SEC Media Days tends to be a high risk/high reward proposition for college football writers. We commit hours and hours to the cause. And for the most part we get the same bland coachspeak that we could have gotten from the summer booster club talks, only without the free food.
But sometimes, just sometimes, you hit the jackpot. A player or coach says something that sparks the imagination and soothes the soul. And that happened on Tuesday when Coach Kirby Smart spent some time talking about how Nick Chubb was planning to start something called a “hot farm” after graduation with his Agricultural Economics degree.
Look, I grew up on a farm in a farming town surrounded by still more farms. I’ve labored all these years under the impression that every farm is “hot.” Farming and sweating go together like Ole Miss boosters and off-the-books car loans. “That’s no story.” I muttered to myself.
But then Chubb himself clarified his intentions: the most fearsome tailback in the SEC intends to open a “hops” farm. As in the grain used as a flavoring agent in beers, especially pale ales and other similar hop-heavy brews which are becoming more popular these days. Having clarified this, I have some . . .thoughts.
For one, is there a more Athens occupation than “artisan hops farmer”? Other than “bass player/pizza baker” I think not.
Second, as Kipp Adams points out in that original story linked above, can you imagine how heated the bidding war among local brewers for Nick Chubb would be? Heck, Terrapin’s already fired the opening salvo. As long as it doesn’t raise the price of my growler of Tropicalia, I’m all for it. Get that paper, man.
My diligent research (read: two minutes of Googling) indicates that something like 94% of the nation’s hops is grown in the Pacific Northwest. Assuming Nick Chubb is able to establish some sort of hops base camp in the Southeast, he could have the market to himself. Savvy.
Finally, as much as I loved Nick Chubb before, this really cements my undying affection for #27. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a career as a neurosurgeon, teacher, or NFL tailback. These are all fine vocations which are each rewarding in their own way. But becoming a hops farmer is just the sort of offbeat (albeit potentially lucrative given market trends) career I want my college football players to engage in.
God bless the American farmer. And God bless Nick Chubb. Until later . . .