Finally, it’s here. The 2012 SEC college football season started Thursday night with the South Carolina (W) vs. Vanderbilt game. Friday night, Tennessee (W) played NC State. Bob and I were hunkered down in front of the tv for those games, our appetites whetted for today’s Gator game against Bowling Green.
For the past nine months, we’ve waited for kickoff. Around the country, and especially in the South, the date of your team’s opening game ranks in importance way above Halloween, which is now reckoned as the most popular secular holiday in America.
In the Ferguson family, it is a date to which we have been counting down since January.
Judy, Merry, Amy, Mildred, Sophie and other readers know what I’m talking about.
Those of us who love sewing can find projects for all the important components of our lives: our families, our churches, our homes and for some, our football passion.
For tailgating, I embroidered aprons for the “kitchen staff,” which included all the ladies, even this student from our hometown.
Even off season festivities warrant some Gator stitching.
Laurel attended the summer Gator Club gathering wearing this little outfit, with matching cap embroidered with her name and the same bluebirds and orange ribbons.
I’ve made or embroidered Gator gear for everyone in my immediate family (starting at birth for the grandchildren), including maternity shirt
I’ve stitched team gear for some in my extended Gator family, including my physical therapist (and former Gator football player) Roger who supervised my rehab after knee replacement.
And our veterinarian and his family,
including my godchild Caitlin (Baby Alysha’s mother, not pictured), and others.
Tonight, I am embroidering new Gator shirts for Laurel and Robert to wear to the season opener on Saturday night. Alastair’s shirt is in the stack. Last year’s outfit is too small, of course.
Getting their shirts ready is as much a harbinger of fall as cooler (slightly!) temperatures and color in the Golden Rain trees.
Adding to the interest and excitement of another college football season was a recent Southern Living article. I loved it.
10 Commandments of College Football Fandom
- 1. Thou shalt wear team colors. But think twice before adorning yourself with body paint–you don’t want to be the Internet photo that goes viral.
- 2. Thou shalt know—and sing–your team’s fight song from beginning to end. Sure, you can “watermelon watermelon” your way through the alma mater, but not memorizing the fight song is a fan failure.
- 3. Thou shalt keep your language clean (unless of course, the quarterback fumbles on 4th and goal).
- 4. Thou shalt support the coach. Even when his calls are questionable.
- 5. Thou shalt be respectful to visiting teams. Remember: Southern ladies and gentlemen never boo. JSF NOTE: Sadly, this commandment seems to be disregarded at most SEC games.
- 6. Thou shalt set up a tailgate no fewer than three hours before kickoff (six if it’s a night game). JSF NOTE: WHAT!?$%!??? We must arrive at Norman Field in Gainesville no later than 8 a.m. for a 3:00 game, no later than 10 a.m. for a 7:00 kickoff. Otherwise, we have to set up on the outskirts of town along the curb. Table linens and matching huggers encouraged but not required.
- 7. Thou shalt theme your tailgate food around the visiting rival. Gator bites, anyone? JSF NOTE: We serve jambalaya before LSU games, ribs before Arkansas, hot dogs for Georgia, tough chicken for South Carolina, etc.
- 8. Thou shalt stay through the 4th quarter–rain or shine. That’s what ponchos are for, y’all.
- 9. Thou shalt respect the solemnity of Game Day by planning weddings, births, and other life events around the football schedule.
- 10. Thou shalt not covet other teams bowl games, national championships, or Heisman Trophy wins. There’s always next year.
And now, it’s next year! Hurrah!