Monday, September 04, 2006

Fans of the game

Thanks to Pia, who nominated me for a Perfect Post Award for my Introduction post last month. I think I'm supposed to be guest blogging for her sometime this month. Stay tuned...

The signs had been increasing. The talk had been building for weeks.

"What do you think we'll have this year?"
"I think our new quarterback will be fine."
"Yeah, but if he gets hurt, we're in trouble."
"I'm not worried about our defense."
"You got any extra tickets for Saturday?"

By Friday, when the secretary came to work in a Bama shirt, with a red and white shaker, crimson purse with a white "A" on it, and a wooden box which when opened played the fight song and had a picture of a football field on it, there was no doubt. Football season had arrived!

Saturday was the first Bama game in the newly expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium. We played Hawaii. Not exactly a football powerhouse. But I guess if you can't go to Hawaii, the next best thing is bringing Hawaii to you. Or maybe not.

It was exciting to see the new stadium and all the new sights. And to be sitting there with 92,137 of my closest friends. A few of whom I'd like to introduce to you today. Hopefully enhancing your vicarious experience of being at a Crimson Tide game.

Having season tickets, there are many of the same people sitting around us each year. I have the distinct pleasure this year of sitting next to a guy I can only describe as the Dick Vitale of college football. This expert-in-his-own-mind has something to say after every... single... play. And he says it loud and proud.

Not only that, but there are two new screens this year at the far end of the stadium. One shows play-by-play and replays. The other acts as a scoreboard and occasionally during breaks will show game stats, other scores, and such.

Well, Dickie V here is evidently a bit nearsighted. He has to pull out his binoculars to read the scoreboard. And I guess he assumes the rest of us are nearsighted as well. As he chooses to read loudly every single stat and score off the giant screen. Every. Single. One. Did I mention he was loud?

By some point in the third quarter, I was seriously contemplating jabbing a shaker in my eye socket, just to see what he would say. He makes me want to nick my jugular and watch the blood slowly spurt out of my neck with each pulse of my heart, until I black out. It could be a long year.

Directly behind us is a guy my sister and I call Nacho. He and his wife sat in front of us last year. Nacho is a very large mammal. I actually like him. He's not loud and he makes decent comments during the game.

He earned his nickname during one particularly hot day last season when a malodorous emanation overtook our olfactory senses. My sister said it smelled like nacho cheese. And after some consideration, I deduced it must have come from him. And Nacho was born.

Directly in front of us are two ornery older couples. They don't like to stand. They don't like to cheer. And the men gripe and complain the entire game. Even after good plays, they can be heard saying things like "It's about time" or "Where has that been all game?"

Another of their trademarks is leaving the game early. It's rare to see them still in their seats with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, even in a close game. And they never stay until the end. I'm not sure why they purchase tickets, really. And I haven't thought of a nickname for them yet. Not one I can say on a family blog anyway.

Behind us and to the right is a guy we refer to as DUI, who is probably in his twenties. Alcohol is not allowed in Bryant-Denny Stadium, so DUI brings his own. Every single game. He has sat around us the past two or three years, and wreaks of alcohol every game.

DUI makes frequent trips to the concession stand and/or restroom each week and mixes his Jack & Coke in the stands with the end of his shaker. He also regularly spills his alcohol, as he did this past Saturday, which serves to enhance the smell as well as the overall enjoyment of the game for the rest of us.

Final score Saturday: Alabama 25, Hawaii 17.

After each win, the crowd does a victory cheer called Rammer Jammer. As time ran out the other night, they began the cheer. Dickie V turned to me and said he wasn't doing it this week because he didn't think we deserved it.

As we were leaving, I turned around to see what DUI was doing. He was yelling something. Waving his shaker. Looking like he might fall over at any second. I think he knew we won. But I doubt he knew the score.

Hope your team won this weekend, too.

"From Carolina down to Georgia, smell the jasmine and magnolia. Sleepy sweet home Alabama, Roll Tide Roll..."


  1. Thanks for the plug and the Bama primer. Especially Nacho, though the secretary sounds very interesting also, and the intro to 92,137 of your closest friends

    Sure of the number? Exactly

    As my football knowledge begins and ends with one Harvard/Yale game, countless Superbowl parties, and a talking football that when opened holds chips, dips and I guess vegtables, this was very educational

    Oh, and my Dad would do point spreads on games---great diagrams

  2. Congrats, SEC had a great weekend......


  3. EverybodyLovesTheSEC9/04/2006 04:45:00 PM

    Don't you love season tickets?? The same people every year, love 'em or hate 'em, at least they're consistent.

    I'm afraid that I could be the female version of your Dick Vitale. Though, maybe not since I'm not loud unless I'm cheering and I'm so engrossed with the game in front of me and my blackberry (checking my other team's scores) that I can't possibly annoy those around me too badly.

    And, unfortunately, my team didn't win this weekend. Though that didn't serve as a complete shock. Thankfully, we didn't embarrass ourselves too badly . . . unlike our last meeting with this particular team. However, my other favorite team won and my third favorite team plays tonight! Fingers and toes crossed and team shirt on . . . Thank God it's football season again!

  4. I guess we all went out and supported opening season this weekend! OU won 24-17 ... they arent my favorite team, but I was cheering them on!

  5. Ah the joys of seeing the game in person. I haven't done that in years. I think my first and last Bucs game was in '83 maybe? I went to a pre-season game with my boyfriend & his family. That's the game where on the way back I was almost hit by a car.
    I've been to two superbowls...'85 & '91... But I didn't see them. Now how could I have gone to the game and not watched it? I was part of the half-time show.

    I liked highschool foot ball games...probably because we did crazy spirit stuff.

    Hey, did you know your picture is backwards? Or is that on purpose?

  6. Why don't you take your shaker and stick it in Dickie V's eye...and see what he has to say about that. I like the shirt!

  7. Pia: You should blog about Harvard/Yale. And chips and dip are good. But a talking football? What would it say?

    Naj: Ugh? I'm guessing your team didn't do so well?

    Everybody Loves: I don't yell every single play. I'm usually too nervous. Although I think I've decided I will be the designated first down guy from now on. Whenever we get a first down, I'll stand up and extend my arm in the first down motion. Eventually, everyone will refer to me as the First Down Guy. What do you think?

    Kerry: Well, I'm glad the team you was cheering for won. Sounds like you had a bit of a close call like we did.

    Renee: Oh yeah, the Super Bowl halftime shows. I think I remember you blogging about that. That's very cool.

    It's only backwards to you. If you were to see me in person, it would read correctly. Honestly, I'm not sure what's going on. I must have reversed the view on my camera phone or something.

    Lass: I like that idea. I was seriously wondering what the maximum sentence would be for accidentally pushing someone down 43 rows :)

  8. Thanks for reminding me that I've already told you my Super Bowl stories...I'll try hard to remember that. But odds are that I won't remember and will tell you the same story again a few more times.
    Sorry in advance.

    You shoulda stuck with the first backwards shirt was good! Made Darly laugh. yes, she gets to read the pre-sensored stuff.

  9. Uh, yes, TENNESSEE did very well this weekend :) When do we play y'all? Should be a good match....

  10. Congrats! OU barely won...could be a long year for the Sooners.

  11. The football gave a generic cheer, and there was a generic football song in the background. It's rather gross looking

    Bone these are my word verification letters

    Are they trying to tell me this is really another kind of blog :-)

    sexgirlybag or sexgirlyblog--whatever

  12. Don't make me bust into "Rocky Top" :)

    We did very well this past weekend, even with giving up two very late, "gimmme" touchdowns. Cal really didn't look like a #9 team, but I'm going to do a proper post on thoughts on the game tonight.

    The third Saturday in October can't get here soon enough! :)

  13. Unfortunately, my team sucks, so no, we did not win, but thank you SO much for bringing it up. ;)

    But I have tickets to a game in October, which I'm looking forward to immensely!

  14. Great post. Sounds like Y'all had fun. I choose not to be a fan of any team; as I am a bad luck charm and will doom them to the worst season It seems that every game (no matter what sport) from professional to little league that I've ever been to has a guy like Dick V. and I'm always the lucky one that sits next to or very near to him.

  15. The 'rents and I ended up getting the game on PPV. The new stadium looked awesome - can't wait to see it in person. Woo hoo! Rooollll Tide!

  16. More importantly than anything else, what kind of football stadium to you have down there that doesn't allow alcohol?

  17. Renee: Well, I was gonna say it's like an Ambulance. It looks right in your rear view mirror. Hi, Darly.

    Jennifer: Yes, they did. I think it's October 21st.

    Lindsy: We barely won, too. It's just the first game. That's what I keep telling myself :)

    Pia: Looks like sexy girly blog to me. Do you have the specific URL for that? :)

    Groovie: Well, at least I taught you one good thing.

    Big Man: Yeah, I couldn't believe when I turned past the replay Sunday and Tennessee was up 35-0. Obviously, that was one of those "not as close as the score indicates" games.

    Carmen: Uh, you're Virginia, right? Sorry :(

    RedNeckGirl: Yes, there are several thousand experts at every game. I've just never seen one who had something to say about every single play.

    Tenacious T: It was very cool. The two additional screens are great. And the statues of the national championship coaches, the whole front plaza area, is really nice.

    HeatherB: A really nice stadium :)

  18. re: Lilly looking happy... did you notice the bone at her feet? She had just taken a break from her favorite game..."keep the bone away from everyone".

    Lilly grabbs the bone and runs like crazy. She runs near you but not so close that you can actually catch her and she growls. But she also takes many breaks stopping just long enough for you to barely get in arms reach of her and then she grabs the bone and takes off again.

    She hasn't figured out yet that we do not want her slobbery bone.

  19. We're KC Chiefs/BYU fans. I'll let you know on the "how I feel about the game" once I've reviewed it. We had a similar Nacho dude that sat behind us in college. We determined it was lack of deodorant and unwashed gym socks lending that corn chip smell. His bad breath had a cheesy aroma that unfortunately was thick enough to travel the slope of the crowd. Fortunately he stayed home when it snowed, so we got a break at the end of the season.

  20. As long as the Yankees are playing I can't spare any attention for other teams or sports. But just for you I'll give a quick "Go Amabala!" :-)

  21. The two old guys you are talking about remind me of the "hecklers" from the Muppet Show. Please don't tell me you are too young for that.

    There are definite benefits to going to a live game, having season tickets, etc. But, since I'm easily annoyed by people, it's best I stay at home and make my comments to myself lest there be some sort of brawl that I was responsible for starting.

    No, I will not be at ND next week...and I have a party to go to. I was assured the game would be on all TV's in the place. Great, it'll be me and 20 guys packed into a room. And they'll probably all be PSU fans.

    Oh yea Nacho...probably the smell of butt cheese. Yummy!

  22. Seriously, no alcohol is served at the new stadium? At all? At the Coliseum, they stop serving beer/wine at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Sporting events without beer? There's just something wrong about that statement. I mean, I don't drink so it doesn't affect me either way.

    USC did very well on Saturday. We beat Arizona (again) by 30+ points (again).

  23. Renee: I didn't notice the bone. But that's very cute.

    Dorothy: That was very descriptive. I think I could actually smell it. Ewww.

    Lizzie: Thanks :-) Amabala all the way! And Go Yankees, since my Reds have choked away the wild card.

    Carnealian: I vaguely remember the two old guys from the Muppets. Haven't seen that show in many years.

    And we've gotta stop talking about Nacho, or I'm never gonna be able to eat cheese again.

    Xinh: Nope. Never has been allowed there, as long as I've been going to games.

  24. *sigh* I can't say I'm a big football fan. But I'm definately getting my fill of it since my man has a game on ALL THE TIME. Unless, of course, there's a Nascar race. Electric bill, here I come.

    BTW, my blog url has changed.

  25. Jen: Yeah, I noticed you had changed the other day. I'll update my link soon.