Chapter 23: Football Season in the South

Football season has begun and the South has lost its mind.

See Football games are both a metaphor for and a microcosm of Life in the South.  I’ve never really understood all this fuss about football- be it High School, Collegiate or Professional.

I guess it’s kind of like the citizens of Rome going to the coliseum to watch the Christians run from the lions or the gladiators fight to the death.  The hope is that eventually, blood will be shed and we will see all our friends.

First you have a bunch of boys/men trying to push a ball over a line or kick it through the goal posts.  I won’t touch the symbolism of forcing a ball through two spread posts…

I hear there is a little strategy involved in football, but mainly it’s about brute force.  The point is really “It doesn’t matter if you are smarter.  If I’m faster, slicker and push harder, I win.” That pretty much sums up life and politics in the South…

Then you have the Cheerleaders and Majorettes.  Generations of women in my family have entered into these two categories.  Many find this the highest calling a woman can aspire to at that age.  No one seems to see anything illogical about young girls/women standing around in short skirts screaming and tossing poms poms and/or in sequined bathing suits twirling sticks-preferably with fire on the end- while it’s pouring down rain or freezing cold.  It’s just all so glamorous…even if you get pneumonia.

More power to them.  I never got it.

I also don’t get “tailgating”.  Why do people, who presumably still have homes, want to cook and eat in a parking lot?  Couldn’t they just have a nice party at home- preferably catered?

I mean, I did my time drinking in parking lots, but that was when I was 16 or 17 and couldn’t get into nice, comfy bars.

The more I think about all this, it does seem to be sort of a symbolic pagan rite.  That’s cool…

In short, football season is the chance for various folks in the South to socialize and run around and scream look at me!  Or to get together and drink and eat.  Or to try to force someone else to get out of the way of their goals…

These are the three most common pursuits in the South, so I guess I finally understand…

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