[cb_profit_poster Travel1]Clinton, S.C., Saturday, September 28, 2013, 4:55 p.m.
I love football. Until this year, it liked me.
Last night I watched Clinton lose again, 34-12 in Abbeville. The highlight of that excursion was supper at Yoder’s Dutch Kitchen. The Red Devils (0-5) have what can only be described as a penchant for disaster. If you watch them play, you’d never guess how bad they are. On the first play, Abbeville (2-3) intercepted a pass and ran it back inside the five. Then, when the Panthers kicked off, Clinton had two kids deep to receive, and each apparently thought the other was going to catch it. Thus did Clinton’s offense take the field on its own one. Thus did the Red Devils trail almost immediately by two touchdowns.
The other enjoyable aspect of Friday night was listening to a Spartanburg post-game show on the hour drive home. An excitable analyst said that, in today’s Wake Forest-Clemson game, the Deacons’ talent is closer to Spartanburg High than it is to the Tigers.’ I know Wake’s having a rough year, but that remark was still ridiculous. I have no affiliation with Wake Forest University, but if I did, I would have been furious. I would have wanted to ring that commentator’s neck. That’s the type of ingratiating remark a man makes when he’s trying to kiss up to his audience and assuming no one he is taking a cheap shot at is listening. I hope someone was.
Today it was the Presbyterian College home game against Charlotte, which is what big-city folks insist we must call their athletic teams even though their actual school is known as the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. You can go to school at UNCC, but you can only ball for Charlotte.
That’s so stupid I’m amazed NASCAR didn’t invent it.
Everything about the day was perfect except the game. The Blue Hose once led 14-7. The last I heard, the 49ers were ahead 45-21. I was interested in the game. Charlotte is just starting its football team but has wads of money. Presbyterian is trying to build a competitive FCS program but is playing its 101st season of football. (It has apparently not been accepted at PC that the 100th anniversary marks the 101st year.)
So, September is almost over, and there isn’t a single football team I care about that doesn’t suck.
Furman is at The Citadel tonight. As a Furman grad, I feel almost exactly the same about El Cid as I do about the New York Yankees as a Red Sox fan, but since this is a football game, and it’s Year the 13th, the one when my job was eliminated, the Paladins have no shot. (Update: I’m overjoyed to have been wrong. The Paladins conquered the Bulldogs, 24-17. At last! Relief!)
When everything goes wrong, it promotes superstition. Reason breaks down. What do all my favorite teams have in common? They suck. What else do they have in common? I love them. Hence I am the common denominator. They have nothing to do with it. It’s my fault.
On the other hand, of course, it seems as if the whole sport of football is taking a dive so that the Boston Red Sox can win. Football’s behavior is Christ-like. It is dying so that, within this fan’s delusional mind, the Red Sox might win.
It could all turn around. What September was to football, October may be to baseball. The Red Sox may be eliminated. Conversely, Clinton, Furman, Presbyterian, the Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers may start winning.
The truth is that, if the Red Sox can win the World Series, I can handle all the football disasters.
The ultimate lunacy, of course, is that I don’t get to choose. It could be all a mere coincidence. It could be that the Clinton Red Devils are actually just a bad football team, and the Boston Red Sox are a great baseball team.
It is, in fact, a coincidence.
In order for sports to be popular, fans have to be crazy as Glenn Beck. It’s the only way it works.
Thanks for reading, as always. Let me know what you think.