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!