God Loves Spartans Too

October23/ 2011

In 2006, UNC lost the College World Series by the very slimmest of margins to Oregon State.  I summed up that epic Essence of Sports moment with “God loves Beavers too”.   Saturday night we learned that apparently God Loves Spartans Too.  That may explain the low church attendance Sunday morning in Madison Wisconsin.

Every member of every fanbase considers he/she/themselves to be God’s chosen fans.   A quite arrogant assumption of course.   Rabid fans ooze arrogance  –  God, in His infinite wisdom, WILL bestow “our boys” with the character and determination to prevail over those eeeevil no-count rascals on that other team.  (It helps if the word Devils is part of the other team’s nickname.)

When Our Heavenly Father is forced by Demon Fate to reveal his latent sports partisanship He loses a disciple for every convert He might gain.  The obtuse bounces of an oblate spheroid must be controlled by a power other than He of Father, Son & Holy Ghost fame.  No?

 King Leonidas, hisownself, would be proud of his East Lansing namesakes prevailing in a frozen moment that pushed Doug Fluitie down a notch in the Hail Mary Hall of Fame.

I’m icing down my remote thumb today.  I wore that sucker out Saturday night flipping between Incredible Sports TV –  even with a quick thumb I missed two of Albert’s three homers in Arlington.  God, in His infinite wisdom, invented instant replay for which those aforementioned ancestors of King Leonidas in East Lansing are eternally grateful today.

Russell did all he could possibly do to lead his adopted Badgers to victory.  But individual glory in a team sport is inexorably tied to scoreboard results.   Russell’s Heisman Hopes likely dissolved as he watched helplessly from the sidelines as an instant Spartan legend “broke the plane”.   The word Magic in East Lansing now means more than just Ervin’s nickname.

NOTE:  I confess: I don’t “like” Michigan State for the quite logical reason that I don’t like “green uniforms” on a green football field.  I prefer contrast which is why I don’t like Boise State in all blue on their blue field.

I powered down my smoking HDTV well after midnight as very sad Sooners trudged into the very sad streets of very sad Norman berating “that idiot Bob Stoops” for only winning 39 straight games in historic Owens Field.   Didya notice how many Sooner faithful had “quit” and exited with 8:00 to go and the Sooners in a quite makeable comeback mode?  LOTS of aluminum evident in historic Owens Field.

Guns Up in Lubbock as Red Raiders grid historians compare this one to Leach’s Miracle vs Mack in 2008.

Has Jimma Sexton already sent you-know-who’s resume to Wisconsin and Oklahoma?   BCS dream carriages turned to pumpkins for Badger and Sooner loonies on a cool October evening amid the color and pageantry of Big Time College Football.  

Have Mark Dantoni and Tommy Tubberville been added now to “Bubba’s short list” to lead the next attempt to awaken Kenan’s sleeping giant?  Did Clemson’s Death Valley live up to it’s name for the occupational future of Interim Ev?  UNC’s last two visits to that storied greensward have added over 100 points to Clemson victory totals.  For Tar Heels, The Upstate has been The Little Big Horn X 2!

I slipped into Morpheus’ waiting arms early Sunday AM reflecting on a day that started in such an old-fashioned way…. and ended amid the high-definition majesty of cable TV sports.

NOTHING is more “old-fashioned” than a football game at “The Wally”.

That ancient concrete mausoleum in West Derm is nothing if not a throwback to halcyon days when coaches and fans wore fedoras and overcoats – young men nicknamed Bronko and Pudge and Ace played center on offense and linebacker of defense – placekickers wore square-toed hightop shoes – and cheerleader skirts grazed the knee above bobby sox and saddle oxfords.  Relive those old days at The Wally.  A handful of semi-hardy souls did so on Saturday as Grobe’s Deacons came avisting Cutcliffe’s Devils.

It was a nail-biter with the Deacs prevailing.  I, alas, bailed late in Quarter Three having (1) had a funnel cake and (2) visited THE finest visiting fan restrooms in Division One Football.   Those new “terlits” at The Wally are a miracle of modern plumbing and fan accommodation.  My visit was late in the 2nd Quarter and there were still paper towels in the paper towel dispensers.  At Kenan, by comparison, the paper towels are always long gone before “the bombs burst in air”.   Serving only a few 1,000 folks at The Wally makes that easier I suppose.

Long time BLSays readers may recall that The Wally’s concession stands are a living breathing tribute to how much frustration and misery a sports fans will endure for his/her junk food fix.   I approached a trailer on the concourse advertising GREAT FOOD.  There was no line.  My heart leaped that I might conduct my purchase in under The Wally’s usual 20-minute minimum.  I beat that by a scant four minutes.   SIXTEEN freakin’ minutes for one man to get one funnel cake at The Wally.  It gets worse.

Prior to exiting The Wally, I opted for more fan masochism.  “Chocolate chip in a waffle cone, please”.   My sketchy nutritional choices justified in that I was doing Internet Legend research.   The ice cream stand was manned by 6-8 giggly high school girls.   Again, no one else in line.  Dip up three scoops into a waffle cone.  How hard can that be?  The little cutie that had taken my order and my money started getting nervous at the eight minute mark.  Her associates were otherwise occupied comparing lip gloss and/or body art.  My confectionary request was not a priority.   Cashier cutie smiled at me and glared at her slovenly mates.  I rolled my eyes in polite “all of Life is column fodder” resignation.

I bid adieu to The Wally for 2011.  I F-150ed home to my La-Z-Boy, my HD, my family and an evening of Very Very Very exciting sports HDTV.  Along the way I learned yet another sad revelation about a quite insane ego-maniacal former football messiah.  After a while it really doesn’t much matter any more, does it?

Big UNC v NCAA thingy this coming Friday.  Little will be forthcoming from the meet but a regurgitation of the whole ooey-gooey mess again and again and again.  Everyone – UNC, ABCers, et al – will be quite unhappy and constipated.   ………. Unlike the rejoicing folks in East Lansing and Lubbock who are happy BECAUSE – Ta DAA – God Loves Spartans ….. & Red Raiders Too.

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