You could use a drink.
It was not always a sure thing that we would get to this point. But here we are, gathered around engaging in the familiar dance of excitement and nerves that portend a new season of Georgia Bulldog football.
A lot of people smarter than me have already shared their thoughts on the fact that things are moving forward in college football. Being a fan of this particular sport has long required one to come to grips with its past and present. These include a long and troubling history of double standards, exploitation and the commitment of resources to a pastime that doesn’t feed the hungry or heal the sick or educate the children. In that sense college football is a colossal waste of time and money.
But the thing is, we need it. Well, not college football per se. But diversion. We need something to focus on that’s not disease and violence and strife and graft. College football isn’t pure. It never has been. And all the reformer’s zeal in the world won’t make it pure.
But it is good, in its own way. College football is family. It’s tradition. It’s the triumph of hard work and the crucible upon which resilience is nurtured. It’s Glory! Glory! and fried chicken with potato salad and big Bulldogs high fiving little Bulldogs at the ‘Dawg Walk. It’s Gary and Verne and the three Daves at lunchtime on Jefferson Pilot.
It’s Ole Miss in powder blue and Georgia in red britches and calling the ‘Hawgs or ‘Dawgs as the spirit and your lineage move you. It’s Meat Cleaver Weaver and Jim Bob Cooter and Barkevious Mingo.
It’s not perfect, but in the profoundly unsettling hellscape that is day-to-day life for many Americans it’s something we need. Something, as you’ve probably judged from their reactions, the players and coaches need. Because normalcy is hard to come by these days, for everyone.
So on Saturday I’m going to put some ribs on the smoker. And I’m going to play some catch. And I’m going to mix up some Hog Maulers.
- 2 oz. of the whiskey of your choice, bourbon or rye
- 1⁄2 ounce of amaretto liqueur
- 3⁄4 of an oz. of lemon juice
- 3⁄4 of an oz. of orange juice
- a splash of grenadine
Add the whiskey, fruit juices, and grenadine to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake gently, and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with some fruit if you feel the need.
Y’all enjoy the drinks, and the football. Until later....