Saturday, October 8, 2005

Good Old Rocky Top

Southerners are known for all sorts of rivalries, but there ain’t a one that can match SEC football. My daddy is a football nut. I can always tell if the Tennessee Vols are losing because he goes out riding around in his truck to work off his frustrations. Such was the case today with the Georgia Bulldogs. If things had looked better, he would’ve been glued to the TV in his favorite recliner that heats and vibrates. When I was a kid I knew when trance time was coming up and acted accordingly. Don’t ever expect an answer from the old man during a game.

I know basically how football works with the quarterback and the extra points and all. My heart’s just never been in it though….probably a flashback to the ghost Daddy of autumns gone by. My blood still runs orange though because I’m a homegirl and we support our team. I know every verse of Rocky Top and observe the third Saturday in October as a national holiday when the Tide rolls in. Smokey is the mascot that cheers us through every single season here in the Volunteer state.
orange nation
Y’all know how many times Phil has kicked everybody’s butt on the field. The butcher at the grocery store grinned ear to ear the day that old what’s his name got shipped off to Ole Miss. On Saturdays in the fall, I can be sure that the game will be on the radio when I pass through to buy my groceries and beer. He’ll know the score too, and every play that’s been made. He’ll fuss about the offensive or defensive co-ordinator and keep on moving with the meat grinder until the battle of the day reaches the end of the fourth quarter.

Mecca in Tennessee is situated in Knoxville at Neyland stadium. The pilgrims travel for hours to see the mighty Vols take the field with the orange and white checked end zone. When the old one got tore up, my brother actually bought a piece of it framed and everything. Heck, my daddy has a whole ROOM filled with orange and white Vols memorabilia. Some of the stuff sings Rocky Top and some of it just tells the story that is Tennessee football. I don’t go up there without my sunglasses for fear of orange blindness. I bow to the higher power that is SEC football. Basketball season is right around the corner though. Be afraid…..very afraid.