Imagine what Hunter S. Thompson could have been in 2011.
With an iPad in one hand and an Android in the other, America's greatest gonzo journalist wouldn't have just written about the insanity into which he fully and willingly injected himself, but could have actually filmed himself doing blow off the guard rail at Churchill Downs, and had it on Twitter before he was even done cutting his second line. Between the access he had, and the accompanying balls and talent that made him what he was, he could have changed the world simply via his HuffPo blog and Youtube Channel. Though the thought of limiting him to 140 characters on Hootsuite is akin to asking Van Gogh to paint with Crayolas
There would be downsides as well. Dr. Drew would be on every TV camera he could find calling him an addict and someone that needs help. His words would be dismissed by many before they were even read, as after the fourth time he decked a TMZ paparazzo some judge would inevitably put him in the can for a few days. And he was hardly an ideal talking head, so the split screen with him and David Frum on MSNBC would have been by far the worst medium for expressing his thoughts. The camera looks at the surface before the message, and the messenger wouldn't have ever been polished enough.
But his inevitable screeds against the Tea Party would have made the grenades he threw at Nixon look like foam-tipped lawn darts. And it's possible the college campus speaking tour with Christopher Hitchens would have been filmed by HBO in the same style as the 24/7 Series, leaving a river of whiskey and bourbon behind that would make prohibitionists weep. But he also might have gotten lost in the modern media culture, tossed aside with every other blogger hack anywhere. The truth is we'll never know
I will never pretend to be what HST was to American journalism. But this weekend, I intend to throw myself into this weekend of USF football in a way that would make the man himself proud. And I will drink enough to honor his memory (granted, I'm leaving out the mescaline and coke... authenticity only goes so far).
I get into Chicago about 9:45pm tonight, and head for South Bend about 6am Saturday morning. I'm then heading to this tailgate, which might make the infield on the first Saturday in May in Thompson's hometown of Louisville look like a candle party. I'm not sure how great my internet access will be, but Voodoo has agreed to post what I email him if I can't post to the blog directly. You can also follow along on Twitter at @usfcollin.
There are plenty of places to discuss Daniels vs. Crist or USF's record against Brian Kelly (this blog being one of them), but that's not where I'll be going here. It's not often your alma mater gets to play in such an historic venue, and it's even more amazing when there are more people I care about in life making this trip than aren't. It needs to be documented in the field. Gonzo style. So that's what we're going to do.