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The LSU Tigers are on a roll! They beat Auburn 31-7 yesterday, and last weekend they defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks handily by a score of 33-7. Virginia Tech may have the cheesiest team name (“Hokies”) and mascot (a giant, goofy-looking turkey), but I can’t decide whether South Carolina gets the award for the Most Ridiculous or the Most Unfortunate mascot: “Cocky” the Gamecock. They should probably get both awards. Hint to new universities that are thinking about fielding a NCAA football team: Poultry and other fowl do not usually make for good team names and/or mascots!

The MonT-SteR was privileged enough watch the Gamecocks get stomped into gumbo live and in person with Mrs. MonT-SteR’s family. We had a blast at the game. The only problem was that Christi and I were seated on the end of a row that EVERY PERSON IN THE STINKIN’ STADIUM WANTED TO WALK THROUGH TO GET TO THEIR SEATS. So this is how I spent most of the game:

The MonT-SteR sits, quietly engrossed by the color and pageantry of the athletic contest playing out before him, when a couple begins the long trudge up the stadium steps

The MonT-SteR: (muttering to self) Oh, man — here come some more.

The MonT-SteR sighs with mingled impatience and resignation as the couple arrives at his row. They look and point, nodding to one another in apparent agreement that this is the right spot. With mildly sheepish looks on their faces, they turn their gazes upon The MonT-SteR and his wife.

Random couple clad in yellow and purple: Excuse us, please.

The MonT-SteR stands, his knees shrieking in protest, as this is the 100th time he has needed to stand up in this manner. The couple awkwardly squeezes by, bumping up against The MonT-SteR and his kin further down the row.

Random couple clad in yellow and purple: Sorry, sorry….

The MonT-SteR: That’s okay. We’re used to it by now.

Despite the unceasing repetition of stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, stand… (you get the idea), it really was a great deal of fun. Not only was it nice to watch LSU win, but the opposing team’s cheering fans were good sports about the whole thing. You Gamecocks may have a lame mascot, but you’re a lot better behaved than your poultry counterparts in Blacksburg. When we went to Lane Stadium to see Virginia Tech play LSU last year, Tech fans were as rude as can be. The Hokies defeated LSU that day, which I wouldn’t usually care all that much about. But the Hokie fowl behaved foully, and The MonT-SteR has nursed a grudge against that bunch of turkeys ever since. I daresay that the recent poultry-posterior-punting they got at WVU was just recompense. HA!

ALERT: The MonT-SteR is about to take a trip down memory lane. Proceed at your own risk!

The first college football game I attended was a University of Maryland game. My dad and I went together as part of a 4-H field trip when I was a kid. A wry smile usually plays across my face when I think of it. Despite the fact that I played football all the time with friends in the neighborhood, my understanding of it was limited to one simple rule: Clobber the guy with the ball when your side doesn’t have it. The intracacies of off-sides, downs, penalties, and the line of scrimmage completely eluded me. Thus, once I was seated at the game with my dad, it took me nearly 3 quarters of play to overcome my embarrassment at not having the slightest idea what was happening on the field and ask what the devil was going on. Dad tried to give me a crash course on the basics of football, but it didn’t take. So rather than ask for further clarification (a prospect leading to even more embarrassment) I watched the entire football game in utter confusion and bewilderment.

“So, Rob,” you ask, “did you ever figure football out?”

Yeah, more or less. I was probably 14. Pathetic, huh?


aka The MonT-SteR