Thursday, November 08, 2007

Love Letters & Smack Talk

I can't stand to say this, but there are times I absolutely despise living in New Orleans, Louisiana. Before you get too angry at that, let me tell you what times those are, because they are very specific ones. It isn't the potholes or the screaming students or the lack of good fast food - though such times can be farily despicable when they are going on. No, the times I am thinking about generally occur for about four hours on Saturdays in the fall. Every Saturday.

Because that's when my Bulldogs play football.

Now, to a lot of you, that may sound like a fairly paltry reason. But that's only to those of you who don't know what it is to be a fan of football, a fan of the South, a fan of everything that is right and good in this world. I cannot, and by that I mean I am simply unable to smith the words in the correct form to describe what it is to be in Athens, Georgia when the Auburn University Tigers come to town to play football.

I can tell you stories, endless stories about those weekends. I can still remember every dish on the menu at the tailgate to end all tailgates in 2005. I can still tell you the scores. I can tell you, without a doubt of faith in my voice, that it is the honest truth that the prettiest girls on the planet Earth can be seen only on the Auburn - Georgia weekend. We don't know where they came from Thursday, we're not sure where they leave for on Monday, but that weekend the ladies turn the volume up to 11.

But I still can't set the scene justly unless you were there.

The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, and we know it. The Auburn - Georgia game was always the biggest game in Athens. No matter what Tennessee was ranked. No matter how much Carolina would talk. Even the Florida wins, though they were always sweet, were never in Athens.

And that's part of what makes it special.

Just like the fact that Mardi Gras can't be truly celebrated anywhere other than New Orleans, that Jazzfest and second lines are unique to a place; so too is the Auburn - Georgia game.

The Auburn - Georgia Game is in Athens every two years. That weekend was always the best weekend of the whole two years. Every event a legend. This game is played every other year in Auburn, Alabama; but we know that deep down, even Tiger fans can't wait to get to Washington Street on Friday night, or walk down Sanford Drive on Saturday.

On Saturday, I will be down at Carrolton Station in New Orleans, Louisiana, screaming at a television set, underneath the table and dreaming of a far away land.

Gotta let that sink in for a few more hours.

Now for the best of the smack talk:

Auburn always comes into Athens in a foul mood. Every other year, they bring 20-30 players and thousands of alumni that The University of Georgia rejected. We have nicer facilities, better academics, prettier women and more money. In fact, we have all the things they literacy, indoor plumbing, jobs, asphalt, and prosperity. -Georgia Sports Blog

And one more love letter:
But I also love Auburn because of this game. It is the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. It is a game that was played when my grandfather was an undergraduate, when people who didn't wear ascots and drive Peugeots cared about the score of the Yale/Harvard game and couldn't find Athens on a map. It is a vestige of a time when the SEC was not the preeminent cash cow of college football. A time when people took backroads from Opelika and Prattville and Villa Rica and Claxton to see a game that most people in the rest of the country didn't know or care was happening. It is a showdown between two fanbases who were stark raving mad about college football long, long before it was fashionable.-DawgSports



the lady said...

cousin pat, it sounds like part of you actually misses this part of the world. it misses you too, more than you could ever contemplate. but it will feel better in 2 weeks...

Leigh C. said...

Poor Coozan. This is indeed what Thanksgiving break is for...relieving some of that need to be at home. I hope that Dawgs bar in this neck of the woods maintains a solid enough bubble in which to watch such a rivalry play itself out. be well.

sophmom said...

The Youngest is there (in Athens). I'm sure that's cold consolation. The Oldest has gone to Charlotte in preparation for another football game with his college friends (Panthers' fans). Golly, the only one of my three sons who didn't build this weekend around a football game is where you are, where I'd rather be. I'm feeling NOLA sick this morning. It's been about that long.

Here's hoping the dawgs beat the tigers and you have a geat afternoon at Carrolton Station. Cheers.

Peace, darlin'.