|So good to be back!|
What did I not do? Let's see...
For starters, I didn't shoot a water moccasin and hang it up in a tree to make it rain. I don't "believe snakes hold mystical powers" or that "they will charm you if you look into their eyes." Why? Because this isn't Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and I haven't been smoking PCP behind the Arby's.
Maybe it's because mom never fed me Coca Cola from a baby bottle. But apparently that was someone's experience, and his name is Rick Bragg, and he authored this drivel. And since I'm from the South (Tuscaloosa, AL, stand up!), and since I love college football, I suppose I'm implicated in the universal "We" Mr. Bragg insists on using.
Well fuck you very much.
See, it's this type of tired, fetishized bullshit that forces me to listen to the same southern jokes at the same lame ass academic parties I attend on occasion.
"You're from Alabama? 'Y'all', amiright?"
Bragg's stories have already been told a thousand times. Old southern men talking about the good ol' days of SEC football? Check. Old southern white men still upset about the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil War? A big ol' racist check. College football fandom, the most cliched side of it, made to define an entire region? Well, face palm, and then check.
"The point is, we talk real slow down here, so it may take a while to get to it, that we believe some things regardless of science and sometimes common sense."
You mean dipshits? You're talking about dipshits. They have those everywhere. I've been a dipshit before. One of my best friends thought it was "bold faced liar." See? Dipshit. He's from Boston.
You say Nick Saban smiling after his second national title in three years "scared" you, "as if Billy Graham had done a handstand."
Congratulations. You've squeezed halfwit ritual, catfish, and Billy Graham into an article about the South. It's a wonder ESPN didn't just have you recite it from bourbon-soaked memory under a swamp cypress with a straw hat on and a grass blade between your teeth. Oh wait! Fuck me, you even mention hay and cotton!
"Those young men drew on a long history of not being afraid, of the hottest days or endless rows of cotton or a million bales of hay." So the football team was made up of a bunch of farmers who dropped their pitchforks and picked up helmets? You're confusing myths.
"In the winter of 1993, in an attic apartment in Cambridge, Mass., I watched Alabama beat the trash-talkin' Hurricanes--I mean beat them like they stole somethin'."
|What Bragg saw in the 1993 Sugar Bowl.|
I watched the same game in 1993 sitting on the floor of my family's living room. Lots of southerners were there. No one had a snake or fed their baby Coke or played the banjo or sang about God and cotton. My grandmother was there, too. "It makes a difference," she said, because she always said that. It worked as a non-sequitur, a post-script, a preface. Regardless, it was always the crux of her message.
And that's my message to you. It makes a difference.
We are not the same, you and I.
No. Because of rubes like Bragg every Saturday is a Sunday and every football stadium down south is a fucking church and that's not rib sauce on my fingers it's Jesus syrup! Well okay, Bubba, I follow it religiously.
Know what else people follow religiously? Religion. I'll let you decide which is more logical. Scientifically speaking, of course.