Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Fall of Schaefer 2012 - in a good way

Whew, where did the last third of 2012 go?? Various entries were blogged over the last four months involving Schaefer, but the last update of the overall happenings of the Schaefer Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor was in September 2012. The SHOF and SROH has brought it since then. So here we go.

Labor Day weekend

Yours truly hit the poor man's version of a scratch-off lotto. TMC called into a local sports talk radio show to talk NASCAR with Monte Dutton. Unbeknownst to me, two NASCAR Camping World Truck tickets to the Atlanta race were on the line for the best caller of the segment - and I got it. Ka-ching. My name then went into a drawing for a mack-daddy prize of tickets to ALL the Atlanta races ... plus hotel ...  plus luxury suites ... plus pit passes. And...


When I went to pick up my prize, I wanted to make sure I took care of the folks who took care of me. So I had some co-workers help rally some Schaefer bows for the beer I gave to a couple of the station's folks - you know, to show I cared.

SROH member Rick and his new lady friend, Cara, joined us for the Friday night Camping World Truck Series race and the rest of the weekend's Schaefer festivities.

When the *crack* of the pull tab sounded, a PYT behind us tapped me on the shoulder and seductively (or drunkenly?) asked over the roar of the truck engines "whazzat?" When I confidently replied "Schaefer - and its not just for racing anymore" she returned a great, genuine, southern gal laugh. I promptly found an extra for her to enjoy.

Her husband, boy friend, male friend, or whatever he was returned from a convo with his buds and held out his hand. I held his gaze a moment but pulled a Soup Nazi on him by stating emphatically "No Schaef for you."

On Saturday, we enjoyed milling about souvenir row. Well ... not exactly. Who's kidding who? The race crap is overpriced and under-quality - and it was friggin' STEAMING. Only logical thing to do was find a modicum of shade and pound Schaefer. So we did!

But then we spotted Speed Channel's Trackside stage, and I had an idea. During each week's Speed shows - Trackside, Raceday, Victory Lane - numbskull fans are always shown holding signs they've made. So in Atlanta, I decided to join 'em.

After SROH member Buddy took the photo below, I tried to position myself to see if I could make the show. Sure enough, with one eye on the monitor and one eye on Krista Voda's ... feet, I staked my position. Boom - there it was. For a couple of moments as Krista opened Trackside live, my sign and Schaefer can were clearly visible over her shoulder. If only I could find the opening on YouTube...

A couple of hours later, SHOFer Bruton landed at the track, called, and said something to the effect of "OK fellers, a surprise awaits." With a good bit of reluctance but with some curiosity and a commitment to other SHOFers, we sought him out. With a Georgia grin on his face, he whipped out three Old Style tall boys. And you think SCHAEFER is tough to drink? Whew. Dude.

Rick's lady friend, Cara, went from friendly to arrogant because as a race rookie of only one week she called Denny Hamlin to win at Bristol ... and he did. So afterwards she bought a Denny koozie. Begrudgingly though, I'll give her credit because she called for Denny to win again at Atlanta ... and he did.

As the Nationwide race time drew near, it was time for Buddy and me to part from our friends and head for the luxury suites. Any other time, I prefer to be with my race peeps in the stands with the sights, sounds, smells and flavors of racing. But when its free? Hey - I'm all over it and will bail on you in a New York minute.

With that as a toomuchcountry unwavering premise, you can probably surmise why this charter member SHOFer enjoyed a few cold Budweisers. That's right - because they were free! Sometimes you have to walk on the dark side.

On Sunday, Cup race day, we started our morning with another round of cold Schaefers and some Bertman's Cleveland Ballpark mustard on brats freshly grilled by Bruton. We enjoyed the mustard in honor of Cleveland's SHOFer Uncle Dave who couldn't join us for this trip. SCHA-LOOT UDR!

To again commemorate the SHOF's 20th Anniversary in 2012, SHOFer Bruton and SROH member Buddy joined me in enjoying Schaefer tall boys orphaned from May's All Star Race and Coke 600 weekends.

As the sun began to set, Buddy and I again made our way to our cozy, air-conditioned suite seats high above the start-finish line. I realized no race trip would be complete without a smuggled Schaefer to enjoy during the Cup pre-race festivities.

What it was, was football

Autumn not only means the beginning of NASCAR's Chase for the Championship but also the start of the college football season. SHOFers Rev. Randy and Cuba enjoyed a tall, cool one at an Appy State game in Boone, North Carolina.

As football weather became crisper, SHOFer Kuzzin Kari and 2012 Schaefer Racing Cornhole Co-Champion Kristi tailgated at the Carolina Panthers game. Though they were out of Schaefer to enjoy, Kari did make sure to bring her credentials to celebrate in spirit.

Between the Atlanta race and the full immersion into Georgia Dawgs football, SHOFer Bruton found an opportunity to drop a line.  I'm heard some whopper fishing tales over the years, but this one may top them all. Bruton claims he had to go to war with this catfish after it stole and downed a couple of his cold Schaefs. The situation went from fishing to personal.


In mid-September, I spoke at a conference in Orlando, FL. With a bit of pre-trip research, I learned about Celebration Town Tavern near the Disney parks. They claim to have 99 beers available for sale. Sure enough, one of them was Schaefer! So on September 18th...

But as the slogan goes, Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one. So I did.

A day later on September 19th, I again saw an opportunity to have some Schaefer fun and seized it. September 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Using me maps, I scoured ze lands of Orlando and happened upon me Schaefer at Publix.

I secured da booty in me luggage and sailed back home aboard ze airplane.

The calendar turned to October, and again I was afforded the opportunity to be a Schaefervangelist. For an internal training / team building week, each employee of our department was asked to have their picture made with something unique to help others remember who they are. Sold!

Being a team player, I also took several cans of Schaefer bootlegged from places such as Philadelphia and Orlando to share with my co-workers.

Both of the female co-workers shown here were soon promoted. My comment to them was "Congrats! Clearly it was your enjoyment of Schaefer that put you over the top." One responded "Thanks! You know, it really wasn't that bad." BINGO! Truer words have never been spoken as previously documented in this space.

NASCAR Bank of America 500 - Charlotte Motor Speedway

As always, SHOF charter member Philly hosted a great, Schaefer-laden, tailgating party just outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

After an initial visit in May during the All Star Race tailgating fun, the Portuguese Assassin returned to again sample the Schaef. Not only does he have a good taste in beer, but I also applaud him for returning to where he knows to score a free one. 

A couple from the Lone Star state of Texas - Richard and Maria - made their first trip to Charlotte for a race. Reports from Philly were Richard enjoyed it - or at least thoughtfully critiqued "Its not that bad." I'm not sure about Maria. She looked to me like she was taking a urine sample somewhere. Paging Jeremy Mayfield. Mr. Mayfield?

The latest inductee to the SHOF, Kuzzin Kari, made sure to stop by to create strength in numbers for the Hall on race weekend.

TMC couldn't join my fellow SHOFers in Charlotte because I was committed to yet another conference - this one in San Antonio, Texas. (where the corporate HQ of Pabst Brewing happens to be - the current owner of the Schaefer brand). Gotta problem with all the training I get to attend? Leave your complaint in the comments box below, and I'll be sure to delete it ASAP. Thank you.

One night, all were encouraged to get face paintings. *Sigh* Really? That's just not my thing - until. An idea, a wink, a smile and an iPhone image search by a friend soon had me sitting me in the artist's chair so he could render this freehand.

South Florida Schaefer

SHOFer Uncle Dave relocated from Cleveland to south Florida in October. With his priorities firmly in order, he got a case of Schaef cold in his new refrigerator shortly after arriving...

... and posted signage where he devotes his most intense personal reflection time.
Then after unloading his truck, setting up his new place a bit and chilling the good stuff, he grabbed his lawn chair and drove the short distance needed to take in some short-track racing at Punta Gorda Speedway near Ft. Myers, FL.

As SHOFer Uncle Dave began to settle in, he began to educate himself about his new surroundings. He learned the genus and species of the Florida Boxwood is the Schaefferia-Frutescens. Uncle Dave believes its loosely interpreted as the fruity scent of Schaefer. While I'm not convinced his understanding of Latin is solid, I am convinced of his commitment to Schaef. So ... Boxwood, wood box, whatever. Its all good.



A rare opportunity presented itself as the end of the year closed in. An original, Schaefer racing uniform once worn by Kevin Cogan went up for bid on ebay. Cogan raced for Schaefer / Machinists Union / Playboy Fashions in the CART series in the late 1980s.

While many of us laughed about the possibility of owning such a treasure, none of us had the stones, wallet, or waist size to actually go for it. Except for one of us. SHOFer Cuba declared "I'm in." With a short time remaining, Cuba placed his bid. But ohhhh mannnn, another bidder sniped the uni with just a few seconds remaining.

Whoever you are, there is no way you'll be able to enjoy your purchase as much as Cuba and other SHOFers could have. As a consolation, we imagined what Cuba might have looked like rocking the Schaefer Beer / Playboy Fashions uni next spring at Charlotte.
November wound down with the country's national day of Thanksgiving. Bruton served up a deep-fried, Buffalo-seasoned, whole chicken accompanied by the remaining Schaefer tall boy of 2012. My level of thanks would have been much greater had he bothered to share any of it with the rest of the SHOFers.


The yuletide season - the time of year for garish Christmas decorations and pure enjoyment of Schaefer. SHOFer Rookie decked out his deck with the red-and-green lights of the season (What? Red-and-GOLD strands weren't available?) and enjoyed a cold one with his pup, Schaefer.

SHOFer Kuzzin Kari jumped back into the action by dressing a random neighbor's inflatables in her former SROH shirt. I'm still trying to convince her to do the same by sitting on a Perv Santa's lap at the mall.

A true highlight for me was to toast a Schaefer with my Uncle Ronald. He introduced me to racing when I was a kid back in the mid 70s. He began driving Chryslers and Plymouths in the early 60s, and began pulling for Richard Petty because King Richard was a Mopar man too.

When he told me I had to pull for Ol' Blue 43 ... or else, I believed him. In short order, I became a fan on my own terms vs. his. Over the years, my uncle and I have shared our share of beer - but never a Schaefer until this year. The ODB Cancer popped him for a second time this year, and he is handling it with a great deal of medical care, dignity, and humor ... and beer I suppose.

So with 2012 behind us and 2013 occupying the full view of our windshields, the Schaefer Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor wish you a Happy New Year.


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