Football Post

January 11, 2012

Of late, I've been crippled with fear of posting to my blog. The topic that came right to mind was the outrageously good football season that we were having, but when it comes to football fandom, I hold superstitions, and that ridiculous part of my brain doesn't allow me to deviate from whatever routine I was able to establish when the wins were coming.

So I watched every game without a stitch of underwear on. I went all season without washing my hat. (Note to self: don't buy any more white hats.) And I didn't praise our team in writing.

Of course, what was to be the best season in my lifetime, possibly the best season in school history disappeared.

This season's lucky hat, as it looks today. I bought this late this summer.

My thought the next day was that every fan would have to identify what was different in his or her life on the day of the championship game as compared to the rest of the season. One of the first things that occurred to me was that my friend Jeremy would have to have his new marriage annulled. Wow, I'm sure that will be very disappointing to them both.

Then, I realized that in order to get back to how we were all season, I would have to send Kolya back to an orphanage in Russia. I don't think we can take our superstitions quite that far. Besides, I've always observed that these sorts of things reset themselves between seasons. That said, you can blame Jeremy and me for the pitiful play, which I will never mention again after this paragraph.

(But I am going to have one really bad in the context of a story from here down, so bail now if you don't like the foulest of foul language.)

One odd thing about this season is that due to the game schedule and a mid-season Russia trip, we only had a single tailgate party. It was a good one, for the Auburn game, with the normal pre-dawn setup, breakfast, and then drinks all the way through game time. It was an afternoon game, so it was a little easier than the 15-hour marathon that happens for ESPN night games.

The most story-worthy part of the game was a young and very drunk fan who walked into our tailgate some time late in the first half. She walked right to the food table and without looking at or speaking to anyone, she started fixing herself a plate.

Craig yelled over to her, "While you're over there, can you fix me a plate?"

She looked back and slurred, "What does this look like? 1940s?"

She sat down in the nearest chair -- one with a much better view of the game than most of the people who we know and like had. She had fixed herself a lovely plate of pastalaya, except that she had put it on a bun. The buns were really for the brisket, which she had passed over.

We started peppering her with questions. "So did you come from the game?"

"Yeah, I was sitting next to some old cunt in an Auburn shirt."

"Well where are your friends?"

"They're masturbating. In the stadium." "Wow. I can see why you would want to leave. How do you like the food?" "It's good, but it would be better if you didn't put it on bread." It went on like this for some time. Eventually, she helped herself to a beer from someone's ice chest. To one side, a friend of ours played with his baby. Three others told the girl that he was our nanny, and that we had each slept with the mother, and we were raising the baby jointly, not knowing who the real father was. She picked one of us as the most likely father, and went along with our story. Perhaps she believed it, perhaps not, but it's fun to spew bullshit and have it accepted without question. Eventually, she passed out in her chair, cradling her beer like a baby. After the game, we left her sleeping in the chair while we packed up chairs, tables, tents, cooking equipment, tv's and all of the other things that people pulled out there. I looked back, and she was still asleep in the chair on the leaves and beneath the tree. It looked so much more out of place than it did with a tailgate party set up around her. I was all for giving up the chair and leaving her like that. How funny it would be for her to wake up there in the next pre-dawn morning without a clue of where she is or how she ended up there. But as we debated what to do, she woke up, found that her phone was missing, lead a phone hunt, and then stumbled away without finding it.