Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Coming out of the closet

For me, the highlight of every year is when the boys of fall come out to play. As the college football bowl season approaches, I'm always filled with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement because of the upcoming bowl games and dread that the football season is almost over.

Everyone who knows me is aware  that I don't work on Saturday during football season. I don't go anywhere or talk on the phone. DO NOT mess with my football day.

It hasn't always been that way. Growing up in Eureka Springs, Arkansas meant you loved basketball and knew NOTHING about football. They always claimed it was because there was no place flat enough to build a football field.

One day somewhere around 1968, a football game came on tv. I became curious enough to watch. Then I started watching lots of football. My then-husband walked in one day, kinda sneered at me and said "What are you watching!" I just kinda shrugged and replied with some drivel about not knowing, just whatever's on, not paying attention, and so on. That's the day I became a closet football fan.

My mother knew I was interested so in 1969 she came up with a pair of tickets to the Arkansas vs. Texas Longhorns game for our anniversary.  Then-husband refused to go, so I took my dad. That game was dubbed the "Game of the Century". President Nixon, Billy Graham, Senator George H. Bush, Gov. Rockefeller and other dignitaries too numerous to mention, attended. Marine One delivered Nixon on the practice field next to the stadium in Fayetteville. It was snowing and sleeting and I just didn't care. I had a bloody good anniversary that year.

Then a few years later, during the Sugar Bowl game between Arkansas and Alabama, I tripped right out of the football closet and fell completely in love with Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and with Arkansas coach Lou Holz. No problems there. They were in different leagues until Arkansas joined the SEC years later. Now I'm torn between the two loves of my life, the Razorbacks and the Crimson Tide of Alabama.  WHEEE! It's almost college football season!

Not to be outdone by Yogi Berra, Lou Holz once remarked about a player, "He just had shoulder surgery on his elbow."
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