Last week, St. John’s officially announced that outside alcohol would not be allowed on school grounds during this year’s croquet match.
I have lots of opinions on their decision. (shock, i know)
First, about darn time, SJC! I’ve been a croquet spectator since my first Spring as an Annapolis resident, before it became our own little local Foxfield. I’ve often thought that they need to capitalize on the event’s growing popularity. If nothing else, to cover the expenses.
Last year, I left the event a little discouraged. It had grown way too big for what it’s supposed to be and had lost its charm. But more so, there were young folks chugging bags of wine as if they were doing keg stands. I’d put $5 down (and I usually only bet a quarter) and say the majority of the folks behaving like this are (were) the “future leaders of America” and are in school to develop morally, mentally, and physically. (If you think I’m tap dancing around the obvious, yes, I’m referring to Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.)
So I started wondering. Did the Alumni Relations office put together a cost analysis of what it would actually cost for them to make these changes? They’d now added fencing, permits for fencing, labor to put up fencing, and labor to monitor the gates to the cost of porta-potties and grounds clean-up. Would the sale of alcohol pay for these additional costs? Perhaps… and then you’re really banking on the weather for this one.
Here is what I learned:
- Leo Pickens, the Director of Alumni Relations, is relatively new to this role. As in January/February new. Interesting.
- Alums aren’t too thrilled with how huge croquet has become.
- Three officials from the Nasal Cavity were part of the initial post 2011 croquet discussion They too were also less than enthused with what was taking place at the event.
- Last year, a spectator was taken away in an ambulance for alcohol poisoning. (not a Johnnie or Mid)
- SJC has not yet secured a liquor license to sell alcohol at the event.
- SJC will be working with one business to sell alcohol. And they agreed to not gauge participants and have available “affordable” and “higher end” products available for sale.
- There will be six entrances to the event. And your bags will be searched, but not sniffed.
- The school’s catering will have burgers and hotdogs for sale. (hence, why they still encourage picnics)
As the event loses its exclusivity, fewer alums will attend, and more students will retreat to the privacy of apartments and dorm rooms to get hammertime. As an alum simply stated, “Johnnies don’t like encroachment”.
This is what I think will happen… their rules will be modified. And people, who are perhaps not there to get completely plastered, will be able to continue to bring pre-mixed drinks into the event. I know that I’m hoping my friendly neighbor will make me some of his awesome bloody mary mix for my picnic.
I wonder how Annabeth feels…. I feel like croquet is a big day for her.
AND… did you know that it’s also the first Annapolis Spring Boat Show weekend? So if you want to boycott croquet, head to City Dock and check out the show… I’m hoping my favorite beer guys will set up shop over at Pusser’s…
So join me somewhere between St. John’s and City Dock for a drink or two April 28th!