Fall is my favorite time of the year. Why, you ask? The biggest reason is because the temperatures begin to drop in the South and the changing of the leaves. Living close to the Blue Ridge Mountains is great for taking day trips up to see the beautiful colors; the fiery reds, the crisp burnt oranges and the sun-kissed yellows.
The second reason is because it means that football season is soon upon us. Now I know the season is well underway, but, as I sit here, watching our local middle school playing, and waiting for the JV game to start, I figured this was as good a time as any to type out a new blog post.
Thirty-five years ago, when my family moved to small town South Carolina from Hixson Tennessee (Go Wildcats!), I was a fifteen year old sophomore, about six feet tall and 300 pounds. The day I walked in for registration the football coach walked up to me and asked, “what position do you play?” And I replied, “usually third chair trumpet, but I haven’t tried out here yet, so I don’t know.” Yes! I was a band geek! I ended up playing mellowphone (that’s a marching French horn) during marching season, French horn during concert season and trumpet with the jazz band.
Anyway…back to football. I’m not much on crowds or noise, and avoid them whenever I can. But I like watching football games, and listening to the bands, so, when I go to a game, I tend to sit as far away from the crowd as I can and still see the action. There is just something about a small town high school football game; the lights, the stadium, the concessions and the announcers voice, booming over the loudspeakers, that brings everyone together. It’s one time that social standing, class structure or what side of the tracks you come from doesn’t matter. It’s everyone united for a common goal: to cheer on their team. I’m fortunate that I live close enough to my high school alma mater to come and relive those times, 30+ years ago, in the stands and on the field, cheering and playing. And, speaking of concessions, I absolutely love hot dogs! Well, the best hot dogs I ever had was at a middle school football game several years back. Our son was playing for the middle school, and I was at one of his away games. During the first quarter I went to the concession “tent” and got two hot dogs. Now, the parents of the players of the other team were in charge of the concessions, and they had a charcoal grill set up and had several slow cookers full of homemade chili. They were so good that I went back during the second quarter and got two more, then two more at halftime and again just before they packed up! They were so good that I started looking at their school website just to see when they were playing at home again. And it wasn’t even our school! Haha!
I also live close to my college alma mater, and go to as many games as I can, although, I admit that I haven’t been the most faithful alum. I wasn’t a traditional college student, but that’s a post for another time.