It was all anyone could talk about at work. "Go Gators!!" "Roll Tide Roll!!" "Come on over Saturday we'll be serving gator meat during halftime." At church our preacher worked it into his sermon Wednesday night. The clerk at the Piggly Wiggly asked me if I knew what time it would start. Every wife in town was wondering what they would do with the kids while daddy disappeared for 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon. During a stop for a routine headlight change my mechanic Ken couldn't help but notice my red sweatshirt which just happened to be the color of the Mighty Alabama Crimson Tide. We spent twenty minutes talking about Bama's chances against the Florida Gators. Not only was that afternoon's game a rematch of last year's for the SEC Championship, but both teams were again undefeated guaranteeing a game that would be talked about for years to come.....and I was going to miss it.
After finding out that Lucy and I would be taking Fred to the annual Toy Land play which was scheduled to begin the exact same moment as kickoff, a friend left this on Lucy's Facebook page "I'm just curious how you get Bill to do these things and miss football? Ted does not do anything that will interfere with football so guess where we will be today at 3:00????" The answer of course isn't an easy one because for starters how do you respond without speaking against Ted? Another thing that got me was the first thing my machismo did was take offense to the thought that somehow I had been tricked by Lucy to spend time with my family. Needless to say my first comments to this particular Facebook message were deleted before they ever reached the home page. What I didn't say......what I wanted to say was this:
"Please understand that in no way am I trying to speak against Ted. He seems like a great guy, a good man, and a fine father. I don't know what his schedule is like or what issues he may be facing. That being said what I do know is that last Friday I watched the Alabama/Auburn game. Saturday night I watched three games at one time. Flipping between LSU/Arkansas, Tennessee/Kentucky, and some other game that I can't even remember. Sunday I caught the Colts Vs Ravens. Monday night the Patriots faced off against the Saints. Thursday night it was Oregon and Oregon St. Friday night I watched the last half of Ohio and Michigan St. Before Toy Land starts Cincinnati/Pitt will be on and afterward Texas/Nebraska. Sunday night the undefeated Colts play the Titans who are on a hot streak. Given I didn't watch all of these from start to finish, but I did see a majority of each. I don't know if Ted saw all or any of these. I'm not a baseball fan. I don't like basketball. I play a little golf every now and then. What I like is football and while it's in season Lucy is willing to move things around so that I can catch the big games. For me though this weekend's big event doesn't involve the gridiron. It's seeing Fred's face when Darth Vader sits down next to him like he did two years ago. Or when Spiderman swings from the rafters just in time to save Dora from Cruella de Vil like last year. Hearing the cheers when Elmo and Big Bird come skating across the stage causing Tom to slam into Jerry. Sure the game will be on, but I'll catch the one tonight and maybe the one tomorrow. This afternoon though, at least for me the Big Event is being where my son is."