Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All is Well in Tiger Town

     Orange fever is coming to town, and we're heading up to the UVA/Clemson football game this weekend. It will be the first time Sissey has seen  the Tigers actually play at Death Valley, although she has made a pilgrimage to the Frank Howard Stadium and has witnessed Howard's Rock hovering over the hill. Her twin brother is heading down from The University of Virginia with his fraternity brothers, we're tailgating with family and friends, her dad is flying in from Richmond, and football fever is spreading faster than swine flu. Deciding which team to pull for may be difficult. I grew up in a Clemson family: my brother and sister were Tigers, my sister-in-law was a Tiger, my brother-in-law was a Tiger, my grandfather and great uncles were Tigers, and all my nephews are Tigers. My son, Bro, however,  is a second year scholar at UVA. To solve the problem,  I'm just going to wear orange and yell "Go Team!"
      My brother, the golden-haired boy, told me last night that he had gotten tickets for Sissey and me in the handicapped section. The entrance and exits are ramped, there's plenty of room for her wheelchair, and she'll be able to roll right in the stadium  to watch the game. I was so excited and appreciative he had gotten us such perfect accomodations, until he informed me that he would be sitting in the President's Box and that he had given his daughter, Margaret, a sideline pass.
     Hmmmm...I started thinking that maybe that just wasn't fair. The President's Box was so much more my style than his, he didn't really want to be up there, he wouldn't even appreciate it. He'd much rather be down on the sidelines of the field as the team doctor or up in the stadium with the roaring Tiger crowd. I should be the one sitting in the plush confines of the best seats in the stadium, rubbing elbows with the uppity-ups, munching on delicate morsals served on silver platters by white gloved waiters.  I would appreciate it very much, thank you, and I started thinking that maybe, just maybe,  I could talk him out of that spot.
    "Oh," I smiled, "that's great. The President's Box, huh? Too bad you'll miss all the action down on the field. Margaret will love taking that spot! We'll be loving it down in the stadium with all the excitement, the roar of the crowd, the energy. Sorry you'll be stuck up there in the glass bubble cut off from the fans. Hey, come to think of it, wouldn't you rather sit with Sissey and show her how to have the real Tiger experience? Teach her all about Death Valley, Frank Howard, the Tiger Rag, the history behind the rock? You've been to so many games, you're such a football pro, it would mean so much to her. It would be the perfect uncle/niece bonding time."
     "No, I don't think so. Nice try," he said.
      Shoot, round one goes to the golden haired boy, but I'm not beat yet.
      I decided to try tactic number two. When whining and cajoling fails, try guilt. I would shame him out of those seats yet.
     "OK, you go ahead and take the best seats, I'll just roam around below, lost in the crowd, pushing Sissey in her wheelchair. We'll be rolling around searching for our seats, trying to manage the hills and the swarm of people. I hope we don't get crushed by the mob of fans.  Don't worry about us, though. If we get hurt or lost I'm sure security will show up to help. Of course, I know nothing about the stadium or how to get around, this wasn't my alma mater, but I'm sure we can figure it out on our own. You go ahead and sit in the President's Box, you deserve those seats so much more than anyone."
      "OK," he said.
        Not the response I was hoping for. One final try remained. I would  beat him at his own game, using my best psycho-babble jargon and all the knowledge I had gained this year from Psychology 101.
      " So, how does that make you feel?" I fired at him, hoping he would dig deep into his sub-conscious mind and discover that he didn't really need to sit in the President's Box to enjoy the game, that he actually wanted me to take the tickets instead, that it would complete him and make him feel whole to sacrifice the better tickets for the lesser ones, a truly noble gesture.
      "Makes me feel pretty good, actually," he grinned back at me.
       Dadgummit, that's the problem with psychiatrists. They are too self-actualized to be manipulated by guilt or trickery or amatuer analysis.
     OK, so he won the round and the match. I've been beaten by the professional,  I've been relegated to the regulars, I'll  be content with popcorn and coke and a hard stadium seat, but I can't lose, because either team is a winner for me, President's Box or not, and I'm  going to the game!
     And that makes me feel pretty good, actually!
     Go Orange!
Postscript: My brother redeemed himself  by getting tickets on the 50 yard line for my husband and son.  Not quite the President's Box or a sideline pass, but a pretty darn good second place.  All is forgiven, All is well in Tiger Town.

No comments:

Post a Comment