Monday, September 12, 2011

Commentary on the human condition: NCAA football

Plodder had a chance to attend a major college contest Saturday, University of Georgia and University of South Carolina, in nearby Athens. My wonderful brother-in-law called with tickets and sideline passes. B-in-laws are good for something after all.

Sideline pass before the game. Oh yeah...hobnobbing with the hoi polloi, the recruits, their families, other coaches as we stand within feet of the helmeted pugilists. Mere attendees sit up in the stands and watch us with envy. Tough.

Here comes Marc Richt, Georgia's head coach. He walks over to speak to a man standing in front of me. I'm about two yards from a guy who makes $3 million a year, about $250k for the game today. How much per win? I've never been so close to someone who makes so much. Richt doesn't seem to have his Roth IRA on his mind. Good.

There's Georgia's defensive coach - about a million a year. So far, we're not getting our money's worth.

The UGA president, Mike Adams, who makes a lot less than Richt and less than the defensive coach, stands next to me. My brother-in-law, a happy backslapper, is strangely silent. 'Why?' I ask after the prez moves on. 'Hate the guy' sez b-in-l. Seems the president does run the university and forced a beloved former coach, Vince Dooley, to retire. Saw Vince at the local hospital just the other day. He looks like he needs to stay retired.

South Carolina has two outstanding players: running back Marcus Lattimore and receiver Ashlon Jeffrey. I stand next to Lattimore. He and I are about the same size, height, and weight - might be some degree of difference in conditioning. Jeffrey catches a pass in front of me. He is of a different sub-species, homo sapien big-stud-football-playeris. The guy is worth points just standing on the sidelines.

The UGA mascot, an English bulldog named Russ, ambles by in front of me. He is young and hasn't reached the fat-tub-of-lard stage common to this breed meaning that he should be able to make it across the field to his air-conditioned dog house without a coronary. Nice looking pooch.

Georgia's field runs east-west which means in September that you've got one side sunny and the other shady - sort of like a bullfight arena, sombra and sola. I'm sola and frying. People pay hundreds of dollars to sit where I'm sitting...and enjoy it. The dawgs' colors are red and black. Red would be the color to choose for the sola side, not that sensibility slows down fashionable coeds a minority of whom also favor wearing boots - great, big, high, hot, cowboy boots. Fashion trumps comfort any day of the week.

Speaking of which, I hate to say it but we have a streetwalker in my town. Everyone knows her. She has been a sad case for decades, drugs etc. When she is on the road, if she had a red or black streetwaling outfit she might be mistaken for a number of UGA coeds, or vice-versa. You go to a game and see for yourself.

I stroll by a chicken, the SC mascot. Don't know that I have ever encountered a real chicken at a college football game. The chicken perches on a roost for the whole game, unaffected by the SC band who is right in front of him, not by 90k screaming fans. Not a bad looking bird. Maybe he's drugged. How can he sit through all that without even a twitch or a cockle doodle doo?

UGA did a lot of 911 remembrance stuff. Had a four-plane flyover after the national anthem. I appreciate the effort but four single engine, straight wing prop planes aren't quite what flyovers are meant to be. Combined UGA, USC bands played some 911 pieces including Amazing Grace which was a very nice moment.

There hasn't been any invocation before a UGA game in years. Probably too much trouble to sort out all the denominations, religious traditions, cults, goofball movements that are on campus. A moment of silence is fine with me. The moment came to about ten seconds by my watch.

People tailgate before, during, and after the game. Tail gating has nothing to do with trucks and actual tailgates. The main purpose may be to trash a beautiful campus and it looks like it's working.

Bands played, players played, some coaches coached, flag girls waved, majorettes twirled, cheerleaders cheered, the dog barked, the chicken was bored..and the dawgs lost and that in a rather ugly fashion. Well, I got my money's worth and enjoyed the collegiate experience.


foxofbama said...

Gaffney Indians home of Sidney Rice who played Marcus Lattimore routinely is now ranked Number 5 in the nation HS football by Rivals dot com
Wish I coulda been at the game with you. The best team won.

foxofbama said...

on a somber note, check the cover story of the October or see the link and discussion in Public policy at