Sports and Public Drinking: What Not to Do When Trying to Land a Sports Internship

sports and public drinking

Sports and drinking go hand in hand but can also result in those same hands being placed in cuffs.

You’re a senior in college. People have been telling you it’s time to start looking for an internship so that you have some experience under your belt before graduation.

You heard them, between six-packs and foosball games, and you’re taking action. Good work.

Things are about to change.

Your choice of field was an easy call – sports, obviously – but now comes the real work: selecting a program, applying, and interviewing. Also, you’re tackling all of that while classes and football season are ticking along in the background. Be diligent, of course, get the work done, but also enjoy your last year of college.

There is just one important thing to remember now that you’re transitioning from the college world to the professional world: go to games, have fun, but don’t be a dufus.

Tailgating and drinking is a huge part of college and professional sports, it’s our culture, but trust me you’re not going to win over a would-be employer by being this guy. Drinking at a tailgate party is not innately bad – no harm no foul – but remember that in this technological era everything you do is out there for the world to see.

It all comes down to self-control. Overdoing it can get you in hot water, even if you are in a public place where drinking is sanctioned.

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Attorney Ryan Albaugh, whose office is just three miles from the Jacksonville Jag’s EverBank Stadium, reminds us that even though public drinking is totally legal at many sports venues, you can still get smacked with disorderly intoxication and DUI charges. Needless to say, it doesn’t look good when a potential employer runs a background check and you have to explain that you were at a tailgate party and things got a little out of control, and you really didn’t mean to throw that Titans fan into the dumpster.

Drinking and sports share a long, fascinating history. At the first modern Olympics in 1896 Athens, Greek runner Spiridon Luis dramatically beat out his rivals to win the first Olympic marathon – but not before downing a glass of cognac less than 10k from the finish.

In the UK, booze and football go hand in hand. In the 1980’s public drunkenness at games got so out of control that the government banned the consumption of alcohol at any Association Football event. Any fan caught drinking inside or en route to a stadium could potentially get thrown in jail.how to prepare for your sports job search ebook

Golf is a sport known for its reserve. And yet, you guessed it, there’s a drinking culture at golf tournaments too. When it comes to drinking in public without embarrassing yourself, golf fans know what’s up. Just don’t be that guy who decides to steal a golf cart and drive it into the pond surrounding the 13th green.

When you’re tailgating, know that it’s not just about the drinking. You are taking part in what USA Today calls “a complex community-building exercise that hearkens back to ancient harvest festivals.” This is primal stuff. If you’re having trouble stopping at just a couple beers, try stepping back and observing your surroundings through a different cultural lens.

When you’re applying to sports jobs, or any job really, remember that professionalism is key.

Give yourself the opportunity to make a good first impression, don’t let your inner drunk tailgater beat you to the punch.

Comments

  1. Drinking at English soccer games is allowed and police encourage supporters to drink at Pubs ( bars) outside before the game. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2965160/Treat-football-fans-like-adults-says-Cameron-calls-ban-alcohol-Scottish-games-scrapped.html

  2. Karri Calhoun says:

    Thank you for this light-hearted blog, Brooke. You definitely touched on an important point that I, personally, have been tackling this past year. No, it isn’t the drinking. As a current student in the Sports Media and Branding graduate program at Western Kentucky University, I am definitely needing to start an internship to give me the experience needed when I finish my degree. I’m a nontraditional student so instead of juggling games and drinking, I am juggling a full-time job and children. Four children at that. I have decided to take on a new career path at this point in my life. I am aware of the importance of an internship, just trying to find a place on my calendar for it. My plan is to find local organizations that will work around my already hectic life.
    By the way, drinking and sports go together just like oreos with milk.

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