Friday, August 31, 2007

I miss you, college football

It struck me the other day. Here, in the middle of Colorado, hours from Boulder, or Fort Collins, or Colorado Springs. Here I am hours from college football. And, I don't want to offend any of my new fellow Coloradoans, but... I'm thousands of miles from the BEST college football. Southern college football. Marching bands that all have names including the word "South" (Mighty Sound of the South, Pride of the Southland, Pride of the South). Dance lines with names like "The Dixie Darlings." Crazy manic fans, singing songs I love to hate (ahem, "Rocky Top"), or spraining their wrists to shake that cowbell just a little louder, or wearing pigs on their heads and hollering "Pig Soooie." I could be wrong, but I just don't see it happening here, where at a recent local high school football game there was the notable absence of both band and cheerleaders. Seriously.

Anyway, I was wallowing in self pity when I read this article and it just made me feel worse.

For example:

The entire South is about ready to explode as summer ends and autumn begins. Football's coming. The preseason magazines appear. Wallet-sized schedules materialize on gas station counters. Meals out are eaten over the soundtrack of folks predicting wins and losses -- and not just sports fans with fantasy teams and chicken wing sauce on their chins. No, grandmothers in Chanel and pearls get worked up -- I mean fired up, brother -- about beating LSU.


I love most everything about Southern football, but more than anything else, I love for it to begin. This year, the twinges hit hard in mid-July. A work trip takes me to Cayce, near the South Carolina campus, where I find myself sitting at the counter of a local restaurant called the Kingsman. It's one of those places that seems as if it has been there forever, like the planets, or Styrofoam. I order a pimento cheeseburger. The Kingsman's famous for these gobs of cholesterol-laden goodness. They're messier than a small-town divorce, but damn, they're good. A woman works a hot griddle covered in sizzling, dancing meat. Then, apropos of nothing, she turns to a waitress who's calling in an order. The spirit's in her. And it's got to come out.

"Only 52 more days 'til football!" she hollers.

They've both stopped work for a moment. The waitress shakes her head.

"It's 51!" she hollers back.

The wait is almost over.

And also:

I love how people who get it are standing up in their office chairs right now ready to get it on and people who don't are scratching their heads and wondering what in the hell is wrong with these rednecks.

I get it. I'll be up and in front of College GameDay at like 8am tomorrow (Mountain time zone, you know). And I'll be living vicariously through those of you who will be there, so, holler extra loud for me, and if anybody asks, "What's the good word?" Give them the answer from me:


Southern Girl said...

See, this is why I could never leave the South. I wouldn't be able to live in a place who doesn't understand that this is IMPORTANT! Who doesn't answer the question, "What time is it?" with "IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!"

You live in a beautiful, sad place. Don't worry -- I'll sing "Rocky Top" at the top of my lungs tomorrow night...just for you. ;)

Matt said...

Being in Hawaii, I'm about as far south as you can get and still be in the US. And I'll be at a college football game tomorrow afternoon, during which I'll yell, "Go to hell Ole Miss." I doubt anyone will understand what the hell I'm saying though.

Desert Songbird said...

Girl, I don't live in the south, but we is FIRED UP about football in this house. We upgraded our Dish feed to HD TODAY, just in time for the weekend viewing.


Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Awww, what a moving and poignant post! :) I'm with Southern Girl, this is one reason I'd never want to leave the South. I mean, I can't imagine not being able to get the college and NFL games I want to see on TV. I can't imagine not being close enough to drive a couple of hours if I want to go see one of those games in person. I wouldn't want to live in a place where they don't understand this mindset. I cannot BELIEVE there was a high school game with no band and no cheerleaders. How incredibly, horribly sad.

Hope you get your fill today.. we'll try to watch some of the Memphis game later today. We will root AGAINST Ole Miss and for Memphis, don't worry. We won't root for Memphis when you guys play us, but we will otherwise. Ole Miss won't play us, so we detest them :)

Brad said...

Yes, it must be football time again. Since I live very close to the Liberty Bowl stadium, my street is full of cars as we speak.

You're missing it, no doubt.

Matt said...

Congratulations on winning the Comedy Movie Quote Contest!

Hopefully you already got your prize in the mail. I was going to send nudie photos of myself but I've been told they're less of a "reward" and more like a "punishment." I think it's because it's too painful to look but not touch.

The Beatty's said...

Had to sit next to those damn Hotty Toddy fans at my first Tiger game yesterday. Don't they know any other cheers?

Lois Grebowski said...

I like Ole Miss! Man, partying in the grove was a highlight of my younger, single daze! Ok...could care less about the football, the partying was what mattered.

Silly Hily said...

A football game with no cheerleaders or band? Dear Heavens.