The University of Alabama took the field against the Georgia Bulldogs this afternoon for the SEC Championship football game. Tensions were high in our town.
I ran into a man at the gas station who wore a Bulldogs T-shirt. We pumped gas beside each other.
“‘Bama sucks,” he said, pointing at my Alabama shirt.
“Roll Tide,” I remarked.
Then he started laughing.
“Aw, I’m just kidding,” he went on. “I know Alabama doesn’t suck, but I sure hope they do tonight.”
I told him I would pray for his eternal salvation.
During kickoff, I was still running errands. In fact, I was standing in a long supermarket checkout line. I counted eight shoppers in line who were watching the game on their phones.
And when the Bulldogs scored their first touchdown, a Georgia fan shouted at his phone, “YES! TAKE THAT, ALABAMA!”
There was an old woman ahead of me. She wore teased white hair, pearls, and an Alabama jersey. She turned to me and whispered, “Do you mind watching my cart while I go beat that man’s ass?”
bought supplies for the evening. Namely, beer, chips, boiled shrimp, and chicken wings.
The older man behind the cash register wore a University of Alabama lapel pin on his apron. And, in rural accent, he said, “Nervous about the game?”
“If I was any more nervous,” I said. “I’d have to call the incontinence hotline for support.”
“Me too,” he went on. “Just don’t forget, there’re three kings in this world. The Good Lord, Elvis, and Nicholas Lou Saban Jr.”
He scanned my groceries.
And that’s when it dawned on me. This poor man was stuck at work during the big game. I asked him about it.
“Yeah,” he said. “It’s a bummer, but nobody would work tonight. I wish I were at home, having a beer with my son, we are huge fans. But since he’s been gone,…