Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach have a mutually beneficial, highly successful, longstanding partnership. But they ain’t got nuthin’ on the one-two punch of sports and alcohol. That’s a team that has stood the test of time.
This past Saturday night was a perfect time for sports fans in the Raskin household to hit the bottle, as my beloved Philadelphia Phillies, the best regular-season team in baseball and the best postseason team on paper, found a way to be the second-best team in the NLCS and brought their season to an unceremonious end.
Alcohol makes sports more fun in good times, and it dulls the pain in bad times. While the San Francisco Giants were popping champagne corks, Phillies fans were crying in their Yuengling lagers.
And I was changing the channel to HBO for the premiere of 24/7 Pacquiao-Margarito. As regular readers know, the combination of that pay-per-view-pushing documentary series and the need to drink can only mean one thing: another installment of the 24/7 drinking game.
There are still three more episodes to come, so prepare your mugs and shot glasses, bust open your liquor cabinet, assign a designated driver and let’s all get plastered like a Javier Capetillo-wrapped fist. It’s time for the official 24/7 Pacquiao-Margarito drinking game:
Drink once every time HBO tries to make you feel sorry for Antonio Margarito for the persecution he’s endured.
Drink twice if you actually do feel sorry for him. Sucker.
Drink a Cement Mixer every time Margarito’s hand wrap scandal is mentioned.
Drink a Mind Eraser every time Pacquiao mocks Margarito for pleading ignorance on the loaded wraps.
Pour yourself a tall glass of milk mixed with table salt every time they discuss the “sulfur and calcium” found in the confiscated hand-wrap insert.
Drink until you’re hammered enough to enjoy Justin Beiber’s music every time you see Manny Pacquiao’s new hairdo. (Warning: This will likely recall additional trips to the liquor store.)
Drink like Ted Kennedy every time they show Pacquiao in Congress in the Philippines.
Drink like George W. Bush every time they show Pacquiao’s congressional seat empty.
Juggle cans of beer every time the narration refers to Pacquiao juggling his dual roles of boxer and politician.
Take a video of yourself drinking and upload it to UStream when Pacquiao reveals that his full first name is “Emmanuel.”
Drink a shot of your own urine every time you see a clip of one of the Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fights. Chase with a glass of raw quail eggs (a.k.a. “turkey boogers”) if you choose.
Chug Gatorade if you find yourself saddened that a 24/7 is airing so close to Thanksgiving and you won’t get to watch Roger Mayweather do any holiday grocery shopping.
Drink a Tecate every time the background music is Mexican rap. (Why Tecate and not Corona? Because Corona doesn’t advertise in THE RING, dummy.)
Drink another Tecate if you assume you’re looking at scenic shots of a barrio in Mexico and it turns out to be Oxnard.
Drink a shot of Irish whiskey if, at any point during these four episodes, the producers figure out something new to tell us about Freddie Roach.
Drink a Fuzzy Navel every time you spot Gary Shaw in a new Sweatsedo. (Oops, wrong premium-cable boxing documentary series. Sorry.)
Try drinking with your mouth closed in honor of Team Mayweather anytime this past summer’s Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations are discussed.
Drink a shot of Old Grand-Dad to celebrate the fact that Robert “Grandpa” Garcia actually almost looks like a grandpa now.
Snort a few lines of coke whenever they show replays of Pacquiao knocking out Ricky Hatton. (Note: RingTV.com does not actually endorse the use of cocaine. This is just a joke. Lighten up.)
Sip a glass of red wine, pinky extended, every time the narration mentions “Glen Tapia & Michael Medina,” ostensibly sparring partners of Pacquiao but believed to have first gained fame as a ponytailed acoustic pop duo from the late ’70s.
Pinch your nose and down a shot of tequila every time Margarito’s flatulence clears the room.
Repeat the above if Margarito wipes his bare butt crack with a towel before stepping on the scale.
Drink an entire six-pack if Garcia pounds Margarito’s abs with a stick.
Drink another one if a seven-year-old kid absorbs the same abuse then flexes his abs and you come to the conclusion that he’s twice as tough as you’ll ever be.
Take a shot every time they show Michael Koncz because … well, he’s Michael Koncz. Doesn’t his mere presence make you want to hit the bottle?
• Actually, my favorite moment of the entire premiere episode of 24/7 Pacquiao-Margarito came when Pacquiao outright dismissed the notion that Mayweather’s achievements could possibly be compared to his own, then made a face as if he’d just caught a whiff of something noxious. I love the subtlety of Pacquiao’s trash talk as compared to the hit-you-over-the-head-obvious approach that Mayweather takes.
• And for the record, I don’t buy for one second that Pacquiao is struggling in training, as Bob Arum has conspicuously insisted. I say Arum senses that the biggest obstacle to selling this pay-per-view is not the Margarito boycotters but rather the folks who view the fight as a mismatch, so he’s trying his best to perpetuate the notion that Pac-Man is in danger.
• I got a spot-on e-mail from a reader named Todd who I think did a better job than I did last week of voicing objection to Ines Sainz working the Pacquiao-Margarito broadcast: “Couldn’t agree with you more on your stance regarding Top Rank’s hiring a stripper to work the Margarito-Pacquiao fight. Arum’s a real class act. Now little girls studying hard all across the country know that one day they too can make it in a field they know nothing about … as long as they bring enough curves for the rest of the class and don’t mind sharing. Gross.”
• How long do you think it will be before the IBF is sending out random sweepstakes mailings to average Americans asking if they’d like to participate in a four-man heavyweight elimination tournament?
• True or false: Bill Dettloff hopes that Michael Jackson molested little kids? Check out last week’s episode ofRing Theory to find out the answer.
Eric Raskin can be reached at RaskinBoxing@yahoo.com. You can read his articles each month in THE RING magazine and follow him on Twitter @EricRaskin.