Tuesday, September 01, 2009

College Football Arrives

Tailgating at Ole Miss in the Grove

My passions are typically every day ones - my labs, the outdoors. This week (Thursday, actually) is the start of the real passion/religion 'down here' in the South - big time college football. My team? The Gators.

What's it like for me and others in SEC Country? Here is a comparison of North v. South College Football:

Stadium size
North: College football stadiums hold 20,000.
South: High school football stadiums hold 20,000.

North: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
South: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus d├ęcor
North: Statues of Founding Fathers.
South: Statues of Former Coaches.

Homecoming queen
North: Also a physics major.
South: Also Miss America.

North: Rudy Guiliani.
South: Bear Bryant, Steve Spurrier, Eli Manning.

Getting tickets
North: Five days before the game, you walk into the ticket office on campus and purchase tickets.
South: Five months before the game, you walk into ticket office on campus and put your name on waiting list for tickets.

North: An hour before game time, the university opens the campus for game parking.
South: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities.

Game day
North: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.
South: Every student wakes up and rushes over to where ESPN is broadcasting “GameDay Live” to get on camera and wave to the fans up North who wonder why “GameDay Live” is never broadcast from their campus.

North: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio show with truck tailgate down.
South: 30-foot, custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance by Dave Matthews Band, who come over during breaks.

Getting to the stadium
North: You ask, “Where’s the stadium?” When you find it, you walk right in.
South: When you’re near it, you’ll hear it. On game day, it becomes the state’s third largest city.

When National Anthem is played
North: Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
South: 93,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

North: Neutral and paid.
South: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.

After the game
North: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.
South: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker. Planning begins for next week’s game.

North: Women comment "My, what a rough sport."
South: Women scream "DON'T JUST TOUCH HIM, TAKE HIM DOWN!"

Womens' Attire

North: Chapstick in their back pocket and a
$20 bill in their front pocket.

South: Louis Vuitton bag and a fifth of bourbon, barnoculars.

North: Fans wear a team tshirt.
South: Fans wear a team tshirt, pants, shoes, face paint, and sunglasses.

North: Cars and trucks have a removal window flag.
South: Cars and trucks are custom painted w/ team colors, Flat screen TV, portable
satellite, and Honda generator.

North: Take prospects on sailing trips
before they join the law firm.
South: Take prospects on fishing trips so
they don't leave for the NFL their senior year.

In case you have made it this far, a special lagniappe, this video: