When On A Road Trip With The Boys, The Driver NEVER EVER Controls The Music

Last week we all received a random text asking for our full names for tickets to the Bears vs. Steelers game in Pittsburgh. It was random as fuck because we had no idea we were supposed to go, but it was all good. We were happy to go, of course. Our instructions were to get with our behind the scenes logistics people, get our flights booked up, and be there for the tailgate and game. The only issue was round trip flights were $2000+, so we decided to do the company a solid and drive instead.

Sweet! Love that. Go, shake hands, kiss babies, and watch the soon to be greatest QB of all time emasculate the Steelers in their own city. This is where the story gets.... annoying. At least in my eyes. Not sure if that's the right word, but that's what I'll go with. Pittsburgh is only 7 hours away. I wanted to leave early Sunday morning and be get there for the late afternoon games that day. Pittsburgh isn't a bad drive at all, but it's just far enough where you pretty much kill a day driving. That's why I wanted to leave early Sunday so we had the buffer time before the tailgate on Monday where we could do Primanti Bros, maybe film something, etc. 

That, and I knew there would be some sort of delay in getting there with ample time before the game.

The rest of the group didn't want to do that. They wanted to leave early Monday, go to the game, sleep, leave Pittsburgh early Tuesday. That's fine, I was the outlier and as annoyed as I was that they wanted to "just chill" on Sunday, I was the odd man out and that's how it goes. Group decision, even though it still doesn't make sense that they'd rather drive 16 hours or so in a 24 hour period, at least not to me. 

Whatever though. Ed rented the car and picked us up at the office. We were supposed to leave around 830 or so but didn't hit the road until about 945-10am central, so before we even hit the road we were already late. Again, whatever. The trip started, I was shotgun, and Chief/Producer Tom were in the back. Since I was riding shotgun, I knew I had the most important job of the entire trip: to man the music and GPS. 

So I grabbed the aux chord and fired it up. That's when Ed said, "no we're listening to Sirius". NO SHOT. Absolutely not. I had to put my foot down because that was a blatant violation of the societal rule that states, "the driver drives. The shotgun passenger controls GPS/Music". Ed didn't like that but since he got his way with when we left, where we left from, who drove, etc. I did in fact say "no fucking shot we're listening to random Sirius stations" and eventually got my way. There's give and take in any negotiation and this was one rule I wasn't budging on. 

That's when Ed fired off this tweet: 

Did I pop a gummy? Sure did. It's a 7 hour drive, we had 4 people, and even if I did offer to drive, every last one of them would have said, "no". The ONLY people who were EVER driving that car were Ed and Chief (Tom's from Manhattan NY and doesn't hardly drive). I know that, Ed knows that, and anyone who's remotely familiar with our content in the Chicago office knows that. Fine by me, I'll sit shotgun, mildly buzzed, and work my Spotify magic. 

THAT SAID - I don't rule with an iron fist like Ed. I routinely asked the rest of the car what they wanted to hear. Sure, I was the one controlling the Spotify from my phone, but I was consistently asking for suggestions. On top of that, Chief and I have extremely similar taste in music and he would be the first to admit that I know how to work the 1s and 2s on a long drive. 

I tried to play music that was tolerable for everybody at worst. Not like I was playing Slipknot (I do like them) or shit like that. We went with Turnpike Troubadours and Tyler Childers for like 90% of the ride. I rolled with Turnpike, Chief rolled with Childers. Nobody said a word about how they didn't like it. As far as I'm aware, everyone enjoyed it. If you're familiar with either of those two acts then you know they're perfect for a road trip as they're both awesome acts, but also awesome background music in the midst of conversation while on the open road. Easy listening, as they say. Producer Tom did at one point say he wanted to hear Zed's Dead but.... yeah no. Sorry Tom, we're on a car ride, not dropping ecstasy at Coachella or Firefly. 

I can admit when I'm wrong though. If I'm out of line, I'll be the first to say so. I've always operated under what I have assumed is a societal rule that the shotgun passenger controls the flow of music on 100% of car rides and it's NEVER the driver. Not ever. Not ever ever ever. He can give his input and suggest a band or artist, but he's not the one pushing the buttons on the phone. There's a reason a lot of newer cars won't even let the driver control music unless the car is completely stopped. It's because you gotta keep your goddamn eyes on the road and not worry about the music. That's the shotgun passenger's job. 




Also - Ed complained about my GPS and co-pilot skills. As the co-pilot on the voyage, yes, directions solely fall on my shoulders. That said, I didn't anticipate those skills would be needed until we got to AT LEAST Toledo. Probably more like the Cleveland area. Literally all you do is take I-80 east for like 300 miles and anybody who's live in Chicago for any amount of time knows how to get to 80 east.