Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sporting Mecca - Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sporting Mecca
If I won KJRAM's the Bigger Dance, I'd probably go somewhere far away because we’d want to take advantage of the “anywhere in the world thing” which is not original, I know, but that’s what we’d do. I suppose we’d go to Australia or maybe to South Africa for the World Cup, but that’s not this year. Whatever.

If we’re talking about a true sporting event that I’ve always want to go to, it would have to be domestic and it would have to be college football because it’s the one sport that I love above all others. Some friends and I have been talking about going to an SEC game for years now, and whenever I have enough money and time to do it, we’re going. Of course, that’s never going to happen because I’m never going to have enough time or money, so it’ll probably remain a dream.

I’d absolutely love to go to the following games and all of the accompanying tailgating:
  • Florida at Tennessee
  • Auburn at LSU (at night)
  • Florida vs. Georgia in Jacksonville

I have an irrational love for SEC football even though I have no roots in the South (although I did live in Montgomery, Alabama from age 6 months-2 years, and I do love southern cooking). Anyway, I lived in Okinawa (my dad was in the Air Force) during some formative years – 5th grade through 8th grade and I played football over there. I don’t know how much exposure you guys have had with the military but an overwhelming number of servicemen, especially in the unlisted ranks (e.g. not officers) are from the South. Anyway the coaches that I had for the years that I was there were from Florida and Georgia respectively. So, the teams I played on were “The Gators” and “The Bulldogs.” I had no idea why those names were chosen at the time, but I came to find out later. It could be that my love for SEC football stems from my association with those teams when I was playing ball for the first time. Who knows? When I came back to the states I was a freshman and I was watching a game on TV. It was Tennessee vs. someone and all I remember was Carl Pickens killing people on punt returns and catching passes. He was also cocky as hell and looked cool doing it. They were playing at home and on that checkboard endzone and I was hooked. I’d never seen them play and didn’t get too much exposure to college football overseas so this was all new to me. From that day forward, I’ve always followed Tennessee football even though I’ve never been there and have zero ties. I would love to visit that stadium and see a game. I bet it would be quite an atmosphere. However, there is a big downer to my irrational love for SEC football generally and Tennessee football specifically… aside from the overt racism, I don’t think I could deal with the Bible Belt stuff. A friend of a friend works in Knoxville and said that he went over to someone’s house to watch a Vols game. He brought over some beers, but they weren’t drinking (um, what?!). At halftime, the host muted the TV and passed, wait for it, bibles around to everyone. My friend thought he was going to watch a football game and a pickup Bible Study broke out. Unbelievable. I would have been so uncomfortable. I just hope that if I ever do make it to a game that we don’t have a sermon break out in the middle of it.

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