Listen, lemme tell you a story:
A good friend of mine called me a few weeks back. He's an LSU fan, but a good guy, through and through. "Just so you know, I have an extra ticket." I demurred.
Then: Texas fell . . . and something inside me clicked.
So I find myself heading South and shaking my head. "I generally hate getting hit in the face, and I further hate getting hit in the face with Jack Dan'l's bottles."
I've never been in Death Valley before, and here are the things you need to know:
First: good dang stadium. Fast elevators, jambalaya at the concessions, drinking beer allowed on campus. Second: maniacs in your face screaming, Dark Lord avatars hung and burned outside the stadium. My favorite slur of all time: "Gump." The Cajun accent obscured the meaning. I didn't get it until, like, the third time. Laughing just made the guy madder, but frankly, Gump is a hilarious put-down.
A good, all-LSU section filled with smart folks and a large anti-Jerrett Lee faction. When the field goal was blocked, three seconds to go, what did I do? Damn near threw up. The good folks around me hooted and hollered, but then quite kindly patted me on the shoulders. I looked up: "it's SEC," I said, and there were more hollers. Those who left early were damned.
Right before the attempt, I told my buddy--whose ticket I was riding on--"I ain't singing Rammer Jammer. No need when it's a clinical win via field goal."
Then, after the block (and what a helluva block): fear: then: RASHAD!!: then: "I take back what I said."
And so when John Parker punched it in, what was left of my voice screeched out the holy lyric. In the distance--lo! An end zone away!--I saw my people singing, and I rejoiced.
When was the last time we could sing that?
When was the last time a Bama fan screamed that, hoarse through four quarters of SEC hell?
WE JUST . . .
I got to sing "Rammer Jammer" in Death Valley. God bless the boys that made it possible.