Monday, November 23, 2009

The Post Game Show

     Ladies and gentlemen, sports fans of all ages, Tigers and 'Hoos alike, welcome to the Post -Game show, featuring a play-by-play wrap up and all the exciting details of the Clemson Vs. UVA game.  The orange team won.
     Enough about that, now, on to the really important things about the day. The weather was South Carolina Fabulous.....a brilliant blue sky, a slight nip in the air, an abundance of orange, a regular "Thank you,God it's great to be in South Carolina" kind of day. If you had an aversion to orange, this was not the place you wanted to be on Saturday. With both teams sporting the same color, the only distinction was the lack of orange paws or tiger tails adorning the UVA Fans.
     We arrived at a tailgate party in full swing, orange tents erected, orange chairs placed under the trees, orange plates and napkins and cups ready to be filled and refilled. There was jumbalaya cooking on a stove in one corner, BBQ simmering on another, and enough platters and  baskets of food to feed a small third world country.  The tailgate party included a generator powered, satellite-dish receptive television set with full coverage of all the major football games.  I'm still amazed that the guys even ventured into the stadium to see the live-play, when they could have spent all afternoon watching hundreds of channels--carrying every major sports activity--while seated by a cooler full of beverages and several tables loaded with food.
      My brother, whom I will now have to start referring to as the former-golden-haired-boy-now-slightly-gray-at-the-temples-with-just-the-teensiest-of-bald-spots-on-top, graciously refused to exchange seats with me at the game and sauntered off to his loftier perch. It was a somewhat sweet victory, however, when Sissey and I realized we had snagged seats directly under the President's Box. So basically, our view of the game was exactly the same as his, just without the white-gloved waiters, shrimp cocktails, cushioned seats, and plasma screen enhanced viewing.
      It would have been a great day if not for some crazy kid that kept shooting off a cannon down on the field.  If you thought Sissey hated balloons, you ain't seen nothing til you've seen her around a cannon. I had the foresight to buy earplugs for her--orange, of course, to match her perky coat, hat and scarf, but they did little to mute the percussive explosions of a hyperactive cannon manned by a over-eager fan.  Clemson, having formerly been an all-male military academy, seemed to think it was a grand old tradition to fire a cannon whenever they did anything down on the field. Score a touchdown? BOOM! Kick a field goal? BOOM! Punt the ball forty yards? BOOM!  Call a time-out? BOOM!  Fumble the ball? BOOM!  Huddle on the field? BOOM! Break for the water boy? BOOM! Maybe I exaggerate a smidgen, but you get the point. 
     It didn't take much for them to fire that fellow up, and every time that cannon went BOOM!, Sissey jumped so high I was afraid she was going to land smack dab in the middle of the President's Box.   I had to pull her back down into her seat each time before she rocketed clear out of the stadium. I was sure when she jumped, she was going to pop up right past the big glass windows of the skybox directly above us, right into full view of my brother.  I could just see him sitting up there, mesmerized by the tantalizing action on the field, swapping sports stories with the other donors while watching the game, when suddenly, Sissey pops up in front of the window. And again, when the Tigers score a touchdown, up pops Sissey.They kick a field goal, here comes Sissey.  They run a forty-yard touch down, up she pops again. He would never believe she was just jumping out of her seat in fear every time that cannon fired, but would think I had her down there on a trampoline trying to propel her up and over into the President's Box. 
     The fans seated around us kept watching her blast off in unison with the cannon, raising puzzled eyes at us and shaking their heads each time she projected into orbit.   I tried to explain to them that she thought they were the Clemson "Tiggers", and she was just bouncing with joy each time the "Tiggers" scored.  When that didn't work, I whispered that it was part of her disability, she had a propulsion problem, and couldn't help herself.  She just spontaneously combusted. That shut them up for the rest of the game.
       Other than that, it was a great experience to be in Death Valley with the two orange teams playing, either one a winner for us, being  fans of the 'Hoos and  fans of the Tigers, fans of tailgates and fans of ballgames, fans of glorious fall weather and fun times with family and friends. Fans of everything, that is, except cannons.
      At least the orange team won.

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