Wherever the Road Leads

Football sweaters

The scales at the doctor’s office may not be as poorly calibrated as I thought. Quite co-incidentally, I’m sure, my ‘medium’ sweaters must have washed themselves in hot water and shrunk a little as they fit much more snugly than they used to.

Sweaters had to be resurrected as our weather here in the South is best described by the Weather Channel as “Marchuary”… in many places down here it was colder in March than it was in January. So, it was off to the local Belk store to see what deals I could get.

Belk. Modern. Southern. StyleI figured that I would make out like a bandit… who is buying sweaters in late March? Well, ‘pert-near everyone as best I could reckon. With the golf shirts in abundance and short pants well-represented, what selection of sweaters that remained were relegated to the discount rack, the more popular colors long-gone and half-way to being pilled-up.

Wandering aimlessly – one of my skills – in the hopes that a better selection may magically appear, a saleslady approached and asked, “Can I help yuh?”  Now, you should be able to tell from just those four words… you don’t even need to hear the accent… that she is from Up North. Southerners will generally ask how you are doing first, then ask if they can help you find anything. The only non-traditional word may appear if you were a couple – “Can I help y’all?”  “Yuh” is unheard of.

I told her I was looking for a sweater but they seem to be about wiped out. I followed her over to the same vacant racks I had already been looking at but she did indeed manage to find me a suitable choice. The first one she showed me, though, was orange. I told her I didn’t want to look like a Tennessee fan.

“Everyone I talk to associates colors with colleges,” she said.

“What part of Up North are you from?” I asked, unable to NOT ask the question any longer.

“Lansing, Michigan,” she replied, “how did you know?”


Just like you have to attain a certain GPA to attend a better college or you have to be means tested to receive food stamps, people need to be SEC-tested before being allowed to move to the Deep South.

Yes, there are Pro-ball teams down here… that team in light blue in Charlotte or Raleigh-Durham or somewhere, and there’s the Lanter Falcons who have a real nice stadium that is used to host the Atlanta-area high-school championship game as well as some SEC-venues. Average attendance at a Falcon’s game is 70,096 per game, 541,625 per season in a Metro area of 5.4 million people. Comparatively,  Buffalo hosts only 4,000 less per season, pulling from a Metro area of just 1.2 million residents.

The University of Alabama averages 101,821 fans each Crimson Tide game. Yes, Alabama, the state some of y’all had never heard of before reading about my adventures. Georgia, playing in a smaller stadium, averages 92,613 for a Bulldogs outing.

Yes, ma’am, colors are associated with college football… life is associated with college football.

Georgia’s color is red:

Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga., Capacity: 94,746

Tennessee is orange:

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tn. Capacity: 102,455

Louisiana State is purple and gold:

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La., Capacity: 92,400

Ole Miss is red and blue…. with a very visible Tennessee section at the back left…

ole-miss Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Ms., Capacity: 60,580

The best college, the best football team in the land in the best league in college football, the SEC: Please stand and cross your hearts: the Crimson Tide of Alabama:

Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa. Al., Capacity: 101,821

Yes, ma’am, we know our colors. And if you’re fixin’ to stay down here, you’d best be learning them too.


As an aside… recently I met some great people who live in Athens, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia, so to be expected, Georgia fans. We got talking football and naturally, last year’s Alabama-Georgia game for the 2012 SEC Championship. THAT was a football game, perhaps the best and certainly the most exciting game I have ever seen.

alYes, there was great hoopla over Notre Dame’s season and foolishness over Brent Musburger making a comment about a pretty Southern woman, unlike in the north, NOT an anomaly. However the game was over after 2:57 of play when Alabama scored its first touchdown with ease. The Georgia-Alabama game got decided with 5 seconds left in the game.

That’s the greatness of the South… the best football, the best football fans and… the prettiest women.

Roll Tide.

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