As the Vikings prepare to host the Bears in a game that will go a long way toward determining whether they’ll have a domed stadium’s chance in a blizzard of making the playoffs, linebacker Chad Greenway has a request for the home team’s fans.
“Hopefully, they’re super duper drunk,” Greenway said recently, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “So drink liquor, not beer.”
Since the game begins at 12:00 p.m. CT, how can a fan get “super duper drunk”?
“I would say morning drinking,” Greenway said. “Why not? You could pull an all-nighter. Then you’d have the drunk, tired guys who will really be obnoxious.”
Last year, Pats quarterback Tom Brady made similar but far less over-the-top remarks in the days before a late-afternoon kickoff against the Chargers.
“Yeah, start drinking early,” Brady said at the time. “It’s a 4:15 game. They have a lot of time to get lubed up, come out here and cheer for the home team.”
The Patriots promptly issued a statement with tongue clumsily planted in cheek, explaining that Brady “wants everyone to drink a lot of water, stay hydrated.”
Binge drinking remains a serious problem in our society, and the NFL continues to struggle with striking the balance between selling beer to fans while also ensuring that those fans don’t become sufficiently intoxicated to ruin another fan’s experience at the game or an innocent stranger’s life while driving home. Public comments from players urging fans to get sloppy drunk become irresponsible in this context, especially since plenty of fans are young and male and more than happy to oblige the home team’s request for folks to be “super duper drunk.”
The league’s best response is simple. Greenway should be super duper fined, and any player who makes similar remarks in the future should be treated the same way.