I am watching the Iron Bowl. It’s drizzling outside. I’m sitting in my living room, eating cheese dip, the game is on low volume.
All my fellow Bama fans in this house are fast asleep from eating way too much saturated fat and refined white flour. My dogs are snoring. My wife is drooling on my shoulder.
This is the calmest football game of my entire life. Nobody is shouting “ROLL TIDE!” There are no high fives, no pom poms, no body-painted torsos. No nothing.
Welcome to 2020.
This is very different for me. I’m used to watching the Iron Bowl in lively joints that smell like stale yeast and armpits. Places where, whenever it’s a third-down situation, 12 guys leap to their feet and spill five-dollar pitchers all over your lap while screaming, “WAR [BLEEPING] EAGLE!”
I’m accustomed to fights breaking out in the parking lot between Auburn and Alabama fans. In fact—this is true—the worst fight I ever saw happened in 2013, after the “Kick Bama Kick” Iron Bowl game, when Auburn’s
Chris Davis sprinted 109 yards and won the game with only one second remaining on the clock. The beer joint came unhinged.
A fistfight between an Auburn guy and a Bama guy exploded into a multi-man brawl, which soon included everybody within nine counties. The fracas had to be broken up by the police. I’ve never seen an altercation on such a grand scale. My cousin and I both sustained injuries when trying to exit the establishment. It was awesome.
I’m not saying I miss those rowdy days, but I do miss being with other people in public places.
Before 2020, I used to get jolts of excitement simply by being in minor crowds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want to be in any biblical-style multitudes, but on special occasions it’s nice to pile up together.
For almost a year we’ve been avoiding…