Monday, August 22, 2011
Unlike the "Final Countdown," we know what to what we are counting down. Just 12 days from now, the majority of college football teams will begin the three to four month (depending on their success or lack of) journey that will challenge the mental and physical strength of all involved, especially the fans of the sport. I don't know if I'm ever fully mentally and physically prepared to endure this yearly quest, but I know for damn sure I'm willing to accept being pushed to the brink of losing my functioning member of society status if it means I don't have to keep reading the phrases "getting better" and "quarterback competition" or all uses and forms of the word "compete."
To put a theme to this countdown, after all, a countdown isn't really a countdown if there is no theme, we (myself and the newest editions around here) begin our rankings of our favorite places to attend games in the SEC, starting with number 12. These rankings draw heavily on personal experiences rather than the standard YOU CAN'T BEAT THE GROVE. THEY HAVE CHANDELIERS AND FINE CHINA, YOU KNOW. AT A FOOTBALL GAME. HAHAHA. ONLY IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL.
How we determined our rankings was a simple matter of don't ask us questions, just sit back and enjoy the show. First, up: Vanderbilt, which was a unanimous decision.
Each and every time I go to Nashville I end up paying $25 for a club sandwich and a coke at someplace a friend has dubbed “a cool little place to catch lunch; everybody goes there!” As far as I’m concerned, the only things people should catch are fish and chlamydia.
"I hate myself for coming here." You will utter those six words sometime in the middle of the second quarter if you ever attend a game at Vanderbilt Stadium. It will probably occur after your team has its fourth three and out of the first half and you hear the PA system imploring a few thousand Vandy fans to "SHOW YOUR GOLD."
There is nothing remotely entertaining or pleasurable about a game at Vandy. The stadium stinks, the atmosphere is bleak, you will likely get a sunburn because there is a 99% chance the game will start at noon, and your team will play like shit. I pretty sure that deep in the bowels of the SEC rule book there is a rule that states that all visiting teams must play like shit when they come to Vandy. Go look if you don't believe me. It's right before the rule that says you are still eligible to play even though your father admitted that your quarterbacking services were for sale for 200k (ed: "But for you, Dan Mullen, we can let it go for a cool $180K!").
It does not matter how well your team was playing prior to the trip to Music City USA, they will have a penalty-filled, turnover-strewn afternoon. I challenge anyone to direct me to a well played game of football at Vanderbilt Stadium. I bet even the Oilers' games sucked when they played there for a season.
I am now going to get drunk because this post brought up long repressed memories of horrible afternoons at the shitbox called Vanderbilt Stadium.
"But, Gray, Nashville is such a great city! That's worth the road trip alone!" WRONG. Nashville is a good place and fun to visit, but it would have to be the greatest city on the entirety of God's green earth to make up for what you have to go through on Saturday: an 11:30 AM kickoff combined with heat, humidity, and horrendous football. That last point I cannot stress enough. HORRENDOUS FOOTBALL. I'm sure that the play is made horrendous is mainly attributable to watching Ole Miss bumble around as the only team in the SEC that can't put Vanderbilt away easily, but I cannot recall a game in Vanderbilt Stadium in which a superior opposing team went in and skulldrug Vandy around like it should have.
"But, Gray, what about Saturday night? That's always a good time!" EVEN MORE WRONG. Assuming your team held on to win, you're still angry because you spent four hours (JP game time length) baking in the sun, now the proud owner of a vicious sunburn, and making yourself terribly dehydrated all in the name of supporting a team you never chose to support, but were programmed to support before your brain recognized what a horrible mistake you were making.
So, yeah, even if you do overcome your physical and mental ailments and make it out on Saturday night, you will find yourself praying for the sweet release of death while standing in a crowded bar, waiting to get overcharged for your drink of choice, surrounded by a bunch of your school's fans you don't really like. I hate going to Vanderbilt.
Posted by Gray at 12:05 PM