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Your Semi-Final Playoff Hoodoo/ Sweetheart Thread

The Buckeyes are a comin', y'all. Let's make sure Football Loki is in a good mood, shall we?

Much like the 1992 Crimson Tide offense, she ain't purty...but she's a winner.
Much like the 1992 Crimson Tide offense, she ain't purty...but she's a winner.

Here we are folks...just a' standin' at the gates of this here College Football Playoff Promised Land...funny how it kinda looks just like New Orleans, no?

After our beloved Crimson Tide absolutely smashed the also-rans from the SEC East in the Championship Game, we had all but punched our golden ticket to this, the final four, the quadrant of quintessential football powerhouses. Fortunately for us, our Tide team managed to not only enter this final stretch of the 2014 title race, but they did so with flair, as the lead horse, mind you. It is most definitely a good time to be a Bammer, y'all, so go ‘head and get'cho Gump on.

Enjoy it while you can, as we stand at the precipice of a new era in college football, one I hope to see the Crimson Tide dominate as much has it has dominated the last decade of collegiate gridiron action. It all starts here, and it begins with those God-forsaken Orcan ingrates to the North, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Surely this demon-spawn was cast in the fiery armpit of Mordor known as Columbus, OH, and it is my hope that we will see them dispatched as such come the first day of this new year.

With such a daunting opponent before us, it is our job as the faithful to, as we have many times before, offer our pride, our public character, even our very bodies to Football Loki in hopes that he will hear our cries and bestow upon us football greatness and good fortune. I had to dig deep this week to find something fitting, as this season has required much in terms of Hoodoo content and material. However, your faithful narrator's well springs eternal when it comes to the embarrassment of youth, so please, come sample its cooling waters as I spin this humble tale.

Now I say this tale stems from the embarrassment of youth...but that's not altogether true. As much as I want it to be true, this is something that is far more recent in my memory than I'd like to admit. Though I've since foregone the debauchery that led to this unfortunate circumstance, I will say only that this particular yarn is spun from the wool of the most recent five years of my ever-lovin' life.

Without further adieu, here go my Hoodoo...

Now you people good and damn well know that your boy OWB has been known to raise a bit of hell every now and then. And by "raise a little hell," I mean I've been prone to suck down a quart or two of hard licker in an evenin' (damn near enough to float the ole USS Alabama around) and get just plain ole "'bout-it, ‘bout-it" to borrow the parlance of the Pulitzer Prize winning commentator Master P.

I mean, I could tell you a tale of Goldschlager. I could tell you a tale of Jager. I could tell you all about how much Jim Beam one man can tote in his gullet without puking, and I can tell you how much will put a man's gullet well over the top.

I've told many of these stories here in yon Hoodoo ledger over the last two seasons, and as you know, most of them hail to a time in my life I wistfully refer to as "college." I also refer to this time frame as "the lost years" for easily discernible reasons, for I remember of this era only what my few remaining brain cells will allow me to recall. That said, most of those recollections center around the imbibing of, or aftermath following, copious amounts of alcohol (among other substances of the intoxicating variety.)

Now I've never fancied myself an alcoholic, as being such takes far more dedication than I was willing to invest in any endeavor. No, let's just say I was an "alcohol hobbyist." As the years wore on, my evenings of routinely killing an 18 pack of Miller High Life dwindled, and by the time I began making babies, I was consuming even less of the devil's elixir. That said, however, I kept malted hops and corn licker close at hand more often than not, as one never quite knows when the quickly approaching tempest of an alcoholic stupor lies just beyond the horizon.

My wife...well, she tolerated my foolishness in good enough spirits. You see, she's not a drinker herself, never had more than a drink or two at a time in the 15 years I've known her. Of course, there was that night when, after being wined and dined by Alabama Power executives at the Alabama Press Association convention, she felt froggy enough to pull her dress up over her head as we sped back down Beach Blvd. to our hotel room. That said, I've never known her to let a substance get the best of her. Why she tolerated my frequent trips into the bottom of a bottle I'll never know.

Regardless, the situation worked out perfectly, as I always knew I had a designated driver, and could imbibe freely even in the presence of my children without having to worry about putting anyone in danger. You see, I'm not a stubborn drunk, I'm not a cryin' drunk (despite my Irish bloodline), I'm not a mean drunk. I'm a happy, loud, boisterous drunk who likes to sing at loud volumes and questionable intonation while dancing like a broken robot (you know, all herky-jerky like, kinda the way the Tin Man moves before they hit him with that oily salve.) All this must have been incredibly embarrassing for those around me sober enough to care...but it just so happens in my particular circle, said number definitely represents the minority.

Alas, enough backstory, on to the tale at hand. For those of you unfamiliar with Mobile, AL and its "MARDI GRAS ALL DAMN YEAR, Y'ALL!!!" lifestyle, New Year's Eve is a special time in the Port City. For you see, so dedicated are we Mobilians to the Mardi Gras-staple, marshmallow-filled snack cake known as the Moonpie that we have created events solely for the celebration of said confection, as if the nearly three week per annum Mardi Gras celebration itself was not ample tribute. Several years ago, the "leadership" of Mobile decided it wise and prudent to spend something like $40,000 annually on a "Moonpie Drop" on New Year's Eve.

"Moonpie Drop, you say? OWB?" Yes, yes, I know, it really is quite silly. For the uninitiated, there is a roughly 20 foot-in-circumference illuminated Moonpie that makes the trek down one of Mobile's tallest buildings each New Year's Eve at midnight, complete with fireworks popping and live music playing (this year it will be the Village People....YMCA, y'all.) It really is quite Biblical, you see, reminds me of those tales of Ba'al and the Golden Calf and such. I half expect somebody to wheel out a Wicker Man and light that sumbitch on fire. Thousands of Moonpie-worshipping rednecks and scalawags congregate in downtown, chanting in the streets in a whiskey and weed driven frenzy, the privileged watching from high atop the Battle House as the unclean masses celebrate on Royal Street below. I know I've painted quite the portrait, but you really must see it before you die...or the Mobile City Council pulls the funding, whichever comes first.

So as a native and lifelong Mobilian, I felt the ever-increasing call of the Moonpie drawing me downtown despite my best attempts at resistance. For the first two years, I was able to free myself of its tractor beam draw, denying the urges of my birthright and bucking my Mobility...but then, that third year, they advertised that they were going to have an ACTUAL GIANT MOONPIE! from the Chattanooga bakery from whence all Moonpies current and past have been birthed.

"You bastards," I remember thinking, "you win."

So with my family in tow (and extremely excited about the event to boot), we packed the car and made our way downtown to the scene of many a debauchery past (debauchery...can I use that as a noun?) We parked under an underpass near Fort Conde and made our way to the foot of Royal Street, where the evening's shenanigans were set to begin. But before leaving the car, I made sure to stuff several canned beers in my pocket, along with a quart of my best friend at the time, Evan Williams. By God, I was going to see this effin' Moonpie drop in style!

We rendezvoused with friends, who like my wife, do not drink, and hung out for a while as the kids played in the street (parenting to a standard, y'all.) All the while, I was pouring that rusty brown into Solo cups half full of lemonade. While I found myself increasingly more eloquent and well-spoken as time wore on, I could tell by the peers of my sober running mates that my words were beginning to stir into one another and my thoughts were beginning to hang incomplete like ever-so-many dangling airborne Moonpies in the humid Mobile air.

But, I was undaunted. I continued to sip...and sip...and sip. Imagine my surprise when, after unzipping my backpack, I found there was a grand total of two fingers worth of whiskey left in the once-full quart bottle. Also to my surprise, I concurrently discovered that I had forgotten to drink even one of the four bottles of water I had carried along as well to ward off the effects of the demon licker. Now, though not a professional alcoholic, as a seasoned alcohol hobbyist, I was well aware of the ground rules of drunkenness, at least as told to the corporeal body. (1. Drink plenty of water, eight ounces of water for every eight ounces of licker...2. Never drink on an empty stomach...3. Refrain from vigorous activity like singing, dancing and sexual intercourse.) Despite my knowledge of said rules, it occurred to me that in the course of the evening, I had elected to forgo two of those three (and hoped to forgo the third later on in the evening, if you know what I mean.)

But hell, I didn't care. After all, how many times do you get to see a cotdang 20 foot Moonpie drop out of thin air? Well, true, I did say it is an annual event, so maybe that point doesn't resonate. Regardless, being the trooper that I was, I decided to soldier forth, breaking out the canned beer and going to town. I did, in fact, partially amend my previous mistake by eating three Moonpies that were being handed out by proprietors of the event. (Pro tip: Don't ever eat an empty-stomach Moonpie on a quart of licker...the results will speak for themselves.)

I could hear the performers firing up, and the music was underway. The countdown clock had begun, the O'Jays (or some incarnation of the same) were playing, and I felt the urge to "get up off offa dat thang," to quote renowned astrophysicist James Brown. I started doing the Broken Robot in the street, churning and skittlin' like a wind-up-motor-driven MC Hammer, poppin' and lockin' (admittedly, mostly lockin') and moonwalking between the raised concrete curbs. Folk were laughing, an old bag-lady type came over and skitter-popped the cabbage patch in front of me in a brief but explosive "Bring It" style dance-off (I won, of course.) My wife and friends were horrified, my children weren't old enough to be horrified so they just giggled and laughed.

Finally, the moment we had eagerly awaited...the guest of honor had arrived. That big ole Moonpie glittered atop the old bank building like the Ark of the Covenant. Organizers drew back the cloak that covered Lady Moonpie high atop her perch on the old bank building as fireworks, driven by the scathing wind, were blown back onto the concrete edifice in a dazzling display reminiscent of Mordor's fiery wrath. The illuminated Moonpie began its descent, as I (and my fellow Mobiliacs) screamed repeatedly "THE MOONPIE IS COMING!!! THE MOONPIE IS COMING!!!"

It proceeded down the building in due time, which, after all was said and done, was somewhat anti-climactic. You wouldn't have known it from my demeanor, as I had worked myself into a pagan froth at the sight of the false marshmallow idol. When all was said and done, my friends (eagerly) parted ways with my contingent, and we walked (nay, skitter-popped) back down Royal Street to the parking area.

It was during said skitter-popping that I remembered I had never taken so much as a sip of the water. Rather, my waning ability to balance and the churning nature of my stomach informed me that I had broken the solemn rules of drunkenness...and make no mistake, there would be a reckoning.

I insisted I was able to drive, despite the careening nature of my vision. This was not good decision-making. I drove for approximately 14 seconds before I realized I couldn't figure out which of the eight lanes (on a four lane road) I was supposed to be driving in. At that point, with a gentle nudge from my wife, I gladly stopped the car in the middle of Dauphin Street, bailed out of the driver's seat, and turned over the wheel while taking the navigator's position.

Now my wife is no Earnhardt, and she damn sure ain't no Petty. About halfway down Dauphin Street, I began to feel the quease creepin' up into the bottom of my esophagus, and I was in a hurry to get home. She, however, was more inclined to "grandma" it all the way to WeMo (West Mobile, y'all...try to keep up) because of some foolishness about "everyone on the roads being drunk." To stave off the rising vomit, I guzzled two bottles of water, but such was akin to putting out a four-alarm fire with a garden hose. I knew the bomb in my belly had a timer, and I had no idea how long I had but I could imagine it clicking down digitally, all "24" style.

For non-Mobilians, Dauphin Street is straight and flat, which worked to my distinct advantage. That is, until we reached the top of the hill, where we would generally cut through the winding way that flowed around the Country Club of Mobile, an area rife with traffic tables, turns and bends. We didn't make it far into that neighborhood before the stomach demanded to be emptied like an ornery infant.

I yelled to the wife, "PURLOBER NAOW GOTTA RAAAOOWWW!" I had no sooner gotten those words (or syllables, rather) out than I swung open the door of the still-moving (albeit slowly) vehicle and let forth with a volley of rusty-brown marshmallow-loaded projectile vomit that certainly soiled the pristine thoroughfare of those more advantaged than me. I knew another wave was coming, but moments from the house, I decided to cowboy up and hold it in know, for the kids.

That last mile and a half was like the Bataan Death March, only with, you know, like more vomit and fewer Japanese. It was horrible, I thought I would die. We finally turned onto our street, and I don't think I even let the car come to a halt before bailing out like Batman and dispatching a tidal wave of puke on the pine straw in my side yard. I couldn't move, but rather just hung there, bent at the waist, hoping all of the vile poison would just go ahead and drain right on out of me.

After a few moments, I collected myself and sucked down another bottle of water. I made my way to the living room, and promptly undressed down to my skivvies and undershirt. I reclined on the couch but for a moment before I once again felt the urge and ran out the front door, this time making it only as far as my porch before turning a'loose of the vomit-reins. Again, I pulled it together and went back inside, where to my chagrin, when I finally closed my eyes, I felt the room spinning like a Tilt-a-Whirl.

Again, I ran outside, and this time, I decided to lay on my side on the grass, which was surprisingly refreshing in the cool night air. To my horror, however, after I shut off the puke-valve, I could not get up. I was spread-eagle on the front lawn in my undergarments, unable to move more than a bit without crumbling under my own weight like a newborn lamb, my balance shot to hell by my (former) good friend Evan Williams. Worse yet, I had forgotten my cell phone, so I couldn't even shamefully summon assistance from my wife inside.

Resigned to my short-term fate, I just stayed put, enjoying that cool caress of the grass blades on my cold, clammy face. I don't know what time it was when I dozed off.

But I do know what time I woke up, because the sun had risen upon me. I had stayed there all night, as the ground-facing side of me was bone dry, but the sky facing side was soaked through with morning dew. No one had even come out to check on me...unless you count the neighbor lady who was peering over at me as I shook off my slumber and realized that yes, I had indeed SPENT THE ENTIRE NIGHT IN MY FRONT YARD IN MY UNDERWEAR!

I don't even really drink anymore, y'all, and this is just one of the quills in the porcupine of reasons why I don't. I once bowled for a hobby, until my elbow started hurting like hell all the time, so I quit. Same here, only it was my liver and the cotdang gout that forced me out of that rut. Some hobbies just ain't worth it, y'all.

Roll Tide Roll. Buck those cotdang Buckeyes and keep that all-time record perfect. Championship Game (and haters), here we come!