A Southern football primer

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 06, 2006



Anyone who's spent a bit of time traveling across Gridiron America realizes that the heartbeat of football these days beats most strongly in the South. It may have been born up North, and nurtured in the Gridiron Breadbasket, but it certainly is celebrated in the South with more outward enthusiasm than anywhere else.
 
Many of the biggest college games today pit Southern powers. In fact, you could spend the entire day watching nothing but southern football: Arkansas at No. 2 Auburn at noon (ET), No. 9 LSU at No. 5 Florida (3:30) and No. 13 Tennessee at No. 10 Georgia (7:45).  
 
With all these games on the schedule, it seemed like a good time to publish this story sent to us the other day. We have no idea who wrote it or where it came from. If we did, we'd let you know. In fact, if you know where it came from, let us know.
 
We do know this: The piece provides a very entertaining and not entirely inaccurate look at the differences between Northern and Southern football.
 
***
The football season in the South is radically different from up North. For those who are planning a fall football trip to the South, here are some helpful hints.

Women's Accessories:
NORTH: ChapStick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket.
 
SOUTH: Two lipsticks, waterproof mascara and a fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary – that's what dates are for.
 
Stadium Size:
NORTH: College football stadiums hold 40,000 people.
 
SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 40,000 people.
 
Fathers:
NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
 
SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand the zone blitz.
 
Campus Architecture:
NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
 
SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen:
NORTH: Also a physics major.
 
SOUTH: Also Miss America.
 
Important People:
NORTH: Rudy Giuliani.
 
SOUTH: Archie & Peyton Manning.
 
Former Players:
NORTH: Become TV commentators.
 
SOUTH: Become senators.
 
Getting Tickets:
NORTH: Five days before the game, you walk into the ticket office on campus and purchase tickets.
 
SOUTH: Five months before the game, you walk into the ticket office on campus and put your name on a waiting list for tickets. Then you pay a dumb buddy to camp outside the ticket office.
 
Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game:
NORTH: Students and teachers aren't sure if they're going to the game because they have classes on Friday.
 
SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few hungover students who might actually make it to class.

Parking:
NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game parking.
 
SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.
 
Game Day:
NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.

SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast and rushes over to where ESPN is broadcasting "Game Day Live" to get on camera and wave to the idiots up North who wonder why "Game Day Live" is never broadcast from their campus.
 
Tailgating:
NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down.
 
SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance by the Dave Matthews Band, who come over during breaks and ask for a hit off the bottle of bourbon.
 
Getting to the Stadium:
NORTH: You ask "Where's the stadium?" When you find it, you walk right in.
 
SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day it, becomes the state's third largest city.
 
Concessions:
NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
 
SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team's mascot on it, filled less than half way with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.

When National Anthem Is Played:
NORTH : Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
 
SOUTH: All 100,000 seats are filled, everyone stands and sings along in perfect four-part harmony.
 
The Smell in the Air After the First Score:
NORTH: Nothing changes.
 
SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.
 
Commentary (Male):
NORTH: "Nice play."
 
SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch – break his damn legs!"
 
Commentary (Female):
NORTH: "My, this certainly is a violent sport."
 
SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch – break his damn legs!"
 
Announcers:
NORTH: Neutral.
 
SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.
 
After the Game:
NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.

SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker, while somebody goes to the nearest package store for more bourbon, and planning begins for next week's game.
 
Nothing else in the universe comes even halfway close to the glories of Southern college football.
 

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