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Whose School Parties Harder?

Nobody likes an injustice, especially when kids are involved. But ladies and gentlemen, that's exactly what we have. When Playboy announced the magazine's picks for best party school this week, this nation saw the worst kind of injustice since the Alpha Betas framed the Tri-Lambs in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.

In case you didn't see the results, the University of Miami was named the top party school in America. The University of Texas came in second. It's an outrage. Sure, UM has lots of booze and pretty people, but UT (where I just so happened to have gone to college) prides itself on being the grandest of all the partying institutions.

I immediately began writing letters to Congress, the White House, Hugh Hefner, and the Tri-Lambs (if they can defeat Ogre and the Alpha Betas over and over, they can take care of this, I figured). Nothing.

When assistant entertainment editor Erica "that's really great that you can date someone who eats meat, I don't think I could" Landau --- who attended UM -- overheard my bitching in the newsroom, she told me I was wrong. She said Playboy finally got something right. When Thomas "can you get it up on the blog?" Francis heard our debate, he insisted we take it outside... to the blog.

He asked Erica and me to each give the top five reasons we believe our respective alma maters should be national partying champions. Those passionate lists, after the jump.

The University of Texas

1) Even the flasks at UT carry flasks! You'll have 90,000+ fans at a football game, and damned near every guy there has a giant flask in his Red Wing boot. If you ask politely, the concession-stand workers will leave room at the top of the Cokes for the special treat you'll add at your seat. You can't carry flasks in flip-flops.

2) The mascot is on drugs. You could say Bevo is a giant steer with long, sharp horns that could puncture four bloated undergraduate livers on each side, so he has to be sedated. Or you could say he is a total party animal.

3) Reformed Baptist girls are more fun. They come from their sheltered small towns and God-fearing, wholesome households ready to rebel against everything their conservative fathers preached. And drinking and dancing are only the beginning.

4) The beer is better. Specifically, Shiner Bock. Most college parties consist of Key-Light (or Natty Light or the Beast or some other variation of the cheapest light beers fratboys can buy), but Texas is blessed with a rare, delicious concoction called Shiner Bock. It's the best mass-distribution beer available in this country, and none of the other schools on this list have the same kind of regular access.

5) True, Austin is surrounded by the rest of Texas. But if you never leave Sixth Street, Barton Springs, South Congress, Austin City Limits, South by Southwest, or Juan in a Millions, you'd never have to know. The entire town has a mellow vibe that just begs strangers to come in, get toasted, and soak up the environment. The most popular bumper sticker in the Lone Star state capital: Keep Austin Weird.

University of Miami

From Erica: Although it pains me as a feminist to comment on Playboy being the final arbiter on anything, the University of Miami is what the magazine says. Copious amounts of babes (both sexes, I might add) seem to walk in rotation throughout the insanely well-manicured campus eternally dressed in skimpy threads -- it is, after all, a really expensive school. And the surrounding city, well it's 24 hours. Putting aside that academics at UM have come a long way since the days of Sun-Tan U infamy and that all-nighters are just as likely to mean a caffeine-induced zombie state as a liquor-fueled dance off at Mansion, here is why UM is at the top of the party list:

1) In addition to being a wet campus, UM offers free shuttles to party spots from Coconut Grove to South Beach. South Beach parties easily last till 5 a.m. You've missed the shuttle? You can pass out under one of those nifty deco-decorated lifeguard stands on the beach!

2) Incredibly gorgeous men and women sometimes come to class in bathing suits... because they can... all year long. (Totally inappropriate? Yes. Classiness be damned? Always.)

3) After class, you head to lunch on the UC patio where you ogle MORE half-naked, ridiculously svelte bodies by the pool. They dive, they surface, they shake off. And you experience another Phoebe Cates-inspired moment of glee.

4) UM's not in Texas, where a recent poll showed 48 percent of the state was ready to leave the Union. Sure, Austin rocks, but how long can it keep the crazies at bay? If Northern Florida ever revolts against its liberal lower half, Miamians can escape via boat, Jet Ski, surfboard, perhaps? UT's stuck with John Deere.

5) UM has a much smaller student population than UT, so at least we know where we got our STDs.

Touche. We will leave this unresolved, for the moment. And to Erica, I quote again from that great party epic, Nerds in Paradise, "I hate to use party as a verb, but you guys really know how to party."

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Michael J. Mooney

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