What could be worse than no spring football?
SHEPHERDSTOWN — There might be no run on grits at the Piggly Wiggly or Harris-Teeter supermarkets. You can probably still get okra, hominy and black-eyes peas. Storied Southern delicacies can still be found in Starkville, Tuscaloosa and College Station.
But what about “Spring Football?”
A virtual religion in the deep south and Texas, Spring Football has been a victim of the coronavirus.
And that doesn’t set well with the genteel society found intertwined with football. Where people are draped in spanish moss and downing the free-flowing spirits normally found on the verandas and college football is king, this is a catastrophe akin to a losing season.
No spring football? No spring football game to close-out the 15 on-field practice days allowed by the NCAA? Where do we go to tailgate? Where do we go to show off our RV with the built-in bar? There must be a conspiracy afoot.
All over the deep south teeth are gnashing, barbecue is going without Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce and candied yams are not being wolfed down with as much enthusiasm and gusto as usual.
The entire state of Texas can’t revel in its self importance as the practitioner of the meanest football in the land. Even Texas State, North Texas and Texas-El Paso can’t hold shaded picnics where potato salad, honey-dipped corn bread and apple fritters are the staples of any football Saturday.
“Hit somebody!” “Mustang Nation.” “Lone Star Magic.” People are crying in their grits.
The bowl games were in December and January, and the next games are not until late August or September? This just ain’t right!
And it’s not just in the Land of Dixie. The Ohio State University sponsors 17 different men’s sports and 18 women’s sports. Where does the money come from for men’s pistol, fencing, gymnastics and volleyball and women’s synchronized swimming, rifle, pistol, ice hockey, rowing and lacrosse? A substantial amount comes from football and the 105,000 fans at every game played at Ohio Stadium.
Rumors of stellar play from first-year players can’t be substantiated. Depth charts can’t be imagined. Injuries can’t be fretted about or position changes examined under an alumni’s microscope. The university president can’t preside over evening functions or fundraisers held at an exclusive country club.
No spring football? Alligator season doesn’t come until August in Louisiana, home of the current national champion Louisiana State University Bengal Tigers. Toomer’s Corners in Auburn, Alabama is not quite the bustling place it is when the War Eagles are at Jordan-Hare Stadium facing the invading Ole Miss Rebels. Why even in Tallahassee, where the FSU Seminoles will unveil still another new coach, the folks at Dillard’s department store won’t have a reason to go out in the midday sun and accompanying 85 percent humidity.
Let’s play some football. But not until the coronavirus has played through.