College Football: a way of life. For some people.

Like many of y’all, I love college football. And in the South it’s kind-of-a-big-deal. That’s why I’m shocked to learn something. But first, a little background…

In 1997, Scott took me to Oxford for the first time. We made three games that year and so many memories! I fell in love with the game, the town, and the mighty Rebels at the same time I was falling in love with Scott. (Cheesy, I know. Can I get some crackers? But, seriously: true!)

We were married in January of ’98, and had an Ole Miss cake at the reception (a southern thang). Each Fall we’ve trekked down to make more memories. The best memories! Scott has walked all over campus throwing a football with Drew. Abby and I have run after them giggling and cheering as if they were battling through a mighty game themselves. Tailgating with friends, admiring tents and TVs and chandeliers. Laughing at game day signs. Tsking the tackiness of other fans (purple and gold hot pants: no.).

Hotty Toddy brothers 2011 Scott with his brother, Brian in The Grove before a game. Ole Miss & Football is a family thang. I married into it. They and their momma went to school at the University of Mississippi. She had some great stories, as she was there when James Meredith came to school.

There is no place on earth like The Grove on game day. It’s a beautiful party where everyone has dressed to the nines in coordinating colors. Happy people singing and giggling. Loud music and lovely trees. Everyone, men and women, discuss stats and strategy. Many of the women do it in stilettos (an admirable feat I’ve never been able to accomplish.) (<–The stilettos, not the stats.)

Let’s talk about fashion. I have never cared too much about clothes or high end designers. I’m a jeans girl, everyday and for nearly any occasion (yes, Momma, I wear them to church most weeks). But, for my entire adult life I have always known what is stylish because of that greatest of Southern runways, The Walk of Champions.

All this to say: I love college football. It’s a way of life in the south. We plan events around ball games. I race home from dinner with friends to catch a good game. We host all-nighters with huge spreads to watch a great rivalry game on TV. This past week, Game Day was in the Grove. We didn’t go (another story for another time). But we got up at 7am to make coffee and turn on the show. We strategically planned a necessary grocery trip before kick-off. Basically, planning our entire day around the game. Typical. And awesome!

All four of us were in front of the TV most of the day. It was a grand game! I jumped out of my chair ran in place and cheered like a maniac when the Rebels scored a late fourth quarter touchdown. Oh and when that clock ticked down: straight-jacket level enthusiasm!! We were all so excited!! What fun it is to win. 🙂

But you know what amazes me?  This isn’t some huge revelation. But it is nonetheless shocking. There are people who know NOTHING of this culture. I’m talking about people in the South that don’t watch football. People that have no clue about the AP and coaches poll. They don’t care that there will be a PLAYOFF for pete’s sake!!

I’m flabbergasted. Does anyone share my shock?

Whole entire people who don’t care/watch/follow/plan-around college football. Some of these people are my mom (she has even been published in the Commercial Appeal for writing a discourse on her aversion to televised sports). Some of these people are my friends. In my inner circle. They glaze over when I start talking about interceptions and offensive yardage. Since I have such amazing social skills (heh) I hold 3-5 minute monologues about the incredible game, start off telling about the incredible win! The reason for my smile! Then I just start lowering my volume…. The excited tone leaves my voice…. I trail off into silence…. I stand with my mouth gaping open and tuck my hands in the back pocket of my jeans. Then I just rock back on my heels and say: “Oh, you don’t really care.”

Isn’t that weird? I mean, my whole adult life I have planned half of my year around football. Labor day – Bowl games. And there are whole entire people that don’t do that.

What about you? Are you a football fan? Is there something your family does together like this?

No? FIND something like this to do together. Make memories! Enjoy each other. Do a hobby. What a joy to live this beautiful life with my Hotty Toddy family! It is a blessing – even when my Rebels lose, we have so much fun. Because. We are together.

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2 thoughts on “College Football: a way of life. For some people.

  1. lauren says:

    So I was huge into college basketball before I met my husband. ….. Who does not care one bit about it. Now I don’t either. Whatever the activity or interest is, it is time spent with friends that matters.

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