“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”-Dr. Seuss
I remember pulling into a golf course down here a few years ago. It was a fall Saturday afternoon. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Picture perfect. In Charlotte, no tee times would have been available. But in Coastal Mississippi, the parking lot was empty. I literally remember thinking to myself, This is weird. What the hell is going on?
When I lived and worked in and around Uptown Charlotte for all those years, my focus was primarily on professional sports. Panthers and Hornets, Hornets and Panthers. I personally had season tickets to one, and through work, I might as well have had season tickets to the other. They were both fun experiences, extremely fun in the case of the Panthers’ 2016 Super Bowl run, but neither comes close to experiencing college football Saturdays living in the heart of SEC country.
By Wednesday, if the chatter hasn’t started earlier, I usually start really thinking about that weekend’s games. Who is playing who. Where the games are. What time. What channel. By the time I go to bed on Friday night, I’m ready for Saturday Service, the religion of SEC college football, and the preaching I am going to hear and see the next day. At first, I was unprepared, but now almost three years in, I haven’t yet joined as a member but let’s say I visit every week.
From my perspective as a golf course employee, on Saturday mornings in the fall, we bust it for a few hours starting just before 7am. Throughout the morning, College GameDay fills the background while I chit chat with all of our customers (and fellow employees) who is playing who, who is beating who and by how much. I likely have a few bucks on a few games, so I have to dig in. Home teams. Injury reports. Covid lists. At 11am CST, the first games come on and the first groups of golfers are finishing their rounds, ready to get showered up, get some grub, and watch SEC football for the rest of the day.
Around this time, I grab a shrimp po boy and see if the early games mean anything to me. Then I get back to it for a couple of hours, but the golf crowd slowly begins to subside. Just know, Ole Miss football trumps a perfectly beautiful day. The way my mind works, I say why not have both? So by 230pm, I’m ready to play a few holes myself, likely watching the mid afternoon kickoffs on my phone between shots.
There’s nothing like it. It’s truly a religion down here. Commandment 1: Nothing shall get in the way of College Football Saturdays.
I don’t take it that far, but when in Rome, why not create and enjoy a Roman lifestyle. Ideal weather, playing golf, watching college football, beautiful scenery, a few bucks here and there, maybe a cold drink.
I’m gone by 5pm, if not earlier, ready to see what the evening holds.
You hear about culture, but this is damn real. It’s like clockwork. It’s sacred. I’m not one for traditions, but…
Have a great week.-Benj
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