Thursday, August 31, 2006

Halftime homicide

School starts early in the South, and when school starts, so does football. Fans pour out for the high school games on Friday nights, then on Saturdays a major chunk of the local population dons purple and gold and heads to LSU's "Deaf Valley" stadium. It's a regular pigskin lovefest...except for a handful of people like me.

My grandson plays football, and I'd love to love it for his sake. To be honest, though, I can never follow the ball, and it doesn't take too many minutes of being lost and confused before I'm bored out of my skull.

That being said, I'd like to share my one-and-only special football-game memory:

The first football game I ever saw was in Springfield, Missouri, when I was 10 years old. My uncle Joe, seven years older than I, played for Springfield High School, and on one chilly fall night the whole family went to watch him play. I have no memory whatsoever of the game, but I clearly remember the halftime show.

Springfield High had a marching drum-and-bugle corps, all female, known as "The Kiltie Girls." I loved their cute plaid kilts, their knee-high stockings, and the Scots-Irish music they played. I'd seen them march in the previous year's Christmas parade, and that night at the football game, I recognized them by their uniform and by the name of their group. My six-year-old sister, apparently, did not.

As the girls came onto the field, their rhythmic rat-a-tat-tat arriving ahead of them, the deep voice on the loudspeaker announced, "The Kiltie Girls are marching out onto the field."

My sister gasped loudly, her jaw dropping nearly to her chest. "Oh my gosh!" she said, pressing her hands to her cheeks, Home Alone style.

"What?" I didn't understand her strong reaction.

She looked at me as if I were an idiot, her face a mixture of horror and indignation. "Didn't you hear what the man said? They killed a girl, just for marching out on the field."

Heh-heh. Good one, Sis!


  1. Ha! I suppose that is something that would be hard to forget! They killed a girl...too funny. I am not a fan of football. I wont say that I'll never be a fan because I did say that about NASCAR and golf. I'm a fan of both now. I spend my Sunday's watching golf's true, it's so true. I love golf. I never thought I'd say it but I do. Even thought I have never ever held a club I critique the players across the street from me on the course. I find myself saying, he didn't follow through or that was too much ball or worse, my goodness someone tell him plaid isn't worn anymore on the course..not seriously anyway.


  2. Austin, if I had to choose between watching football and watching golf, I'd pick golf. At least I can tell where the golf ball is.

  3. Haha Good story! I'm not a football fan either but I do like to see, and listen to the bands. One of the things we liked about Florida Disney was watching the parades and all the high school bands.
    Have a great weekend.

  4. Ha ha!

    Trying to follow the rules of American football is like trying to explain the offside rule in British soccer...i.e. I don't even try!

  5. Kids say the darnedest things, don't they?

  6. My sister called me, laughing, after she read this post. She didn't remember hearing this story before, and we agreed that that's probably because the subject matter isn't something that would come up naturally in conversation. I assured her that there was a period of time in my youth when I paid particular attention to anything remotely stupid she said or did -- to use against her if necessary -- but that there weren't too many of those things.

    During that conversation she told me more recent stories that kept me chuckling out loud for a couple of hours afterward. They're her stories to tell, and it would feel like stealing to repeat them here, but, jeez, she can make me laugh.


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