Sunday, September 19, 2010

Woo pig, PHOOEY!


Georgia was supposed to win yesterday! Sure, they were outranked by the Razorbacks, but what of the home field advantage? What of the fight for Mark Richt's job security? What of the fact that it was the first time I ever stepped "between the hedges"?! All of this amounted to big pile of woo-pig-suey, as the Dawgs couldn't convert a valiant second half comeback into a win over Arkansas.


Thankfully, though, yesterday's trip to Athens wasn't a total loss. First of all, I was introduced to Sanford Stadium's "clothing optional" wardrobe policy. For some, like the fella pictured here, the bliss of this cannot be overstated, particularly for those noon kick-offs on blindingly sunny days in the mid-September South. All I can say is, "I bet his mama's prouda him." His wife, however, isn't. Just before that first quarter moment when he shed his red and black ecto-Polo, she stormed away and wasn't seen again. To be fair, though, it's entirely possible that she just left to find a quiet corner where she could melt in peace from the scorching heat.

The second "score" of yesterday's visit to Athens was stumbling upon Clocked. Our waiter mentioned that their burgers were awarded "Best of Athens" honors in 2010. I had the "Clocked Hamburger." With its fluffy bun and some sort of slap-yo-mama secret sauce, I can sure see why it's every Dawg's favorite treat. Good as the burgers were, though, I'm not so sure if it's that that brings the people in or the fact that they serve Cheerwine. From a fountain. Talk about "slap-yo-mama." We'll call it a draw.

But back to talking football, which is, let's face it, the reason God made fall in the first place. With Georgia's loss, my personal record now matches the Bulldogs' this season. I am a lackluster 1 and 2, which, now that I think about it, isn't all that bad, given that I'm about 0 for 757 when it comes to finding a full-time teaching position. I was there when USC did what it did to Brett Favre's alma mater and then attended Tennessee's heartbreaking home loss to Oregon , and, now, of course, Georgia's very sad fall to Arkansas. Instead of focusing on yesterday's losses, though, I'm gonna think about its wins:

Most importantly, my Wildcats whooped up on Akron (by the way, what's a "Zip"?)! Auburn pulled out a squeaker over Clemson, and that Michigan State finish against Notre Dame is an instant ESPN Classic.

The big winner yesterday, however, was my dear friend Leslie Bell. After several months of waiting - about nine, to be exact - she finally became an aunt when her older sister gave birth to Ethan Benjamin Taylor. Now that she has one of her own, I'm hoping that Les will be a little more understanding of my borderline obsession with my nephews (and nieces, but that's a whole 'nother blog!). Being an aunt, I guess, is kinda like live theatre. I can lecture my students until I'm (Kentucky) blue in the face about why I love seeing a show, but they won't get it until they see one for themselves.

Now's Les's chance, though. With Ethan's birth, she "wins" a chance to, without hesitation, spend every spare cent on a child that isn't her own. She's awarded a precious little fella on whom she can lavish love, laughter, and, alright, even a tiny jersey for Baby Gamecocks (clearly, Leslie and I don't see eye to eye on everything), and she gains a guy who will make her heart explode every time he smiles at her or spits on her or begs his mama to let him spend the nite with her.

I know all this, because nearly 11 autumns ago I was given the gift of my sweet Cammy Doodle. That beautiful boy with the head full of hair had me instantly smitten. Suddenly, my priorities completely shifted. I'd skip fun with friends just to sit and watch him sleep. Every move he made made me love him all the more. He's a big boy now - old enough to go to camp and mow the lawn - but I'm still able to pick him up and squeeze that sweetie Petey.

Two years after Cam came, on the Tuesday after Kentucky lost 43-29 in Athens, I got my precious Paytie Einstein. This little baldie was born with his mama's sweet spirit and a stubborn streak all his Aunta's. Nine years later, I get to help him write out the stories he imagines - each one about the same high-flying super hero whose every mission involves saving "a little girl named Aunta."

So congrats, Les. You don't yet know how lucky you've just become by the simple birth of a baby boy. And, now that I think of it, maybe THAT'S the reason God made fall in the first place.


  1. I think I already have a hint of just how blessed I am to simply know this little one. It's safe to say the moment I held him in my arms and smelled his sweet head my little world changed.

    "They say that [my] small heart grew three sizes that day; and [I] found the strength of ten [Leslie's], plus two!"

  2. I hate to say it, but "I toldya so!" :)