Tuesday, September 02, 2008

You've now entered football country

College football debuted this weekend, and as a resident of the great football-lovin' state of Alabama, I couldn't let this occasion pass by without an appropriate post.

On game days, at my alma mater, Auburn Universty, Jordan-Hare Stadium becomes the state's fifth-largest city. It's got a capacity of 87,451. And you better believe every seat is filled. I'm convinced Jordan-Hare actually holds more people than that since the student section is inevitably standing-room only and crammed to bursting, particularly during the good SEC games. The number of additional fans who come to tailgate even though they don't have tickets (they'll watch the game on their wide-screen TVs hooked up to car batteries at the tailgate site) probably turn little ol' Auburn into the state's third-largest city.

My good friend and fellow Tiger, Casey, received the following explanation of the difference between football in the South and the North. Stereotypical? Yes. Doesn't mean it isn't true. I'm kind of proud (and only a little embarassed) to say that 95 percent of this is true and experience by yours truly:

NORTH: Chap Stick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket.
SOUTH: Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, waterproof mascara, and a fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary - that's what dates are for.

Stadium Size:
NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus Decor:
NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen:
NORTH: Also a physics major.
SOUTH: Also Miss America.

NORTH: 5 days before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus.
SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus, make a large financial contribution, and put name on a waiting list for tickets. (this is absolutely true)

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game:
NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they're going to the game, because they have classes on Friday.
SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few hung over students that might actually make it to class.

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. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday. (also true. they yell at you and offer you beers as you walk to class.)

Game Day:
NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.
SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to where ESPN is broadcasting 'Game Day Live' to get on camera and wave to the idiots up north who wonder why 'Game Day Live' is never broadcast from their campus.

NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down.
SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance from the Dave Matthews Band...who come over during breaks and ask for a hit off bottle of bourbon. (not so much on the DMB part; but if you don't stake your claim on your tailgate spot by Friday afternoon, when the University officially allows spots to be roped off [yes there really is a University rule about this] then you won't get a spot. Period.)

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 is the state's third largest city. (and it will take you forever to get in, even though you're standing in line three hours before game time)

NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team's mascot on it, filled less than half way with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.

The Smell in the Air Before Kickoff:
NORTH: Nothing changes.
SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon. (And an eagle flying around the stadium, if you're Auburn. And maybe a flyover by fighter jets.)

Commentary (Male):
NORTH: 'Nice play.'
SOUTH: 'Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs.'

Commentary (Female):
NORTH: 'My, this certainly is a violent sport.'
SOUTH: 'Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs.'

In-stadium announcers:
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. (Jim Fyffe, Auburn's late announcer, ["Touchdooowwwn Aubuuuurrrn!!"] has been turned into a minor deity whose quotes adorn t-shirts, etc.)

After the Game:
NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.
SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker, and planning begins for next week's game. (oh man, this true -- tailgating lasts way into the night.)

P.S. Auburn shut out Louisianna-Monroe this past Saturday, 34-0. War Eagle, baby.

1 comment:

Casey said...

Thanks for the shout out. The funny part is, these are all so true!