College Football week of 10/11/08
This weekend I took time off from my college football obsession to attend one of my best friends' weddings back in Texas.
“Congrats bud, you and Shenna make a wonderful team. I wish y'all the best.”
The Gameplan: Thursday night, visit my old college buddies back in San Marcos before heading north to Georgetown for a busy wedding-filled weekend.
Thursday 4:50 p.m. CT: My plane has just landed in beautiful Austin, Texas. The air is crisp, the sky is clear, and everywhere I look there are wide-open spaces—"Yee haw."
Thursday 5:37 p.m. CT: With the Wake Forest-Clemson game set to kick off in less than an hour, my buddy and I make our usual pit stop at the Chili's on the way into town for an ice cold beer and some chips and salsa.
Thursday 6:40 p.m. CT: Next a stop at H-E-B for five pounds of chicken fajita and two 12-packs of locally brewed Shiner and Zieganbock—an action packed week of college football has officially begun.
Thursday 8:45 p.m. CT: Late in the third quarter, Wake Forest holds a 3-0 lead over Clemson. The teams have combined for 11 punts and only 289 yards of total offense.
I’m starting to lose interest in the game, so I begin to humble myself with a most modest discussion of how off-the-chain my grilling abilities are.
Thursday 9:43 p.m. CT: Riley Skinner has just led the Demon Deacons to a 12-7 victory over the Tigers with a late fourth quarter touchdown.
We’re out the door and on our way to hit the bars, and so too is Tommy Bowden at Clemson. The coach’s 10-year run in Death Valley is done.
Friday 12:01 a.m. CT: The bars are just closing, and I’m standing next to DJ Dave, my college neighbor, as he entices the drunk college co-eds to sing the Texas State fight song.
I notice on the TV across the room that “Pacman” Jones has been in an altercation with his bodyguard, so we both begin to “make it rain.”
Friday 4:47 a.m. CT: Well, let me explain: House party, Taco Cabana, and an apple.
Friday 8:40 a.m. CT: Alarm goes off.
“There is no way in hell it has already been four hours.”
Did I mention the funnel and plastic tubing?
Friday 8:49 a.m. CT: Right now Tommy Tuberville is busy explaining the complexities of a Pop Warner offense, so it's easy to relate to the tiny men inside my skull who are repeatedly slamming their hammers against my temples.
Friday 9:30 a.m. CT: I’m heading northbound on I-35 to pick up my tuxedo in Austin, behind a convoy of vehicles equipped with Longhorn flags speeding toward Dallas.
Friday 6:30 p.m. CT: I get a little taste of tailgating at the rehearsal dinner with a couple games of washers and some ice cold Dos Equis.
Friday 8:42 p.m. CT: The guys and gals split up. The break-up is a little bit more ideal than Al Davis’.
Friday 11:24 p.m. CT: Kentucky has just kicked off the basketball season with “Big Blue Madness.”
Downtown we’re experiencing a little madness of our own: The Groom’s stepbrother is drunker than a Duke lacrosse player and has just been kicked out of the Dizzy Roster’s on Sixth Street.
Saturday 1:02 a.m. CT: By now, we’ve weeded out all the junior college participants.
The big boys are still going strong, and the cheerleaders are starting to feel a little tipsy.
Saturday 1:47 a.m. CT: Last call.
The powerhouses are inside the 20 and are looking to punch it into the end zone for the game sealing score.
Saturday 3:21 a.m. CT: They don’t. It turns out affiliations to Washington State, Texas A&M, and Syracuse won’t get you into the champagne room.
Saturday 4:30 a.m. CT: Despite being the tallest person of the entire group at 6’2”, I get assigned the smallest couch in the house.
I’m curled up like an armadillo and using my shoe as a pillow, but it doesn’t matter. I fall asleep with a smile on my face.
Tomorrow is the best day of the week—college football Saturday is just a few hours away.
Saturday 7:30 a.m. CT: Alarm goes off.
Saturday 7:39 a.m. CT: Alarm goes off.
Saturday 7:48 a.m. CT: “Turn that s*** off!”
“Really, October 11?” “You had to get married on October 11?”
Saturday 10:00 a.m. CT: At Spec’s I tip the guy who loaded the kegs into the back of our pickup, only to realize later it’s Matthew Stafford.
The NCAA finds out Stafford accepted the money, and the Georgia quarterback becomes ineligible for the remainder of his junior season.
Saturday 10:34 a.m. CT: Our last stop this morning is Wal-Mart. Of course with my luck, from where I entered the store, the food warmers were the furthest possible distance any merchandise could have been placed.
Saturday 10:36 a.m. CT: Over 200-plus yards later, I had successfully “Javon Ringered” my way through a million shoppers and all six store employees.
Saturday 10:57 a.m. CT: The best man and I return home just in time to see Lee Corso’s Boomer Sooner act.
He shoots the gun; I have goose bumps.
Saturday 11:55 a.m. CT: Jordan Shipley just returned a kickoff to make it 14-10. The groomsmen are screaming.
Saturday 11:56 a.m. CT: The first sign of “Bridezilla” surfaces, and the men are kicked out of the house and sent to the wedding site.
Saturday 12:58 p.m. CT: Listening to the game on the radio and setting up tables and linens faster than Colt McCoy’s rise to the top of the Heisman race.
Saturday 1:15 p.m. CT: I’m trying to coach the boys.
“Let’s do this, pick it up.”
Saturday 1:18 p.m. CT: The fourth quarter of the Red River Rivalry has just started, and I’ve lost my patience.
I’m now yelling louder and spitting more than Bill Cowher.
“Ivory over teal!” “Ivory over teal!”
Saturday 1:33 p.m. CT: A questionable call on an interception, a fake punt stopped three inches short of a first down, and a phantom roughing the kicker penalty later, we’ve finally finished.
“October 11, are you serious!?”
Saturday 2:20 p.m. CT: Texas has beaten head honcho Oklahoma 45-35.
Like the bride, the Longhorns will wake up tomorrow morning as the one and only numero uno.
Saturday 2:45 p.m. CT: Time to freshen up and hop in the shower. I know mine will be more pleasant than the ones being taken in the Michigan and Illinois locker rooms.
Saturday 4:46 pm. CT: I’ve been photographed more times in the last 30 minutes than I have my entire life. I now know what it’s like to be a Southern Cal athlete.
Saturday 5:30 p.m. CT: Thirty minutes until the wedding, everyone in the room is hit with a sudden “Vanderbilt complex” as reality starts to sink in.
Saturday 5:59 p.m. CT: After watching Texas Tech edge out a victory in overtime over Nebraska, I rush to join the other groomsmen lined up in the lobby.
I should let Bo Pelini know I’ve found the black shirts.
Saturday 6:05 p.m. CT: The bride walks down the aisle—she looks beautiful.
Saturday 7:00 p.m. CT: I make a Texas-style plate of brisket, barbeque chicken, charro beans, and potato salad.
I woof it down in less than 10 minutes, about the same amount of time it takes Florida to chomp LSU.
Saturday 7:30 p.m. CT: I get champagne to toast the newlyweds, and the bar is swarming with loitering Auburn fans slamming shots of “SEC Kool-Aid.”
“Yeah, but we should still be a Top 25 team, the conference is stacked. If anything, Arkansas was underrated.”
Saturday 7:45 p.m. CT: Best man gives his speech.
It’s much better than Lou Holtz’s.
Saturday 8:25 p.m. CT: On the dance floor I bust out my arsenal of Terrell Owens touchdown celebrations. The ladies enjoy some popcorn, and afterwards I sign autographs.
Saturday 8:51 p.m. CT: The bride throws the garter belt.
I’m pummeled by Ty Willingham, Phil Fulmer, and Kirk Ferentz.
Saturday 9:15 p.m. CT: I sneak back to the groomsmen's room to rest on the couch and see that Oklahoma State is beating Missouri 21-17.
Saturday 9:27 p.m. CT: Eight minutes later I watch Dez Bryant get laid out twice but get back up on his feet. The Cowboy inspires me, and I realize I should do the same.
I head back to the dance floor with my black tux and orange vest to lasso the cougars—I mean Tigers.
Saturday 9:59 p.m. CT: How Joe Pa at his age can still stay up for games this late baffles me.
Saturday 10:42 p.m. CT: I see my buddy and his wife get whisked away to the honeymoon suite, just like the title hopes of Notre Dame and Vanderbilt.
Apparently the Commodores and Irish have reservations next door.
Saturday 11:57 p.m. CT: Exhausted, I try to stay up for the end of UCLA-Oregon, but then I remembered Bruins games really don’t matter this season anyway.
I slowly drift away to sweet dreams of a college football playoff system.
Sunday 12:02 p.m. CT: Twelve hours later, I awake from my wedding coma.
“Damn it, I forgot to set my fantasy roster.”