Category Archives: One CFB Road Trip to rule them all

“If you cannot find shelter, lay face down in a ditch and cover your head with your hands…”

I was listening to 88.1, the South Bend/Michiana NPR station, when this warning came blaring through a story about former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s triumphant return being attacked by bombing. It was a tornado warning.

Let me emphasize: it was a TORNADO WARNING. Tornadoes are gigantic wind funnels that hurl cows and cars and Jons miles away from their respective starting points. They are terrific mechanisms to demonstrate our keen lack of understanding when it comes to nature and all the terrible, wonderful, ghastly things it can do to softly fleshed vertebrates. I am a softly fleshed vertebrate.

Yesterday, Thursday, started off beautifully. It was actually hot for a little bit. I meandered around. Checked out some books at Barnes and Noble, did some used book shopping, recovered from the previous night, etc. All the while I kept thinking, “If this isn’t nice, what is?” Then it got a bit windy, which was nice. The clouds – huge cumulus things that looked exactly the way clouds ought to look – started rolling in, and I thought, again, “If this isn’t nice, what is? Georgia O’Keefe would be loving this.”

As I left the bookstores, the tornado warning came through. By then I was already in Zen driving mode, and anything that is said to me in Zen driving mode might as well be a koan: philosophical, not meant to be dwelled upon, a stepping off point for the great nether that is Two and Ten O’Clock S.O.P., or at least Two O’Clock. Even through this state, the fantastic surreality of “If you cannot find shelter, lay face down in a ditch and cover your head with your hands…” managed to break through enough where I could write it down afterwards, when the winds were at 55 m.p.h. and I was wondering what I’d do if my car was flung into the Indiana night. (Answer: my thumb, and a sign.) At this point though, I’m dumb as shit.

When I got out of my car to head to Notre Dame’s library for a little series of tubes tubin’, my door was flung open. “Gee, that’s odd,” I thought. “Not only am I thinking in Jerry Mathers’ voice, but there seems to be a tremendous amount of wind. And the sky has gotten very, very dark. I wonder what I should eat tonight?”

After the library I decided to take a run, like I’d done the previous two nights, to the Grotto and past the Dome and the Basilica. It’s calming stuff, and one of the reasons I didn’t go to USF at Rutgers: time enough to soak in Notre Dame, and really question why it is I hate this place and these people so fervently, and so blindly, and so happily.

Anyway: running. I get back to the car depressed about my physical state of being. It starts raining. “Odd,” I thought. “The weather was gorgeous not two hours ago. And now there seems to be a Satanic mass of roiling blackness the shape and color and consistency and entropic dissonance of a cloud of ink dropped into a bowl of water, all of which is suspended on the lip of a black hole the size of the Crab Nebula, and it seems to be headed towards me, and there’s lightning, and HOLY SHIT TORNADO WARNING.”

This would repeat itself every thirty minutes for the next six hours or so. I’d be eating spaghetti at Rocco’s and then look at customers coming inside soaking wet and think, “HOLY SHIT TORNADO WARNING,”; or I’d be playing a game of cornhole at Corby’s and wonder why we were playing under an awning when all of a sudden, “HOLY SHIT TORNADO WARNING,”; or I’d be drinking a pint of bitter at Fiddler’s Hearth talking about tornado warnings with a local, who said the proximity to the lake would keep a tornado from manifesting near Notre Dame and that it’s not that big of a deal, sorta like an earthquake warning, when, of course: “HOLY SHIT, HE SAID IT WAS LIKE AN EARTHQUAKE WARNING. WE DON’T GET THOSE, BUT IF WE DID I’D BE OUTTA THERE.”

No one seemed overly concerned that every channel had a miniature map of Indiana with St. Joseph county an ugly, glaring red meant to indicate blood, viscera, etc. being catapulted who knows where by a living manifestation of God’s ill will. I mean, shit: TORNADO WARNING. I could hear the wind, I could see the lightning, I could see a gigantic black cloud where there was clear sky, and, in my mind, my car was a minute away from being sucked up one end of an enormous, natural Hoover. They all took it in stride, which is perhaps something in their favor. I, on the other hand, was freaked out like a bat shit crazy Californian stuck in Indiana during a TORNADO WARNING. But it was nice to know it was just another day in South Bend, where the wrath of God is as tangible as anywhere else in the form of tornadoes and 1-6 starts. One guy told me the last warning was in July, and then he starts talking about how he can’t remember the last time Notre Dame was 1-6. 1-6 is apparently much worse than a tornado.

So I spent that night huddled in my car listening to the winds. I parked, on purpose, between two other cars in Notre Dame Stadium’s parking lot. I figured the tornado would have to get the cars on either side of me first, which goes to show you what an idiot Californian thinks when confronted with a TORNADO WARNING. The next morning everything seemed fine until I start hearing about people being delayed in their flights, or even worse. My own family was stuck in Minneapolis overnight.

It was with no surprise that I read this article not an hour ago, then. This is a text Desmond Reed sent me: “yea man it was the craziest flight ive ever been on… we dropped so fast that everyone hit their head on the roof of the plane.”

It all makes sense. “If you canoot find shelter, lay face down in a ditch and cover your head with your hands” is the kind of advice I needed post-Stanford. USC football seems to be flying into an event horizon marked by a total eclipse of the sun and a funnel of wind half a mile high (not to mention things like Autzen, Strawberry Canyon, Tempe, etc.). Everyone else is focused on whether Boston College or Arizona State deserve to be number two, or maybe LSU? Meanwhile the Trojans flew through what could have been an utter and unspeakable disaster to play the Fighting Irish on the 30th anniversary of the 1977 Green Jersey Game. Perhaps these South Benders aren’t as crazy as I thought. Not only is 1-6 apparently much worse than a tornado, a tornado is just a natural harbinger of a game no one else but me, USC fans and Notre Dame fans care much for. So now I’m sitting here thinking, why is everyone talking about Mizzou/Texas Tech or Florida/Kentucky?, because all I’m thinking is “HOLY SHIT USC NOTRE DAME.”


Filed under Notre Dame, One CFB Road Trip to rule them all, USC

The College Football Hall of Fame

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Brutality and foul play should receive the same summary punishment given to a man who cheats at cards.” -Theodore Roosevelt, on the state of American football in 1905 when almost twenty fatalities brought the game to the nation’s attention.

“Rap music is the sound that ushers in the decade.” -Entry for the year 1990.

“The potential power of the game may be greater than the experience would suppose.” -Archibald MacLeish, accepting his award for something or other having to do with football. MacLeish was a Yale letterman in 1914 and 1915.

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Filed under One CFB Road Trip to rule them all

Blogpoll week… 8?

Rank Team Delta
1 South Florida 2
2 Ohio State 3
3 Oklahoma 8
4 Boston College 2
5 LSU 4
6 South Carolina 2
7 California 5
8 Oregon 2
9 Arizona State
10 Texas Tech 10
11 Kentucky 12
12 Kansas 2
13 Virginia Tech 5
14 Boise State 1
15 Missouri 11
16 West Virginia 1
17 Cincinnati 10
18 Florida 8
19 Hawaii 7
20 Texas 6
21 Tennessee 5
22 Michigan 4
23 Auburn 1
24 Southern Cal 2
25 Virginia 1

Dropped Out: Illinois (#13), Florida State (#16), Indiana (#19), Wisconsin (#21), Texas A&M (#22), Wyoming (#25).

Aghhhhhhhh. In some respects: best season ever to go a-road-trippin’. In others, like the fact that I just can’t watch that many games on TV… well, I feel like I’m missing out on the mayhem. Then again: I’ve seen 9 of my Top 25 live.

I guess the biggest question here is: why do I have South Florida number one and not, say, Ohio State (who’s just been destroying people) or Boston College (featuring a QB I can’t help but have a mancrush on) or Arizona State (a team I suspect as being sorta kinda meandering along fooling us into thinking “Top 10 material!!!”) or anyone else? Because South Florida’s defense scared the living bejeebus out of me. They were so impressive it’s made a huge lasting impression resulting in me ranking them above Ohio State for several weeks now. This will all be rectified by this coming Thursday when the Bulls play Rutgers and I see what’s up. Also: I’ll be at the Wisconsin-Ohio State game and the Va. Tech-BC game. So that should cast light on any lingering doubts.

And aaaaaagh PSU and Michigan. What to do with you? I still believe in Morelli’s inherent inability despite the Wisconsin beat down, so there you go: when in doubt, side with Hart.

Road trip update: I think I’m sitting at 7,000 miles, give or take a few hundred here or there. States visited are in this order: California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana. I have gained a good 10 lbs., which is unsurprising given that my main three exercise routines are drinking, eating and driving. And walking to towing companies.

And for anyone unsure what my schedule is:

Saturday, September 1st
Colorado State at Colorado (Denver, CO, Mile High Stadium); 10:00 AM

Saturday, September 8th
Miami (Fla) at Oklahoma (Norman, OK); 12:00 PM

Saturday, September 15th
USC at Nebraska (Lincoln, NE); 8:00 PM

Thursday, September 20th
Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee State (Murfreesboro, TN); 7:00 PM

Saturday, September 22nd
Georgia at Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL); TBA

Friday, September 28th
West Virginia at South Florida (Tampa, FL); 8:00 PM

Saturday, September 29th
Auburn at Florida (Gainesville, FL); TBA

Thursday, October 4
Kentucky at South Carolina (Columbia, SC); 7:30 PM

Saturday, October 6
Virginia Tech at Clemson, (Clemson, SC); TBA

Wednesday, October 10
Navy at Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA); 8:00 PM

Saturday, October 13
Wisconsin at Penn State (State College, PA); 3:30 PM

Saturday, October 20
USC at Notre Dame (South Bend, IN); 3:30 PM

Thursday, October 25
Boston College at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA); 7:30 PM

Saturday, October 27
South Carolina at Tennessee (Knoxville, TN); TBA [First choice?]
Florida at Georgia (Jacksonville, FL); TBA [Second choice? Agh. Get back to me on this one.]

Sunday, October 28
UCF at Southern Miss (Hattiesburg, MS); 8:00 PM

Saturday, November 3
Wisconsin at Ohio State (Columbus, OH); TBA

Tuesday, November 6
Central Michigan at Western Michigan (Kalamazoo, MI); 7:30 PM

Wednesday, November 7
Ohio at Akron (Akron, OH); 7:30 PM

Thursday, November 8
Louisville at West Virginia (Morgantown, WV); 7:30 PM

Saturday, November 10
Auburn at Georgia (Athens, GA); TBA

Saturday, November 17
Ohio State at Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI); TBA [First choice]
LSU at Ole Miss (Oxford, MS); TBA [Second choice]
Maryland at Florida State (Tallahassee, FL); TBA [Larger data sample=more credibility]

Thursday, November 22
USC at Arizona State (Tempe, AZ); 8:00 PM

Saturday, November 24
Notre Dame at Stanford (Palo Alto, CA); TBA

Saturday, December 1
UCLA at USC (Los Angeles, CA); 4:30 PM

States covered:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia


Filed under Blogpoll, One CFB Road Trip to rule them all

So this is what it feels like

… to be human again.

From 2002, Pete Carroll’s second season at USC, to the 2007 Rose Bowl the Trojans lost a total of 6 games by an average margin of 3.67 points: a 7 pointer to 11-2 Kansas State in Manhattan in 2002 along with a 3 point overtime loss to 2002 Co-Pac 10 Champion Washington State in Pullman; a triple overtime shocker in Strawberry Canyon in 2003; an epic Rose Bowl loss to a guy who may turn out to be one of the greatest players of the modern era; a deflected 2-point conversion in Corvallis and a redzone interception in Pasadena in 2006.

Say what you want about Oregon State and UCLA, but at least keep in mind that both teams took USC to its limits in the 2004 title year.

And then there’s Stanford. There is simply no accounting for Stanford: at home, with a 35 game winning streak on the line, against a rookie coach who pissed off Carroll, starting a wide eyed lesbian ceramics associate professor at QB. Stanford.

So why was I standing in the bowels of Beaver Stadium – having just watched Penn State dispatch Wisconsin with ruthless ease and suffered through three updates about the USC-Arizona game (10-10, Arizona up 13-10, USC up 17-13…), all of them accompanied by wild cheering from the crowd – with a huge grin on my face? I watched the last minutes of the game on one of those TV screens they have by concession stands. I watched with a crowd who desperately wanted to see USC lose, because everyone loves an underdog. When David Buehler kicked it through the uprights I turned around and grinned maliciously at them, the kind of grin that’s less smile and more baring of fangs. I pumped a few “V”s, which probably confused everyone. And for the first time since that 2002 season, my favorite season in who knows how many years of watching football, I didn’t think about mistakes, injuries, what-ifs, polls, ramifications, anything, really, except one thing: how good it feels to win.

It’s been so long since USC’s had a realistic chance of losing to anyone except one of the traditional powerhouses of college football (Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan). This is what it felt like in 2002, but, more specifically, this is what it felt like pre-2002: anything can happen, anything will happen, and, yes, even a 7 point win over a hapless Arizona team is a miracle, a godsend, a blessing, a wonder, something worth celebrating in of itself. This was not the case with some of the wins over the past several years. I was spoiled; we all were.

I’m a fan, so naturally I have ideas about what needs to happen for USC to be in New Orleans. (Hah!). But for the first time in a long time I’m only thinking about the next game and the stated goal: to make sure Notre Dame’s only win is over UCLA, which is thoroughly acceptable to a USC fan. Whether that win’s by 3 or 30, I’ll take it.

Oddly, this seems like an evolution, or at least a personal one. I’m sure Pete Carroll doesn’t exactly agree, though according to Scott Wolf:

About the only one who seems oblivious is Carroll. He blithely said it was a “sweet game for us” and “a great day for everyone here at the Coliseum.”

I have a lot to say about Wolf, by the way, but for now: he’s the best USC beat reporter because he very often has the best information; he’s also hideously unreadable thanks in part to his inability to understand the basic tenets of grammar and objectivity. And in this case, he also misses the point – though I can’t blame him, since many others probably did, too. But not Carroll.

It was a sweet game for me, the sweetest kind of victory: any victory at all.

“You have to worry about what’s best for the team,” [Steve] Sarkisian said. “You can’t worry about (the fans).”

Ask 2002 Ohio State if any of those wins are anything less than magnificent. I’m not saying I want this to be the status quo. A five touchdown victory over Charlie and the (On Strike) Touchdown Factory would be lovely, but, again, it’s nice to be human again.

From the same Daily News article:

“People have to learn this is the way it’s going to be for a while,” Sarkisian said. “This isn’t Matt (Leinart), Reggie (Bush), LenDale (White) and Dwayne (Jarrett).

None of them are going to be easy now. We have to play tight football games. Field position is a big deal now. We never talked about that before.

We’re going to be a in a dogfight. We’re learning. We’re a different football team. The punter matters now.

The bolded portions are my own doing. They say, essentially, welcome back to reality. This is how 99% of college football teams do it. Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted, because it might be a while until it happens again – if at all. Which is something else worth reviewing: did I enjoy the past 5 years enough? I think so. I hope so. I was drunk most of the time, anyway. Not that I’ve evolved past that.

Not that I’ve evolved past reveling in the pain of others, either.

Bettering USC means a lot to the LSU Nation as evidenced by what happened when Tiger Stadium public address announcer Dan Borne announced USC’s loss to the record crowd of 92,910 just after LSU scored a touchdown to cut Florida’s lead to 17-14 midway in the fourth quarter. Players and fans went wild, and the noise was deafening.

“When they announced the USC-Stanford score, the stadium came loose,” Miles said. “We were operating to win the game, and when that happened it was like another shot of adrenaline that just said, ‘C’mon guys, let’s go play.’ It was a nice feel.” [LINK]

Guess what I did after watching PSU bludgeon Wisconsin and USC escape with a win? I watched Kentucky beat LSU, and I cheered my little ol’ schadenfreude loving heart out. Then I watched Oregon State beat Cal at home. For a good four hour period on Saturday I was back to a very familiar, very comfortable place: screw everyone that’s not dressed in cardinal and gold. That also felt a bit like an evolution.


Filed under One CFB Road Trip to rule them all, USC, We lost to fucking Stanford?!

Navy 48, Pittsburgh 45 (2OT): a (smallish) photo essay


Filed under Big East, Independents, One CFB Road Trip to rule them all

Week four, part two: Western Kentucky 20, Middle Tennessee State 17; Georgia 26, Alabama 23 (OT); hunk o’ burning goat love; tellums; a warm bath; a swab

Note: this has been a long time coming. Much has happened since WKU over MTSU. The only thing you need to know: I am, at long last, in the South.

First, some etcetera regarding Middle Tennessee State:

The Blue Raiders have been the Blue Raiders since 1934, when a contest was held to determine a suitable nickname for the school. The current mascot is a winged horse. It looks like a pegasus. It’s kinda cool the way newly minted mascots are cool: clear beneficiaries of at least two generations of draftsmen who were raised on design theory and attention grabbing iconography. The mascot before that was a blue tick hound named Ol’ Blue. The Tennessee Volunteers’ mascot is also a blue tick hound, which might be why MTSU changed their totem to a winged horse: when you are the largest university in the state of Tennessee but perhaps the third most recognized university in the state of Tennessee, there is no room for even remote emulation. Before Ol’ Blue, there was the Blue Raider: a student dressed up as Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate general who went on to found the Ku Klux Klan and a Tom Hanks movie. Understandably, there were protests in the 1970s (and likely before).

I found this out at the MTSU coach’s show at the Bluesboro Cafe, on Tuesday.

Me and Coach Stockstill, at Bluesboro Cafe.

Let me declare this forthrightly and without equivocation: in no way did I harbor any thoughts of Forrest, the KKK or anything similar during my time in Murfreesboro. The people were just too nice. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t perhaps a bit wide eyed and curious on Wednesday night, when I pulled into Mark’s Campus Pub for a bit o’ pre-game drinking and karaoke singin’ and a wee bit o’ pukin’ and drunk pick up linin’.

Mark’s Campus Pub is quite possibly the single worst bar I’ve ever been to, if I were judging solely on the criterion of physical facility quality. There is no such contest, however. As Samuel L. Jackson said, “But, this bar’s got personality. And personality goes a long way.”

Example: first song of the night was Primus’ “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” as performed by a twenty something gentleman straight out of England’s catalog of thin jeaned, shaggy haired, tiny shirt wearing soldiers of shambolic glory. What he lacked in vocal talent he made up in pure, very apparent enthusiasm. At this point there were maybe thirty people in the bar – so standing room only.

After Indie Rock Avatar there was a shuffling from the back, near the foosball table. Out of a crowd of baseball cap wearing frat boys, a slowly rotating galaxy of tattooed leather enthusiasts and a sprinkling of seemingly out of place southern belles wearing – yes – sundresses, out stepped a girl who couldn’t have, soaking wet and holding a largish loaf of country wheat with a cummerbund of homemade sausages, weighed more than 98 lbs. You may think I am simply adhering to the time honored figure of 98 lbs., but I physically weighed her. Even after making a sandwich out of her regalia, she did not move an ounce past that number.

Which is why it was totally unsurprising that she belted out Rob Zombie’s “Dragula”, the chorus punctuated by the baring of fangs, the flashing of devil horns and the occasional (but emphatic) conjuration of the following example of metathesis: “Tuck Kenfucky!”

Neither of the first two singers were any good. The guy who got up to sing “Walking in Memphis” was tall, vaguely east of the Caucus-looking, effeminate and possessed of the beginnings of a beer belly. In no way did I expect him to transform the night into pure Tennessee, simply by singing a song I’d never heard before. He did. And holy shit, could he sing.

Put on my blue suede shoes
And I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain
W.C. Handy — won’t you look down over me
Yeah I got a first class ticket
But I’m as blue as a boy can be

Then I’m walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel

I hadn’t been to Memphis. Still haven’t. But with one song, with everyone else singing in the bar – frat boys, goths, leatherkids, dresses, old men who should know better, the bouncer in the blue tank top and the ZZ top beard, the two aged and dispirited bartenders who were so bored with college kids they can’t even bother to smirk anymore, even they’re singing – I got a sense of what it must be like to be from here.

Bret, 23, explained: “Fifty percent of the time I’m embarrassed by the people around here. You get the guys who wave the Confederate flag, the idiots and the bigots. Some of them are just so ignorant it makes me want to scream. But the other half, more than half the time, man, it’s more than half by far, I think… I’m so proud of my southern heritage. There’s no place I’d rather be. No better place to grow up. I’ve been here [at MTSU] for five years now and I’m so disillusioned. We suck, y’know? We’re awful. But I still watch the games. I still love being here.”

Me: “Yeah, but when you finally pull off that ten win season it’s gonna be that much sweeter. Fans of bad teams get shit all their lives, but when it happens, it happens.”

Bret: “Yeah, well, that line stopped working after about year three….”

By then a group of six men, many of them with collared shirts tucked into jeans and boots, get up for their song. Their previous number was Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice”. I figure another homage to white boys lip syncing to gangsta rap is in order, but instead the familiar twangs of the opening chords to Lynard Skynard’s “Sweet Home Alabama” come on. The entire bar starts rawking. It’s a strange sight to see so many Tennesseans singing “Sweet Home Alabama” so happily, so much so that when the chorus comes around and the traditional (in Tuscaloosa) “Roll, Tide, Roll!” is normally sung, confusion is remedied with a very loud, very joyous


Now, I’ve seen Bama stuff all over Nashville, Lynchburg and Murfreesboro – almost as much as I’ve seen Tennessee Volunteer stuff. Plus: this is an MTSU bar. What gives?

Bret: “Hating Alabama is universal, man. I hate UT, too. But fuck Alabama.”

By now the entire bar is singing: Indie Rock Avatar, 98 lbs. girl, large effeminate Memphis walker, they are all of them screaming out


and then we tear through a rendition of “Dixieland Delight” (ironically, by the band Alabama), and I’m actually singing lines like

Spend my dollar, parked in a holler,
‘Neath the mountain moonlight.
Hold her up tight,
Make a little lovin’,
A little turtle dovin’.
On a Mason-Dixon night.
Fits my life, oh so right,
My Dixieland Delight.

when Marc Cohn’s lyric finally hits me.

They’ve got catfish on the table
They’ve got gospel in the air
And Reverend Green be glad to see you
When you haven’t got a prayer
But boy you’ve got a prayer in Memphis

Now Muriel plays piano
Every Friday at the Hollywood
And they brought me down to see her
And they asked me if I would —
Do a little number
And I sang with all my might
And she said —
“Tell me are you a Christian child?”
And I said “Ma’am I am tonight”

Better to ask, “Tell me are you a southern child?” Who knew, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, of all places? From that day until I passed from Clemson into Washington, D.C., I said it to everyone I could talk to: “I love the South.”


The game itself was a disappointment. The MTSU that hung 42 on Louisville at Papa John’s Stadium was nowhere to be found. To Western Kentucky’s credit, an excellent defense helped limit the first start of talented freshman QB Dwight Dasher. The QB who almost led the Blue Raiders to an upset over Louisville was injured. He has since relinquished his job to Dasher.

This is as prosaic as can be. Don’t be fooled: there was considerable pain and anguish and wailing from the MTSU faithful. This was, after all, their first home game. It was their first game against rival WKU since 1991. It was their first game with the new JumboTron.

(Side note: this was pretty much all anyone could talk about. The JumboTron was the circus, the county fair, a presidential debate and the Summer Olympics all alighting at town hall long enough for each resident to get a peek. It was a big deal. I paid particular attention to it during the game. The camera operators and booth editors were all jacked up like squirrels on meth. There were dangerously epileptic montages, quicksilver camera cuts and a barrage of fades and dissolves found only in student films based on elaborate Jerry Bruckheimer-as-modern-Fellini theses, i.e., pure chaos out of a well meaning intent to impress and, perhaps, enlighten.)

I stayed with Chris and John, both of MTSU message board fame, in their box for a while. Their friend, whose name I have forgotten to my eternal dismay, spent most of the time chatting me up and asking me what I thought and generally shaking his head because, after all, what a shameful performance for me to see, but here’s a commemorative football for you and good luck to you. This kind of kindness was, again, protocol. Our discussion was routinely interrupted by the deck above, where a sorority had established a beachhead, set up kill zones and deployed armor. We all wanted very much to storm that beach. Every time we looked up above us all we could see was glorious, wonderful, undulating female. It was exactly like that scene in Saving Private Ryan where the camera pulls back to reveal Normandy covered in troops, trucks, tanks, tankers, battleships, airplanes, dirigibles, matériel, etc., except with breasts. I went upstairs at halftime.

I had a pretty good time. There was a fellow there dressed in a salmon and mint seersucker ensemble, which was impressive but not that much more than all the other frat boys wearing coats and ties and somehow not dying of glandular meta-sweatification. The women all wore sundresses, or dresses. (What’s the difference, anyway?) Everyone had two things on the brain: football, and sex, and not in that order.

One guy who was so drunk he was outraged they wouldn’t stop play whenever he called timeout: “You know what the point of football games is? Getting laid.”

(Time travel: I am coasting through the panhandle of Florida towards Tampa almost a week later, lazily driving along HWY 98, when I spot a CVS Pharmacy in the town of Navarre. It makes me think of penicillin, and whether I need penicillin, and perhaps I should make a stop at a local doctor’s office because it’s about time I do this, the South’s been kind so far so let’s not put anyone in harm’s way, and it’s really for everyone’s peace of mind but especially my own, plus maybe I’ll get a lollipop. So I pull into the Holley Navarre Medical Clinic where a Mr. Joel Rudman, M.D. has his practice. It’s the first time I’ve ever bothered using my PPO, and I feel happy that my $10 co-pay is making that $90 monthly worthwhile. The exterior of the office is like any other: vaguely white, vaguely beige, lots of Good Housekeeping back issues. Once I get inside I find 1) a Tim Tebow poster autographed by Tebow 2) a national championship poster/schedule/future schedule 3) Gator stickers 3a) a sticker proclaiming “This is… the Swamp” and not, in fact, the Holley Navarre Medical Clinic of Navarre, FL 4) an actual media guide to the Florida Gators’ 2007 season, sitting in waiting room one 5) Joel Rudman, who is a big goofy guy who acts like he’s a teenager but is clearly a competent medical authority because, hey, he’s got a coat on and his handwriting looks sloppy, and boy does he like the Gators. I like him immediately. We chat about general STD detection methods, my fear of needles, Gator football, the LSU juggernaut, gonorrhea, AIDS tests, SEC football, the book Dixieland Delight, etc. I drop the drawers. I ask him whether he thinks Florida will beat LSU. He asks me where it’s at. He takes a Q-tip like device and, rather painfully, takes a swab from you-know-where-but-just-in-case-it’s-the-pee-hole. I tell him it’s at Death Valley. He puts the Q-tip thing in a little canister, and I pull up my board shorts. He notes that Death Valley is a tough place to play, but especially under the lights. Naturally, he says, it’ll be a night game. Tough, tough place to play. Those Cajuns are crazy. Yup. So, Jon, where’s your next game? Oh, Florida-Auburn. I’m really looking forward to it. Really?, I’m going there too. And suddenly I can’t remember the information he’s been doling out between these sentences, vital stuff like how long the tests will take and when I should call, because I’m wondering if I can find him and his tailgate. We shake hands, I pantomime a Gator chomp, he laughs and says “Maybe I’ll see you in New Orleans!” and that’s how my STD check went. So as much as the MTSU kid was right in that live college football games are fantastic ways to get laid, there’s also this: college football is a fantastic way to pass the time during otherwise awkward/uncomfortable moments related to the realm of sex, its repercussions, its lack thereof, or simply the general theory/practice of. I am not going to lie to you: I have found myself, mid-coitus, wondering whether USC’s game was going to get picked up by the local affiliates. This is my world.)

The ladies of Alpha Omicron Pi made signs and cheer, but they weren’t exactly into it. I asked one of them what she gets out of football games.

“Oh, I watch the cheerleaders most of the time. They’re pretty amazing.”

Fair enough. College football can’t captivate everyone the way it does me, and here’s the proof: MTSU, a traditionally mediocre football school that’s only recently been tabbed as a possible Sun Belt power, has football games. Those football games are entertaining by themselves, sure, but more than that they serve as a gigantic mixer for anyone who wants to be excused from the kind of liabilities and stigmas we impose on those who scream, paint themselves, get drunk, shout obscenities, flirt openly and dangerously, curse men much larger than ourselves, wave towels, belch, do the wave, question play calling, invest vast amounts of concern into a game, get arrested, etc. It is an Event that happens only once a week, twelve times a year, in the localized region of the brain known as The Eternal Autumn. Not everyone can be hideously obsessed with the actual game, so there are such things as alcohol, sundresses, cheerleaders and getting laid.

Or dancing.

This is the MTSU Moving Man. I thought he was the Dancing Man, but he kept calling himself the Moving Man and so, I feel, should I. He rocked the crowd. Here we are doing a chorus kick, even though you can’t see it.

After the game he showed up to one of the tailgates I ended up at. He came right on over, talking and jabbering like he knew every single one of us. He was soaked with sweat. He conversed one sidedly about his 40th high school reunion in Chattanooga, MTSU women’s basketball games, parking lots, free form jazz, exercise instruction, and hot dogs. He was particularly interested in hot dogs, specifically the ones cooking on the nearby grill. In the peculiar and thoroughly old people way that old people do, he assumed the hot dogs/general resources of the community/everything were his for the taking because he was both old and the MTSU Moving Man, which doesn’t trump oldness so much as it augments it. He ate our BBQ chips. He drank our soda. And, after he left because we clearly had become a bit uncomfortable with him (not that he knew, cared, etc.), all one girl could say to me was, “The dancing man stole your hot dog.”

Which is a pretty good way to end this post.

NEXT: Bama. And I mean it this time.


Filed under One CFB Road Trip to rule them all, SBC

I think I might’ve jinxed USC

From a guide to using Simpsons quotes during bowl season [Dec. 23, 2006]…

Quote: “The two sweetest words in the English language: de-fault! De-fault! De-fault!”
Episode: Deep Space Homer” (2/24/94)
Context on the show: Homer is informed he’ll be America’s newest astronaut after leading candidate Barney Gumble lapses back into alcoholism, thus enabling a win by default.
When to use: If your team’s playing a traditionally bad program, or when your team beats a traditionally bad program. Unfortunately for you those two events don’t always come after each other.
Example: You are playing Stanford.
Notes: Using this chant before a game may jinx you. To ward off the effects of a curse simply sacrifice the nearest virgin – which, if you’re playing a traditonally bad football program and therefore a traditionally strong academic school, should be very near.

I did not actually use this chant, but in my mind I was certainly repeating it.

Also: Brian of mgoblog, on the subject of the Straight Bangin’ Award…

Last week:

During the season, the Straight Bangin’ Award is often the property of blogs covering a highly-ranked team coming off a dispiriting loss. This week Saurian Sagacity goes flapjack nuts, as mentioned, ranking UF #21.

Our top four voters in this category represent USC, Florida, Wisconsin, and USC. The winner is Jonathan Tu, who one-ups Saurian Sagacity by leaving USC completely out of his poll. Saurian Sagacity‘s own total omission of Florida from their ballot can’t compare; they narrowly finish second. I believe Tu’s winning margin of -12.46 is the highest score ever recorded in this category.

It’s kinda like having your home country/state/prefecture/etc. register the largest recorded earthquake ever. On one hand, wow!, death and devastation! On the other hand, hey!, first place!

And here’s a very vaguely related link, just because I can: Earthquake Sets Japan Back To 2147 [The Onion]

Finally: Navy 48, Pittsburgh 45 (2OT) was incredible. I got on the field during halftime as part of the gigantic American flag unfolding-thingie. I sat with the Pitt students for the first three quarters of the game. Then I moved to the Navy section for the fourth. Pictures will be up soon enough (and by soon, I mean whenever the hell I get around to it.) This game reaffirmed everything I love about college football. Stanford still hurts the way a pike to your innards hurts – deep, probably fatal, certainly a prolonged and painful period of dealing-with-pike-wound, and oddly archaic – but celebrating Dave Wannstedt’s immense and awe inspiring stupidity with a bunch of Midshipmen was as cathartic as anything I can think of. If there was a better time to not be in Los Angeles I can’t think of it.

Though I’m certain many people would be more than happy to explain to me that any time is a good time to not be in Los Angeles.

A big thank you to Chad Reed, who played on the offensive line for Pitt and, as a senior center in 2002, was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list. Chad got me a ticket to Pitt-Navy. The game didn’t turn out as he hoped, obviously, but he still got me into the Mustard Palace for free. A lifetime of Iron City beer for Chad is in the works, and by in the works I mean probably not happening even though it should because guys like him deserve it.

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Filed under One CFB Road Trip to rule them all, USC, We lost to fucking Stanford?!

Hey, dude in the red hat

Yeah, you. What the fuck, man? Yeah. You. Again: what the fuck, man?

Don’t look at me like you don’t know. You know exactly what you’re doing. You are an asshole. A big bag of poo. Poo. Poo. As in fecal matter. Poo. That’s you.

Is that your best comeback you fucking stupid face? Fuck you, too. Yeah.

Oh you did not just go there. You did not. I cannot believe you are still standing there. You are the biggest piece of mungen to ever walk the earth. A 30 second timeout, and it’s been three. Fucking. Minutes.

You really wanna do this, man? Really? OK. Fine. Someone hold my glasses. Let’s go. Let’s do it. I will fucking tear you apart like a Claire Danes-shaped éclair. You are mine, fuckface.

And you’re gonna just stand over there. After I take my glasses off? What kind of a world do we live in, where you can just stand over there after what you just did and not even come over here and fight me like they would in Edgar Rice Burroughs novels? It’s not like I’m riding a fucking velociraptor into battle. You aren’t a man. You’re less than a man. You are Hillary Clinton. I don’t need this fucking shit, not fighting a man who’s not even a man. Man, let’s get out of here Julio. Fuck this guy and his stupid red fucking hat and his fucking stupid ass ear phone thing like he’s some fucking futures trader about to buy frozen orange juice concentrate because he’s a fucking inside trading douche. Yeah. Yeah, fuck you, I just made a Trading Places reference. Ass.

Oh. Ohhhh. That’s how it’s gonna be? Well take this.

Anyway. See you next week. Text me or something.

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Filed under One CFB Road Trip to rule them all

An apology

For anyone wishing to check out my Flickr account, the recently uploaded pictures – something like 130 of them – are not organized by date and time taken. Why? Because computers hate me. They think that because I’m Asian I should be diligent in defragmenting them and not spilling coffee on their keyboards, etc. Anyway, just to save you single minded folk out there the trouble…

Florida = best wang-shaped state ever. Mergz of Saurian Sagacity is pictured somewhere above – see if you can spot him. The rest of the pics are here.

I do have to apologize for one more thing: I’m at least three games behind in my chronicles. I’ll make up for this by becoming five games behind this Saturday after visiting Columbia, SC for Kentucky vs. South Carolina and then watching Virginia Tech take on Clemson in front of Howard’s Rock.

If you’re reading this and are from South Carolina and have a shower/bed/couch I can use, and if you know any females who would like to act as guides/bodyguards/etc., please feel free to email me. Also, I look forward to laughing as your bartenders empty mini-bottle after mini-bottle into my drinks.

Finally, I’d like to post this picture.

That’s Ricky Heckerson on the right. He’s a UF student right now. He was a teammate of mine at Temple City High School, which is in California, which is nowhere near Florida. We wrestled and played football together for several years. I met him again randomly at a house party after Florida lost to Auburn. I haven’t seen him in at least six years, but probably more like seven. I don’t believe in fate or anything remotely resembling predestination, but I can believe that the audacity of my trip has triggered a rippling in the harmonics of the universe.

If you’re a UF student who knows or recognizes Ricky, by the way, please give him shit for being photographed with a Coca-Cola bottle after a loss at the Swamp. Hel-lo. It’s called whiskey. C’mon, Rick.


Filed under One CFB Road Trip to rule them all

Week four, part one: Western Kentucky 20, Middle Tennessee State 17; Georgia 26, Alabama 23 (OT); hunk o’ burning goat love; tellums; a warm bath; a swab

Whatever invisible demarcation between North and South exists – and the Wikipedia entry on Mason and Dixon’s line did nothing to help me decide where or what it is, though it did pique my interest in Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name which, in its defense, “makes no claim of being historically rigorous” – I passed it on Monday, September 17 on my way from Marion, Illinois to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. To celebrate I queued up Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and hummed along:

The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a national guitar
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the Civil War
I’m going to Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee
Im going to Graceland


In Graceland, in Graceland
I’m going to Graceland
For reasons I cannot explain
There’s some part of me wants to see
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending
Or maybe there’s no obligations now
Maybe I’ve a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

I still haven’t been to Memphis, or Graceland. My understanding of Tennessee geography was, literally, short: the state can’t be that big, surely, especially to a Californian. The Humboldt County marijuana mules get leg cramps before they even get to the East Bay, let alone San Diego. Tennessee! I laughed at your physical stature.

At it’s longest the Volunteer State stretches 440 miles, with the cities of Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville forming a loose parallelogram following the contours of the state itself. I lingered in the Nashville area for the duration of my stay in Tennessee. Why? Lookout Mountain – site of Rock City, the Three Battles of Chattanooga (of which the Third was the most important, signalling the true end of the Confederacy and the start of the Union’s advance into Atlanta) and the climax of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods – is near Chattanooga. The Battle of Shiloh Hill took place about a hundred miles east of Memphis. And Memphis! I tried explaining the significance of Memphis in my mind to a native, who could not come up with a single redemptive quality for her home city.

“Barbeque! The blues! Johnny Cash! Carl Perkins! Sam Cooke! Tennessee Williams! Beale Street! Barbeque! Martin Luther King’s last speech at Mason Temple! Barbeque!” I explained, somewhat quietly and with a strained candor. I had barbeque on my mind at the time, and didn’t want to excite anyone lest they they realize I had come, like a Hamburglar of smoked goods, to rob them of their most prized meat confections.

“Yeah, but it’s a shit hole,” she said. I left it at that, though even now the idea of Memphis pulsates in my brain and I don’t think I will be able to resist a walk along Beale Street. Hard to explain why I never made it there, considering that a few hundred miles were nothing to an odometer whose patience, having been stretched thin for three weeks, emulated the agonies of sainthood and transcended its mortal state to reach a perpetual beatification that said, simply, “Do whatever you must. I have a harp and cloud, and a halo.”

There was also the issue of Murfreesboro, home of the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders and my de-facto headquarters for at least four days. The population of Murfreesboro has doubled since 1990 (46,000), making it – at an estimated 92,559 – one of the fastest growing cities in America. MTSU is the largest undergraduate university in the state of Tennessee. The locals were never hesitant to point out these two facts to me, but despite the growing evidence of Murfreesboro’s ascendance the general opinion of those communicating with me via the internet and text messaging was this: “You’ll run out of things to do once you park.”

So how did I manage to not go insane after four days away from the four big cities of Tennessee? Start with those same locals, who began, first, by intriguing me as the first representatives of The South I had met on my travels and moved to the simple acts of kindness, acceptance and blah blah blah that make my bleeding heart ache at the thought of the horrid cliche of it all: Southern hospitality at its finest, and no matter my will there wasn’t an ounce of irony I could wring from that.

(Also helping me not going insane was a tour of Lynchburg, home of the Jack Daniel’s distillery and essentially my Dome of the Rock. From smelling the 140 proof White Lightning to walking amongst thousands of barrels of whiskey, whiskey, whiskey everywhere, I was in heaven for the vast majority of the tour until the end. Moore County, of which Lynchburg is a part, is a dry county and has been for something like a century. The penultimate factoid – 75 million gallons of Jack Daniel’s whiskey in a dry county – erased the serenity imposed by bucolic Lynchburg’s gorgeous scenery and the peacefulness of a small town with one industry and no hurry. One local laughed at me when I asked him where the nearest bar was, which is one reason I returned to Murfreesboro like a man stranded in the desert would run towards ancient Baghdad.)

It started by meeting up with John and Chris, both members of an MTSU message board and both of them loonier than a cathouse full of Cajuns – which is a phrase I picked up at MTSU’s library, incidentally, and seems to convey a generally positive slant.

John contacted me at the beginning of my trip. He was alerted to my project by the miracles of Google’s search algorithms, which allowed him to track me down via the posting of my schedule and, in particular, the MTSU-Western Kentucky game. John extended an offer of tailgating, a spot in his box and a view of Blue Raider football; since then I’ve had more offers, but nothing as generous and earnest as that first. I was horrified.

Let me explain: internet users aren’t all pale, pock marked and fat/or twiggy. That’s just ignorance. And they’re certainly not all schizophrenic freaks mouth breathin’ their way through porn and World of Warcraft potion queues as fast as their right hand can scroll a mousewheel. That is also ignorance, and also maybe a bit of fun at the expense of people who like porn (who doesn’t?) and MMORPGs (might as well make fun of heroin addicts, the poor things). But internet college football fans? The kind who frequent message boards? You can take whatever preconceivied slander you have about internet “eccentrics” and throw out the quotation marks and also the word “eccentrics”, because bat shit crazy motherfuckers who don’t even understand the basic concept of pass protection but nonetheless like to criticize Orlando Pace simply because he was a Buckeye find themselves scared to death when in the presence of your Unrelentingly Awful Internet College Football Fan, and eccentric might as well be a compliment. Have you ever met a komodo dragon? Their saliva produces a virulent bacteria that will almost surely kill you if untreated after a bite, and it looks like they drool blood, and they eat lots of carrion. Komodo dragons would run screaming – at a twelve and a half mile per hour clip – into the warm Indonesian night if they ever came across some of the characters I have interacted with in my three or four years of internet-based college football discussion. And I have met the faces behind some of that interaction, and often times it is a process that leaves me white faced and shaking. This is the result of that internet-old fascination with holding get togethers to put faces to name and other, equally atrocious, behavior that most adults should know better than to partake in.

To put it bluntly, Unrelentingly Awful College Football Fans rule the night. And the day. And, sadly, large swaths of the internet. Particularly in Louisiana. So it was with a good deal of trepidation that I showed up to the Coconut Bay bar off of the Old Fort Parkway in good ol’ M’boro to meet John on Monday night to watch the Redskins lose to the Eagles, or vice versa. (No one present knows who won the game as it was so achingly boring the only consolation we had was that we weren’t paying attention.)

He didn’t arrive for a good twenty or thirty minutes, which gave me plenty of time to eye anyone with a bad haircut, false teeth or questionable genetics and wonder if I’d made a bad choice in casting my lot with Dr. Moreau’s bulletin board children.

John, some thirty minutes into our conversation: Can I be honest with you, Jon? And don’t take this the wrong way: I’m kinda relieved you’re normal.

By the time Chris, John’s compatriot in MTSU message boarding, arrived we were well into discussions of everything that happened to be interesting, which were: the 2007 college football season, past college football seasons, college football recruiting, college football politics, college football in the deep South, women, whiskey, oysters, tailgating, beer, the unsatisfying hole that is pro sports, drunk dialing, white trash jokes, Asian jokes and, during one memorable exchange, the proper way to respond to a text message involving a female proclaiming herself wetter than the hot tub she was in. By the time I left the state of Alabama on Sunday I had met a number of Internet College Football Fans and, without a single exception, they all proved to be exceptionally good at not being serial killers, pathological arsonists, closet playwrights, etc.

Some excerpts from our conversation:

John: You ever been to Woodbury [here pronounced “Wood-BURH”]? That’s country down there. You don’t wanna go there.

Chris: Yeah, that’s Deliverance country. They passed a town ordinance last week. It says divorcees can legally remain brother and sister.


John: You better learn how to pronounce things around here.

Chris: Yeah. How would you pronounce the word L-a-f-a-y-e-t-t-e?

Me: Lafayette?

Chris: Around here it’s La-FEY-it. And Shelbyville. We shorten that [quick slashing motion with both hands to indicate large to small, plus emphatic woosh! noise] to Shelville. Try it.

Me: Shelville.

[Mild but good natured applause.]

John: And Knoxville, we shorten that to Assholes.


Chris, relating a story about the legendary MTSU coach James “Boots” Donnelly (140-87-1 in 20 years in Murfreesboro), after I had described my experience in Lincoln watching USC play the Huskers: We were up in Nebraska one year to, y’know, collect a paycheck: come in, get our butts kicked for the home crowd, go home and use that money. Well our coach Boots shows up on Friday for walkthroughs at the stadium at whatever time it was, probably four in the afternoon. He and the players wanted to get a good look at Memorial Stadium. Except [Tom] Osborne and Nebraska are already there. So Boots goes up to Osborne and says, “I’m real sorry, coach. There must’ve been a mix up. I didn’t know you’d be here at the same time practicin’ to play us.” And Osborne goes, “Don’t even worry about it. We were actually practicing for Missouri next week.” (Note: The only time MTSU and Nebraska have ever played was in 1992 [Nebraska beat the Blue Raiders 48-7], the week before the Huskers lost to Washington’s post-national championship squad in Seattle. This does nothing to diminish the awesomeness of the above story.)

Between the two of them they relate some amusing anecdotes, like the time MTSU beat the pants off of a Roger Staubach led Navy team – Pensacola Navy, that is, four years after the former Cowboy great won the Heisman and just months after a stint in Vietnam. Apparently John’s great uncle or grandfather or someone sacked Staubach, “and he wouldn’t stop talking about it.” Douglas S. Malan does an outstanding job documenting the game here.

John and Chris also segued from a discussion of game day tailgating fare into an explanation of Goat ala WKU, based on a story about a Hilltopper fraternity invaded by police who found a malnourished goat in the chapter’s house. What was the goat for?

“I dunno,” Chris said with the kind of defensive shrug that means Not only do I know, I revel in the knowledge because it is at the expense of my arch-nemesis. “They found, like, used condoms in the closet the goat was in.”

John chimed in: “They brought the goat to the vet and they diagnosed him – are we even sure it was a ‘him’? – they diagnosed him with anal bruising.” After my apparently obvious disbelief, he followed with, “That’s a fact. It’s on the internet.”

Well, so it is.

So, as Chris put it, “half our jokes involve goat fucking. You’re gonna meet a coupla Western Kentucky guys on Thursday, so don’t be surprised if we start baaaahing at them. I’m gonna cook a goat. They’ll eat it, too.”

John: “They better. You ever had goat? It’s damn good if you cook it right. No goat fucker can resist a properly cooked goat.”

The end of that night was a microcosm of my stay in Murfreesboro: after explaining that I spend most nights in my car, Chris did not hesitate to offer his home and the guest bedroom. He was even kind enough to lead me down a back route away from the main police patrolled streets because, as he mentioned, “I think we’ve both had a few beers.” (Hiccup.)

During the rest of my time in Murfreesboro it seemed there was a roving pack of ninjas whose sole purpose, as far as I could tell, was to wait until I had to move my bowels or leave a table or bar or whatever and, when I was gone, deploy shuriken, smoke bombs and grappling hooks to make my bill or tab disappear. I do not exaggerate when I say this happened to me at least once a day for four days, with some days seeing so many ninjas in the periphery of my vision I had to blink and wonder, momentarily, if I was The Tick.

I think much of the kindness was reinforced by the uniqueness of my story. More so than any other place I had been to, people were genuinely amazed and appreciative of what I was doing. They murmured with their appreciation, and it seemed as if they were constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop when I inevitably realized MTSU-WKU would be a waste of my time, and why not just spend a few nights in Knoxville with that checkered endzone, Rocky Top and all that? Locals found it hard to believe that I had picked MTSU, of all teams, to go see a football game. At one point I wished that it wasn’t a Thursday game, because inevitably I had to explain that it fit my schedule to be in Murfreesboro as opposed to an outright pilgrimmage to one of the great college football venues. This sort of made me feel like a prick, but they still threw hamburgers, beer, ribs, whiskey and the like at me for something like eight hours straight on game day. The surreal nature of our meeting – me, in my first southern state of the trip, them, confused and maybe a little bit happy that I had chosen Murfreesboro – culminated in my being interviewed by a live sports talk station and being featured in The Daily News Journal. It’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking whiskey at the time because a) I didn’t realize it was a live interview and b) whiskey makes me cuss/pee in public/injure my knuckles/etc.

I cannot explain how weird it was to be followed around by a cameraman. At one point I found myself genuinely interested in helping a kid play NCAA ’07 (as MTSU vs WKU, naturally) on a Playstation set up at our tailgate. He just wanted to mash buttons. I wanted him to go through his progressions and always check down to the safe throw if necessary. He was probably three. I nonetheless explained down and distance theory to him. Then I caught sight of the cameraman snapping photos and I wondered if this was indeed a good photo-op, but wouldn’t it look weird if I’m shot manipulating the kid’s hands while he has the controller in his lap, and do they take implied paedophilia as seriously as the British do?, and what the hell, why would you call a draw on 3rd-and-26?! Gimme that controller.

At that point the alcohol was probably peaking in my blood stream.

Next: Sororities, sundresses, and… ‘Bama.


Filed under One CFB Road Trip to rule them all, SBC, SEC