Saturday Football in the South

Good morning, ya'll come on in for some coffee or in the case of Clay, diet coke. It is Saturday in the South and football is supreme as long as it is SEC football. There are none better and if you can yell, Roll Tide, it is even more better. Some of us also pull for Mississippi State, our daddy and granddaddy's Alma mater, and several of us pull for the Golden Eagles of University of Southern Miss.

As you know if you live in the South you must take sides! It is a fact of life even if you didn't attend any of the universities. In Alabama it is either Auburn or Alabama, Georgia is UGA or Georgia Tech and Mississippi is either Mississippi State or Univ. of Miss. In Georgia it really is Georgia or Florida, one of the hottest rivals in the SEC. Whomever you choose, you watch an SEC game come Saturday.

As for me and my house, we like college football. I am not overly fond of pro ball for it is too "pro." The excitement is not there as in college football. Those college boys are giving the best they have for the love of the school and love of the game. They still make mistakes for they are kids but love every minute of it. It is exciting and full of energy and they are not doing it for money as much as the sheer enjoyment of playing.

Of course the coaches are doing it for money, but the love of the game and their affection for the school is evident in most college coaches. It is their livelihood but also their passion. I like to watch their intensity and their enthusiasm as they rack their brains and knowledge of football to coach their teams to win. After all, bragging rights on Sunday by the winning team's fans are important. In Sunday School in the fall, you have to discuss the Saturday football games before Scripture is read or no one will pay attention to the lesson. The preacher has to mention football somewhere in his welcome or feelings are hurt. That is just a fact of life in the South.

It's kinda funny to watch the men on Sunday morning as they arrive at church. The winning team's fans come with the school's colors ties and a great big smile on their faces and the losing team's fans come with school's colors ties and a brave smile and saying, "Just wait till next year or next week." It is serious business.

Even business is on hold in the South during football season. If you go by a local store there will be a TV or radio with the game of choice on. You will be waited on but with a distracted air as they listen or watch the game and try to wait on you. Often there will be whole crowds standing around the TV set watching the game and when they have to leave, they will have the radio in the car tuned to THE game. If you go to Sams Club every TV will have at least one person watching a football game and often many more. All the display chairs and couches will be full of game watchers.

Football reigns supreme in the South and most of us accept and enjoy it. Every Southern woman soon learns to embrace and enjoy the game for she realizes if she is going to catch a Southern man and keep his company, she better learn about football. Our language soon is filled with football lingo such as 4 quarters, passes, quarterbacks and of course we all appreciate the "tight ends." Most of the players have nice "tight ends" and can look even if we can't touch. We know the quarteback's names, the coaches, the win loss records and have our favorites.

We, as Southern women, also quickly learn how to prepare good snacks for our friends to munch while watching football or how to make great tailgate food. Although, many men take cooking for the tailgating crowd as serious business. They will grill and cook at those times when they wouldn't touch a pot or pan at home. Our grandson at UGA strolls through the tailgating section before every home game to sample and help judge the tailgating foods. He said they will beg you to come and sample and enjoy their good food. Of course, you don't have to do much but ask a college student to eat free food but he and others students enjoy the hospitality. They will arrive at the stadium 2-3 hours before the game to help judge the food. After all, it is the South and we have to cook, eat and share our good cooking.

It is most interesting on Monday mornings after Saturday football. If your team wins, you are all smiles and loud "Good mornings" but if your team loses you are quiet and in mourning. You see, you have bragged and bragged about your team the week before and eating "crow" on Monday is not very tasty.

Bottom line - watch a SEC football game today and cheer on your team. It is fun, exciting and Southern to the bone. Now remember, "Roll tide", "Go dawgs - Georgia and Mississippi State" and for non SEC "Fly Golden Eagles" and "Go Seminoles (FSU).

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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