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Is Riding the Rail Worth the T-Shirt?

At the University of Illinois, riding the rail at Legends is considered a coming-of-age accomplishment. However, not all students agree that the infamous “I got Railed at Legends” t-shirt and their names on a plaque are worth spending over $100 on beer. This week, two of our writers decide once and for all if riding the rail is worth it.

Andrew Malone: Let’s be honest, the only people who spend time at Legends are burnt-out seniors. We have a lineup of bars that most other universities could only dream of. The t-shirt is not a badge of honor, and it certainly won’t get you laid– it’s the modern scarlet letter.

Original Pancake: If the “I got Railed at Legends” t-shirt is the scarlet letter, then call me Hester Prynne. Joining the Mug Club at Illini Inn used to be the thing to do before graduating, but since that building was leveled, Legends is the move. Shouldn’t you have something to show for your four years at U of I besides a flimsy piece of paper and textbooks you can’t manage to sell?

Andrew Malone: Ideally, I’ll have a reasonably high-paying job to show for my four years at U of I. Sure, Legends gives you a t-shirt for your troubles. But will you really look back upon your time spent slumped over on a Legends barstool and think those were the glory days? Spend your $100+ elsewhere.

Original Pancake: Most seniors spend their “glory days” forcing themselves to go to KAM’s, which I’m pretty sure will host the next Bubonic plague. Between the $4 Blue Guys, the sinkhole in the basement, and EDM remix of “Come On Eileen” playing on a loop, KAM’s is far more Dante’s Inferno than it is nostalgic. On the other hand, Legends is pristine, their drink deals are better, AND they have darts.

Andrew Malone: You mention that sinkhole like it’s a bad thing! I can’t think of a cooler way to die than being swallowed by a gaping sinkhole beneath a shitty college bar. You’ll die a legend! But I digress. Legends may be pristine, but only because few people spend time there, probably because the main draw of the place is a t-shirt that an eighth-grader might find amusing.

Original Pancake: Don’t pretend like you don’t enjoy eighth grade humor! If you don’t, I hope doing taxes and setting up your 401k plan give you a good ol’ chuckle. Call me a geed or a burnt-out senior if you must, but one thing I know is Legends on Ride the Rail nights is PACKED. I’m talking Maize levels of health code violations on Tuesday and Sunday nights. Legends is not for the claustrophobic.

Andrew Malone: I guess a t-shirt is a better incentive than I thought. Regardless, I stand by my point. If you have deep pockets and a love for Adam Sandler-quality humor, then riding the rail is absolutely worth the t-shirt. But if you’re not part of this niche market, forget about it.

Original Pancake: Adam Sandler in his Billy Madison days, I’m sure you mean. Of course it’s not only about the t-shirt, it’s about good, ol’ fashioned bragging rights! Also, when else in your life will it be socially acceptable to drink three glasses each of 15 different beers (and three repeats of your choice)?

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