘FORGET checking in…if I don’t have a beer in my hand by 2:00 I’m burying my suitcase on the beach’.
Eventually, people make their way to the pool deck and the aggressive beer drinking takes place from 2:00 – 4:00 (Everyday features a two-hour stretch of five to six shaded tables on the pool-deck where students can get their Daytona mug filled FO’ FREE) while patrons are treated to a performance by up-and-comer Chris Cab. None of this, however, fancies the attention of the recon team.
Back in April, the Blackburn Review issued a standing bounty of 200 clams for a picture with Ms. Red, the UD cheerleading heart-throb. After being debriefed by the Commish, the team begins to deliberate on how to swindle a picture with said target without rousing suspicion.
Suggestions begin to fly. Some good. Some bad. Some bordering on alarming (Gregg Williams territory). Great energy overall. The team disperses for a mug refill and the rest of the afternoon passes without much progress, objectively speaking.
That evening brought many of the crew back to Razzles for what was sure to be a real sardine can, seeing as they were offering free well drinks from 9 – 12 for a simple $10 cover. This, though, was without the knowledge that the MLU had been invited to join many of the D2D committee cats in the private section for some high-browing and free bottle service.
A hulk-like bouncer named Russ begins to pour drinks and massage the egos of all upon arrival. He is overly accommodating and has seemingly succeeded in removing the neck region from his body; continuously throwing forearm shivers to anyone he feels presents some kind of threat. The evening is brought to a close with some corndogs and ski-ball at the notorious Daytona arcade (the Redneck Vegas), where JF and the Commish are accumulating tickets at a fanatical rate with some hit-the-button-at-the-right-time-and-win-x-number-of-tickets game. The crew even cons their way into an enormous ticket payout by explaining they had indeed struck the jackpot, only to be shunned their reward of tickets. Plum full but not totally satisfied, the MLU still has their eyes on the prize, poised for Day 3.
The morning of Day 3 begins with a trip to Walgreens. Kamp is ingesting every form of sore throat medication imaginable, Train stifles his hangover with a bottle of Flintstone vitamins, and everyone else seems content with Tylenol and a stiff vodka & Red Bull to get numb. Prior to the migration to the pool deck the cannonball competition begins, which the group scrutinizes from the balcony.
Among the contestants is Matt Kavanaugh.
With a running start while sporting an arm sleeve and a bro on his back, Big Kav begins his trot into the (by now) milky white pool. Alas, he is greeted by unanimous boos. Don’t sweat it Kav – your play this year earned you a week-long drunken stupor on the pool-deck amongst your many minions. Play on – arm sleeve and all.
Today’s performance is 3LAU (pronounced…Blau), a young DJ who pretty much assaulted the pool deck with enough stereo electronics to make Michael Bay soil himself. As is customary of UD students who partake in D2D – the reviews of Mr. 3LAU are hit or miss, which is often the case of any musical act that has ever taken the stage for the event.
Side Rant: If you find it necessary to complain or ridicule any of the musical acts that take the stage in Daytona – save it. You have an unlimited supply of alcohol at your disposal for hours, bikini clad women everywhere, and (what one would imagine) close friends amongst you to enjoy the entertainment with. Bury your cynicism and get sporty. Rant over.
Near the end of ‘free beer’ is where the real story begins. The MLU room is currently occupied by a decent number of people who are continuously shuffling in and out. With the party and number of occupants in the room dwindling, the Commish and several others are in the midst of conversation when in walks Ms. Red.
Those amongst the crew who are nearby are alerted, at which point Ms. Red has already moved to the balcony. In the most nonchalant manner anyone is able to muster, a “balcony” photo is requested, into which Ms. Red is casually directed.
Red: “Is this for the Blackburn Review!?!”
Sign, sealed, uploaded via iPhone. The MLU’s fortune is unmistakable. None of the people we later spoke with really knew why or how such fortune could have befallen the crew. Gift-wrapped with the bow. The heavens shined down the rest of the afternoon – and cheers were had by all, not bothering to hide the sly Ms. Red references or UB40’s ‘Red Red Wine’ blaring in the background. The spirited group ventured deep into the evening with even more bottle service at the 509 Club, where Mr. 3LAU joined us for some Goose and bottle dancing. The week’s mission had already been accomplished and we hadn’t even hit Day 4. Corndogs on us!
The horror that is waking up every morning at D2D is profound. The frantic search and retrieval of the wallet, phone, credit card, etc. while trying to recognize the random faces scattered about the room is pretty darn amusing. That being said…
Free beer on the pool-deck. Swim in the (by now) sewage laden pool. “Nap”. Wake and muster the will to move. Go to a bar. Go to an arcade. Goodnight
And…apparently Krewela performed on this day.
At this point, no one has the ability to hear their own voice, which is pretty handy given that piecing words together and forming sentences is asking a little too much. Hangovers are a thing of the past, as the body has seemingly conceded that it will receive nothing but fried foods, beer, and vitamin B12 for the remainder of its existence.
Enter the Ying Yang Twins.Post D2D speculation has offered up some rumors of a little non-consensual behavior regarding our brethren from the ATL. Don’t know the story – didn’t see anything first hand, so we’ll leave it at that. However, that is not to say we didn’t gather some intelligence of our very own. In the midst of the preliminary festivities of Day 5, we happened upon the ‘request sheet’ for the Ying Yang Twins. Among the things demanded prior to performing is a list that includes (but is not limited to) the following: Patron, Dom Perignon, KFC Bucket(s), Deli meats, Swisher Sweets, Grape Drink, Hennessy, fresh fruit, Sunkist, and their performance payment of $10,000 IN CASH. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
Once the Ying Yang Twins take to the stage, a good time is had by all (some may take exception to that statement, apparently) as there is plenty of voiced-over tracks and crime beats to dance to. With that in mind, the top three dance moves of our week are as follows:
1) The Kenny Irons Shuffle (The magic starts at 4:14…but do yourself a favor and enjoy the entire video)
2) The John Wall Dougie (What a clown)
3) The Steamin Willie Beamin (Brief glimpse at 4:17)
After free beer has come to a close, the Commish and JF have the following conversation on the balcony:
“You see Ying Yang Twins?”
“What the hell were you doing there?”
“Snuck in…ate the rest of their KFC…”
That evening the MLU continued the celebration at Cruisin Café, a temple of NASCAR veneration that represents the closest thing to a Timothy’s in the South (checkered floor and all). Bottle service is yet again had, as we are even treated with an assortment of fried delicacies. Onto the arcade to top it all off with some corndogs and late night 24 ounce beers. Arteries are SCREAMING shut by this point.
The group’s arrival back to the hotel is greeted with a completely flooded second floor where someone has apparently kicked a hole in the wall, which caused a pipe to burst and begin spilling into the hallway. Impromptu slip-in-slide on carpet. Only in Daytona.
Day 6 has arrived and people are to the point where they can’t function without a BAC of .08. And what better way to kick off the final day of D2D than with a (you guessed it) corndog eating contest. This hurts to watch. Of course one of the hottest girls on the pool-deck wins this event – nearly causing a mass riot among all men within a half mile radius.
The UD student band, Shabooms, take to the stage and deliver a fantastic performance, complete with one of the better ‘Free Bird’ renditions you will ever hear. Timeflies follows suit and the superlative nightmare of every UD parent once again takes place as hundreds of drunken students take to the beach to tackle each other in the ocean. If we aren’t mistaken, WHIO news has documented this (hard hitting stuff, Mike).
As a few of the fellas are making their way back to their room – the Commish is confronted by Ms. Red.
“You sent that to Blackburn Review!”
Red throws a half-hearted slap to the face of the Commish (she secretly digs it) and storms away back to the pool (100% disease infested by Day 6, no doubt). After multiple death stares throughout the week in the wake of our notorious balcony photo, the final showdown had been somewhat a disappointment. No one saw her the rest of the trip – and we can only tip our cap to her for that luscious crop of red hair and her willingness to play along. Our final afternoon in the sun is brought to a close with a couple of brand new holes in the wall outside the MLU’s room.
Much of the final evening becomes a ceremonial sob-fest. People are openly weeping and the real depression of having just dropped 160 grand on a marketing degree is beginning to set in. Much of the MLU group commemorates the evening with a plethora shots. Toasts to the fifth year of engineering school are offered up and someone even drops this gem on one of the girls: “I’m probably not going to see you for another decade, and truth be told…I’m not that upset about it.” What gentlemen.
The 6 am flight that much of the crew is catching home is a mere hours away, so the long trek from the arcade back to the hotel begins. A quick stop at the gas station turns out to be more of an adventure than is originally anticipated. While waiting in line – many of us become loud about how awful the flight home is going to be. Suddenly a Daytona local in jean capris (?) and a white undershirt turns to Train:
“Bet you I could lay you out for $100…”
Train: “I’ll give ya 5…”
We quickly flee the scene before a 3 am knife fight becomes our obituary and set back off down the strip for the remaining couple blocks to the hotel. As we are passing one of the larger hotels on the strip – there is a light shower of raindrops that fall upon the group…which doesn’t make sense given that it is 70 degrees and clear this evening. Once the initial surprise wears off, a quick glance skyward tells the story. Some gentlemen on what must have been the 30th floor of the nearby hotel are pointing and laughing loudly at the four of us below.
And so that is how it had to end for the MLU in Daytona Beach, Florida. That we were threatened in a Sunoco at 3 am and then subsequently urinated on from the 30 floor of some roach infested hotel, shamed to have ever had the impulse to inhabit such a town.
Bottle service was sweet though.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.