September 10, 2012
Well, it’s back. Football season, or as we say here in the South, “the High Holy Season.” Dawgs. Jackets. Falcons, et al. The pre-season tease is over, the real thing for which we’ve longed for months is here, and weekend and Monday night schedules are temporarily (through February, anyway) rearranged in honor of it. Maybe I’m in the minority, as I’m sure I don’t speak for all women, but I’m happy about it.
Football brings a certain energy to our household that’s missing throughout the rest of the year. I don’t know how many of you saw that Georgia/Missouri game Saturday night, but it was a nail-biter. My husband and my son yelled, cringed, prayed, jumped, shouted and ultimately rejoiced by the time it was all said and done. Our dogs were even into it, but it was an SEC game, so I’m not surprised.
Incidentally, I was explaining to some friends of ours who just moved down from Buffalo that here in the South, we’re really passionate about college football. Sure, we love our pro teams, but the loyalty, honor and yes, even tears belong to our college alma maters (unless you’re a Georgia or ‘Bama fan, when all you have to do is live in the state to be a devout follower).
There’s something else about football season that neither my boys nor my dogs pay much attention to, but I do. Fall ushers in not only ref whistles and crowd noise like no other sport can deliver; it also beckons for the smells of cinnamon and pumpkin. It calls for chili, the perfume of bread baking and that unmistakable smell of outdoor fires and ultimately, the aroma of a fire in the fireplace. I love it.
I know, I just ruined it for all you guys out there.
Fall brings the whole family inside, even if we are gathered around a 55-inch box for much of the time. We’re still together. Our home just smells and sounds warmer in the Fall. It’s cozier.
Rarely, the coziness is chilled slightly when an ACC and an SEC team go head to head; you see, in my family, we have Jackets, Bulldogs, Tigers and Rebels (or whatever they’re called this year) in the blood line. The good-natured insults fly, the jabs are plentiful, but in the end, it’s all still football. It’s all good.
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at families and how we behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays. She has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at book signings and speaking publicly at various events. Her next book, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear,” is expected on book shelves in Fall 2012.