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Chris Gay: Committing a college football Southern faux pass

Posted: August 30, 2017 - 1:35am

I have to fess up.

I committed one of the most Southern faux pas in the history of Southern faux pas Sunday. With apologies to my friend, Tom Hoyle, it had nothing to do with grits. Nor did it have to do with cooking vegetables without fatback (who does that anyway?) or with our unique Southern grammar, bless my heart. Let me explain.

When I arrived at church Sunday, I saw my lifelong friend, Jamie, wearing his red and black UGA tie. He's not just a big fan of the football team, he's an alumnus. And whenever the Bulldogs do something in football, our pastor is quick to look at Jamie and say something from the pulpit.

After church Sunday, Jamie and I talked about this week's college football opener. Then, it happened. The wind started blowing harder. Gray clouds moved in. Finally, I asked. What time does UGA play Saturday? Holy hellfire and brimstone. You should've seen the look, heard the rebuke. How dare a sports writer not know the time of the Bulldogs' meeting this Saturday with Appalachian State! (For the record, Georgia plays at 6:15 p.m. on ESPN. Why, pray tell, does this qualify as a night game anyway?)

So there I stood at church, having to get this game information from other non-sports writers. Even my mother knew the game time. Good grief.

Well I've been a little busy lately. Keeping up with area high school sports is one thing. Then, two of my children played their first Upward soccer game of the season Saturday, and won. And Monday, I dropped off my kids at their charter school for the first day of sixth grade - a 70-minute round trip from our house.

Not knowing the game time for the Georgia game made me feel like Jake Blues making excuses to Carrie Fisher's character - he jilted her at the altar - at the end of The Blues Brothers: "I ran out of gas. I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! It wasn't my fault, I swear to God!"

Well, I've learned my lesson. I can tell Jamie - and the rest of you - after Georgia plays Appalachian State, the Bulldogs play Notre Dame (Sept. 9) and Samford (Sept. 16) at 7:30 p.m. Television is holding hostage the other game times this season, except for the Florida game. Georgia plays Jean Shorts U. at 3:30 p.m., Oct. 28.

I say this nicely, but don't bother me. I'm busy researching game times and dates for all my favorite teams. Hey look, locusts!

^

SOME ADVICE: Kids, if you're going to get married, don't do it during football season. There are so many other good months during the year to get hitched.

There's April - after the Masters, of course. It starts to get warmer in May, but that's OK. A night wedding in June and July is just fine as well. Or you can be a little more unconventional and get married in a month like March.

And that's about it. There should be a law outlawing weddings from August through the Southeastern Conference Championship. Then, there can be a brief window allowing weddings in December before bowl season.

Until then, here's some advice. Guys, if you're dating a girl and ready to commit to a long-term deal, get engaged in August or September. That wipes out the rest of the year and several months into the next year. Get engaged now, go to the Masters in April and then take your honeymoon a few weeks later in the Caribbean.

If you're dumb enough to get engaged at the end of the year, you're putting yourself in jeopardy with your friends. No one wants to attend a wedding during football season. It's awkward running that earphone through your jacket sleeve to try to listen to the game while also trying to act like you're paying attention to the ceremony.

On a related note, my niece is getting married Oct. 7. Georgia plays Vanderbilt that day (probably another night game.) I should've known the wedding would take place during football season. She's marrying a Clemson fan. At least he doesn't wear jean shorts.

^

AT LEAST IT WASN'T IN FOOTBALL SEASON: How many of you caught the well-hyped fight Saturday night between Floyd Mayweather and UFC star Conor McGregor? I didn't. I couldn't get into it. Instead, the kids and I watched Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.

McGregor, the heavily-tattooed trash talker, convinced Mayweather to come out of retirement so he could earn well over $100 million for the bout. It is reported that Mayweather is now in rare air - he's expected to join Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods as the lone athletes to make $1 billion in his career.

And McGregor did well, too. Varying reports having the Irishman collecting at least $75 million.

This fight felt like a fraud from the start. A UFC fighter vs. a polished fighter. Some people bought into the hype and believed McGregor actually had a chance. And of course he got off to a fast start. Then, Mayweather toyed with him and finally won in a TKO in the 10th round.

Maybe Mike Tyson accidentally ruined boxing for a lot of us. He was so great, so dominant in the late 1980s. Fifteen of his first 25 fights ended by knockout or TKO in the first round.

Now, we get these non-heavyweight fights that can go on and on, ones where no one gets knocked out. That's not entirely true, but it feels that way. Maybe if McGregor had bitten off a piece of Mayweather's ear I'd have thought the fight was real.

They're the smart ones, though. They made their money. The rest of us are suckers. Bless our hearts.

 

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