Since it’s hard to steer away from a train wreck like Forbes.com, I had to check out their recently published list of America’s Drunkest Cities.
I am [proud? ashamed? embarrassed? amused?] to report that Columbus ranked #3 on the list, just behind Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St.Paul. That means the top three drinking cities in America can be found right here in the Midwest. In fact, overall the Midwest scored high on the number of cities on the drunk list, and Ohio even more so: we’re one of two states to have three major cities in the top 20. (Cleveland at #7, Cincinnati at #16)
There were five stats used to rank these cities: state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers, and alcoholism. Personally, I think they should have included number of frat boys per square mile into the stats, but I guess that didn’t fit their methodology.
Here in Columbus, its clear we’re a city that loves our booze. There are bars everywhere – dingy holes in the wall, sports bars, dance clubs with fully stocked bars, and upscale pubs are found on nearly every corner. The Arena district (home of the Columbus Blue Jackets) has its own brewery/restaurant – stop in for a meal, stay to witness beer brewing! But we don’t stop at beer, either – we love our wine, whiskey, and mixed drinks, too.
Now, you might ask: why would Columbus drink more? Well, besides the fact that we have one more holiday than the rest of you (because really, where else but Columbus can you celebrate Columbus Day?), there are several reasons to drink that don’t involve a day off work. Reasons such as:
- OSU football team wins a game (the drinking is usually joined by burning dumpsters)
- OSU football team loses a game (also accompanied by burning dumpsters)
- OSU beats Michigan (this one usually warrants a step up to car fires)
- OSU marching band plays Hang On Sloopy (or the tuba player dots the ‘I’ in Script Ohio)
- OSU fires a coach
- OSU hires a new coach
- OSU goes to a bowl game
- OSU faces suspending a football player for assault/robbery/rape/being an idiot
Yes, Ohio State University athletics factors into a lot of the drinking around here. For those of us who aren’t rabid fans, we have one more reason to drink: we live in a city crazy about college football, which means if there’s a home game, it’s best to not go near the campus district all day long for fear of being stuck in nightmare traffic.
We also must listen to nothing but talk of upcoming games on TV and on the radio. And if your favorite radio station happens to be “The Home of the Buckeyes”, you can no longer listen to music when the game is on.
What am I trying to get at here? This Saturday marks the beginning of OSU football season. Drink up, fans.
Me? After all this writing, I think I need a drink, too.