It’s September: time to tailgate

Posted by

Perhaps you are sitting there sipping your morning coffee while reading this oft-misguided missive. If so, please don’t spew it.
Because at this very moment, you see, I am sipping a red beer.
OK: slurping.
“That’s a total waste of good beer,” the world’s wackiest brother-in-law always tells me.
“That’s a total waste of tomato juice,” his sister-in-law — my bride — echoes.
“You’re both nutty,” is my response.
Tomato juice, a hint of Tabasco, maybe some Worcestershire sauce, a squeeze of lime and a dash of pepper.
And beer.
It’s like heaven in a cup. A minor league bloody Mary.

Why, you ask, do I quaff such? Before noon, especially?
Now I suggest you are the nutty ones.
It’s Game Day, people. Today.
On a bet, off and on for the past 50 days, my Facebook status — really? you don’t speak Facebook? — has been a countdown to college football.
When pigskins fly.
On a daily basis, I have perused the “number du jour” and shared arcane notes about said integer.
Useless trivia for the cesspool that is my brain, you suggest?
Perhaps. But did you know 27 is a perfect cube?
Or that 38 is the 11th distinct semiprime and the sum of the first three primes?
That 16 is the atomic number of sulfur?
That Jamaal Fobbs wore No. 2 for the Oklahoma State University football team?

It’s all been a countdown to today. Labor Day Weekend has arrived.
Football has arrived.
Why is it football lords over us? Why has it raced past baseball and leads the way in the race for the national pastime?
Why do we gather in 100-degree heat and sub-freezing cold to share high-fives and chest-bumps with our friends?
I suggest football has grabbed us with this stranglehold because of those very things.
Because football lends itself to tailgating. And we here in the good ol’ USofA dig us a party.
Throw on another brat, bro, I’ll be there in five minutes.

Few things stir the passions within us as do love for our alma maters. State U. or College Hill is where most of us were transformed from children to adults.
It is homecoming five or six or seven times a year. More than friends and family, streets and buildings and memories warm our souls by being back on campus.
Adding a football game to the mix simply enhances the moment.
Tell me your stomach won’t be filled with crickets — oops! flutter-byes — as that opening kickoff of the opening game approaches.
It’s today’s answer to the Coliseum, this football arena. It is fast.
Powerful. Violent, even.
And we cannot get enough of it.

Brats. Burgers. Hot dogs. A whole hog. Fried turkey. Shrimp boils. Fajitas. Breakfast burritos.
We’ve dined on pretty much everything at our tailgates. Half the fun is planning the next week’s menu.
Traditions are made. Fajitas for homecoming is a staple for our group.
So is red beer at 8:30 a.m. It arouses the senses.
The tent is always open. Always we can find room for one or seven more. Come one, come all.
It’s Game Day, baby.
September and college football, joined at the hip.
It’s time to tailgate.