Official Harley Slogan: “Screw it, let’s ride.”
Playboy magazine may be history, but its website is still active, and last week, the brand used its longstanding reputation as the nation’s official arbiter of party hardiness to issue a simply epic beatdown on “The Late Great San Diego State,” after SDSU researchers Drew McNichols and Joseph Sabia contributed to The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19.” The hotly contested report suggested that the most excellent motorcycle rally, an annual event that provides fully half of South Dakota’s annual tourist revenue, could be linked to over 250,000 subsequent diagnoses of coronavirus around the country, a number large enough to kill even the most righteous beer buzz. But critics have criticized the reports methodology, and San Diego county health officials have noted that, while the study ranked San Diego among the highest in terms of “Sturgis attendee inflow,” so far, only two cases here have been traced back to the rally.
The good old days: SDSU’s Alison Waite makes the cover in May of 2006 as the school makes the top ten.
The outcry over the report was large enough to spark speculation and censure from Playboy, which used to regularly rank SDSU among the top ten party schools in the nation: “One fact is clear: Sturgis was an awesome party. Another fact is clear: San Diego State is currently on lockdown because it tried to re-open, and, as its own Daily Aztec put it, ‘The start of the semester has made it abundantly clear that besides bringing 2,600 socially-starved 18 to 20-year-olds back to campus, the administration’s biggest failure was assuming students could handle that much responsibility. In real-time, we see the consequences of this miscalculation playing out: large groups of students partying, not wearing masks and cases on the rise. And all that the students who continue to disregard public health orders will have to show for it are hangovers and a couple of drunken memories.’ Frankly, we find that kind of fetishization of so-called ‘responsibility’ and callous dismissal of the essential role that partying plays in San Diego collegiate life to be shocking, and we here at Playboy are not easily shocked. Our take: sounds like the bros couldn’t handle the ‘rona, and now they’re slagging Sturgis to make themselves feel better. Dick move, SDSU, and not the good kind. Keep it up, and the only thing that will be a drunken memory is your standing in the pantheon of truly great party schools.”