How You Know You’re A Grown Up

The last two months have made me wish I had more middle fingers. It’s been what we in the biz call a “cluster”. I sold my condo and leased it back from the buyers for a few weeks. And because timing is sometimes a bitch, I moved out a week before I closed on my new house and had to pay an extra $500 to have the movers load all my worldly goods into a storage unit for seven days and then back into a truck and to my new house. In the interim, I stayed with a friend for two nights and then moved into the garage apartment1 of my sister-wife and sister-wife-husband2. I finally closed on my new house and moved in two days later. So there was that.

I’ll spare you the details of the other clusters that have ensued over the last two months, but I will recap the highlights for your reading pleasure. You’re welcome!

  1. My beloved boss was made redundant3, rendering my team bossless. And rendering me very sad.
  2. A relationship with someone I cared about very much ended. Which hurt and which sucked, but I kept reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. Speaking of reasons, whoever said love and reason were like oil and water was spot-freaking-on.
  3. I was accepted into membership for a volunteer organization and then un-accepted two months later on a technicality. Luckily, #’s 1 and 2 above had just happened, so I didn’t have time to dwell on #3 too long. Small miracles.
  4. I went to Baton Rouge for the LSU/Washington game, as I do, and had a little too much fun at the LSU Shot Ski tailgate, where this tailgating tragedy occurred.
  5. On my way home from Baton Rouge, I got a nail in the sidewall of my tire on my six-month-old car and had to spend $250 on a new tire. Who knew you couldn’t just patch the sidewall of a tire?! I do not remember this lesson in drivers ed or I would have tried harder to get the nail in my actual tire, natch.
  6. To top all this off, when I was leaving for work the Monday after the week of shenanigans, I walked out my house to see this yard tragedy. The limb broke at the midpoint of the branch, so it initially fell in the street and some kind neighbor was nice enough to drag it into my yard for me to deal with. Ahem. The tree from which it fell is a mature oak that’s been in front of my house for 60 years and it’s unfortunate to lose that huge limb. The tree produces so many acorns that I’m pretty sure it’s all tweaked up on ‘roids and am pretty sure it’s healthy but, to be sure, I’ve called an arborist. An ARBORIST! You know you’re a grown up when you’re calling a tree doctor to check out your sick tree. Anyway, it’s super fortunate the limb didn’t fall on a) my house; b) my neighbor’s car; or c) my neighbor. Like they say, there’s always a silver lining!

All this happened in the span of about two weeks. Before y’all speed off to church to light a candle for me, though, you should know I’m thankful my family and I have our health. And that I was able to buy an awesome new/old house. And that I have a great job and get to work with great people. And that I absolutely love the volunteer work I do. And that my 14 pound Tabby cat loves me unconditionally4. I don’t know much, but I know this: the best revenge is living well.

1 A 500 Sq ft garage apartment that I’ll point out was nicer than my house.
2 Actually one of my best friends and her husband who I see so much that we are practically married. But not in *that* way, so get your dirty minds out of the gutter, people!
3 What the Brits call being laid off.
4 And by “unconditionally”, I mean “when it’s 6pm and time for dinner”.

Let’s Talk Football

Now that we’ve sprinted past the mid-point of summer and the debauchery (and discombobulation) of a mid-week Fourth of July, we can focus on what’s really important: college football.

For those who don’t know me, I’m an official card-carrying college football addict. There’s nowhere I’d rather be on a Saturday afternoon between September and January than sitting in front of a giant TV with a cold mexican beer in my hand. Nowhere! And for those of you who disagree about the beauty of college football, I ask you with all sincerity: where else would anyone possibly want to be?! I mean, I know college football doesn’t have the passing game of the NFL or the big egos of the NFL, but ultimately, football is football with touchdowns, helmuts and seriously rabid fans.

What the NFL doesn’t have, though, that college football will always have is the game. It’s just not about the game in the NFL. It’s about the money. In college football, the game’s the thing. The game is bigger than everything and everyone. The economics of the NFL just doesn’t lend itself to creating the kind of passion that brings 110,000 people out every. single. week. of every. single. year. to Tiger Stadium to watch the LSU Tigers play on a Saturday night in the sweltering heat of September. It doesn’t matter what happens to the coach or the players because that isn’t why people come. The people are still going to come regardless of Saban selling out to go to Miami or Jordan Jefferson not starting because of a silly bar-room brawl. 

The NFL may have fans, but they aren’t, and never will be, as passionate as college football fans. The tailgate parties, notably in the SEC, and the complete zeal of watching “your school” beat a nationally-ranked team (I’m looking at you, Boise State over Oklahoma) will just never be matched in the NFL. Frankly, the NFL will always be handicapped because of its collective lack of imagination. I can turn on a game on any Thursday, Sunday or Monday night, and will see the same exact plays every. single. game. Where’s the innovation? The NFL is always going to punt on the fourth down. They’re always going to be defensive. Always. This is because, in the NFL, it’s about self-preservation and self-promotion, rather than playing your heart out for “your school” and for something bigger than yourself (and, yeah, usually for a #1 draft spot and NFL contract, sadly).

For those who don’t know me, you should know I bleed both maroon and white, and purple and gold. I graduated from Texas A&M University (whoop!), but am an ardent, ebullient, devoted LSU fan (Geaux Tigers!). Needless to say, a lifetime of prayers were answered the day I learned A&M had joined the SEC. I immediately began speaking in tongues and high-fiving a million singing angels!

And then I stopped and asked myself: did A&M just become Texas Tech? As much as I love college ball, I had to ask why A&M would ever want to deal with Alabama, LSU, Auburn, not to mention the SEC East? After years of beating our heads against the Texas and OU walls, and struggling to do anything in the Big 12, how are we all of a sudden going to elevate ourselves after joining  one of the nastiest divisions in the history of college football? I’m sure a few of my Aggie bretheren thought exactly the same thing. But you know what? First and foremost, A&M is finally out of the shadow of big burnt orange. Everyone knows the SEC is a bigger and better conference than the Big 12, and A&M we can finally have our own identity rather than being just the team who plays UT on Thanksgiving night (tradition, though it may be). And even if LSU tramples A&M when they make the trip to Kyle Field in October in what will probably be one of the most fun and emotional games of the season, there will be about 100,000 of us who will watch the Auburn game the week after, and the Mississippi State game the week after that, and the Alabama game the week after that.

Don’t get me wrong…if someone gave me free tickets to an NFL game, I’d go, especially if it was to a Cowboys game at the new Cowboys Stadium (HINT). Let me say this, though: even if Texas A&M lost this entire season, I guarantee you that tickets for the next season and the season after that will sell out. Early and often. I’m pretty sure that would never happen with the Houston Texans. I know it wouldn’t happen with the Astros or the Rockets because I’m pretty sure they stopped selling out years ago. And if that doesn’t prove my point, I don’t know what will. 

Love and reason are like oil and water. I love college football, rational or not. And you know why? Because in college football, nobody’s bigger than the game.