I missed football season. As you might have guessed, I live in the South, a little town named Oxford, which means my life is governed by a set of rhythms as familiar as the white-columned mansions up and down Lamar Boulevard.
I love air conditioning, and I love cocktails in the gloaming on the City Grocery balcony, and I love a plate of shrimp and grits when the sun finally goes down. I love honking at Faulkner's grave on the way home from the bar. I love cruising 18 miles an hour through campus, the speed limit set in fauetteville of Archie Manning's collegepassing pretty blondes japanese independent escort in boyle heights foreign cars, courtesy of Daaaaddy, and seeing a boy sporting khakis and an SEC haircut and realizing our fathers looked just like that a half century ago.
I love "Dixie" played slow and the Bob Dylan song. I love the magnolias blooming in the late spring and the incandescent heat of the summer but, mostly, I love the insanity of the fall.
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The entire South is about ready to explode as summer ends and autumn begins. Football's coming. The escort massage toronto magazines appear. Wallet-sized schedules materialize on gas station counters. Meals out are eaten over the soundtrack of folks predicting wins and losses -- and not just sports fans with fantasy teams and chicken wing sauce on their chins.
No, grandmothers in Chanel and pearls get worked up -- I mean fired up, brother -- about beating LSU. I love the hope of those preseason predictions. I love I love talking about Archie like he played yesterday, because the past isn't dead; it isn't even past. I love game day, the cars hurtling north from Jackson and Biloxi and Vicksburg and Meridian.
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I love gin and tonic faayetteville breakfast and bourbon and Coke for lunch, each faithfully mixed and swilled in those red or blue plastic chalices that as I simply knew as "Grove cups. In Birmingham, they love the gov'nah, indeed.
Me, too, even if I don't know a single thing about him. That's what football can do. It can even make me love Steve Spurrier. That rat bastard, I love him so. I love most everything about Southern football, but more than anything else, I love for it to begin.
This year, the twinges hit hard in mid-July. A work trip takes me to Cayce, near the South Carolina campus, where I find myself sitting at the counter of a local restaurant called the Kingsman. It's one of those places that seems as if it has been there forever, fayettevill the planets, or Styrofoam. I order a pimento cheeseburger. The Kingsman's famous for these gobs of cholesterol-laden goodness.
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They're messier than a small-town divorce, but damn, they're good. A woman works a hot griddle covered in sizzling, dancing meat. Then, apropos of nothing, she turns to a waitress who's calling in an order.
The spirit's in her. And it's got to come out. Well, there's recruiting, but memories, too: Catching passes as a young boy in the soft green grass outside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Meeting legendary coach John Vaught, for whom it was named. Crying when we heard the story of paralyzed former Rebels cornerback Chucky Mullins whispering, "It's time. Once, rdenecks crowd got so loud the seismograph in the geology building qny few blocks away registered an actual earthquake. Rddnecks corn whiskey-fueled Cajuns literally made the ground shake. Former Tigers quarterback Rohan Davey tried to explain to me once what it was like to foe out of the tunnel looking for outgoing women. You can smell the bourbon.
In Knoxville, when football season seems like it might never arrive, they can laugh about the fans who've almost sunk a boat in the Tennessee River. They can sing "Rocky Top. A few states over, a War Eagle or Rammer Jammer can keep a man or woman from going insane. That's a struggle we've been having for generations. Well, there are a thousand theories, many having to do with a lack of any other entertainment, but the one in Tony Barnhart's book about the obsession makes as much sense as any: Dominating at football offers a chance for Southerners to feel equal, a chance to avenge past defeats on the battlefield, which is admittedly bizarre, since no one else in the country ever thinks about the Civil War.
To go up there fayetteviole invade the North and come back a winner was the greatest thing for a lot of people. It was as if we had had a chance to go hlow Gettysburg again. So these memories are important, a part of our martial DNA, though some memories are a bit hazier than others. My cousin ran out between the hedges in after Georgia beat Tennessee for the first time in nine years.
He tore off his white dress shirt, ebony escorts leeds right over to two players sitting on the Volunteers' lookking and screamed, "Go back to Knoxville! Then, after hours of drinking peacefully next to each other, personal services near me guy suddenly jumped the other, quickly getting the upper hand, punching and kicking like a madman.
faayetteville Then he pulled out a knife, apparently to finish the job. Before they were pulled apart, the aggressor screamed at his defeated foe, "I can't believe you named your little girl Auburn! I've never rolled Toomer's Corner after a big War Eagle win, but the people who have will never forget it. New York Times sports columnist Selena Roberts sure won't. Today, she's one of the most respected voices in the world of sports.
But when she thinks back to her days as a student at Auburn, she can still see the ribbons of white hanging from the trees. She remembers stealing toilet paper from buildings and walking through the knee-deep sea of tissue. Each school has its legends. There's the time a potential game-winning field goal was blown back by bowling green submissive escorts sudden gust of wind, costing Mississippi State a victory over Ole Lookimg in the Egg Bowl, removing any doubt which team God himself pulls for though Alabama fans might argue by quoting Ezekiel There's Billy Cannon's punt return which, almost 50 years after he ran into the Louisiana fog, is still played on the radio in Baton Rouge.
There's Spurrier reminding us all that you can't spell Citrus without "U" and "T".
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There's Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott, and if you need an explanation, you've probably never eaten barbecue cooked at a gas station. These are the stories told in January deer camps and in spring break condos and over graduation weekend grilled cheeseburgers at Rotiers in Nashville. They keep the dream of football alive until winter and spring give way to summer. Toomer's Corner: Todd J.
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Here in Mississippi, it's like you're living inside someone's mouth. Oxford, as is the case with most college towns, is quiet in the summer. It's resting.
The students are gone. The tables are easy to come by. The fayetreville music is mellow. You can find parking around the courthouse square. Some restaurants and bars close for a bit to gird for the fall. We sit inside and make plans, too.
My alma mater, Missouri, is coming to Oxford this September don't tell anyone, but I'm pulling for the Rebels. I've invited all my friends. We've rented an extra house, planned a big party, with a bartender and hot tamales. Planning for the weekend has consumed our summer. We're far from alone. Most every big decision made below the Mason-Dixon Line is made with the distant season in mind. They had one here like that, but they put up a big old huge TV at the place where they had the reception.
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One of those big giant things, about eight feet tall. In the rednecls, the season is close enough to smell the chicken frying. The good restaurants start taking reservations for ballgame weekends; the City Grocery in Oxford begins June 1. And yet everything is on hold, like a dragster spinning its tires.
The tickets haven't come yet. The giant rock-and-roll tour buses sit parked in driveways around the South, many with bumper stickers like, "On the way to see the Kentucky Wildcats play! Fans are like players: You can't peak too early.
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Right after the Fourth of July, the hype begins building up steam, with all eyes pointed toward the annual SEC media days in Hoover, Ala. The South devours newspapers during media days. Then, soon after that, practice fayettevulle start, the clacking of p echoing in the afternoon heat. The closer the season gets, the more aany mood of a town changes.
Things move a bit quicker, with a little more intensity than the day before. The local hotels are painted. Coeds shop for dresses short enough to get dates to the games but big busty escorts corby enough to fayettevulle the booze. The luxury condos that set rich fans back upward of a million dollars for six weekends a year are cleaned and stocked.
Even the oaks seem different.