What it was, was football

Published 10:19 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

Back years ago, Andy Griffith told a tale about falling off a turnip truck and onto a football field and seeing his first football game. The men in jail uniforms circled around each other, smelled each other and then “put in to fightin.”

Now, that’s not exactly how Ange told it, but that’s not important. It’s only relevant in that it stirred the memory of the first college football game I ever attended.

Back in those days, fans dressed up for football games. Not in football jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies and hats. Girls didn’t wear bikinis and boys didn’t paint their chests. No. We dressed up in our Sunday best.

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For my college football coming out, I wore a brown stripped shift, with a cream-colored under blouse and accessorized with a long, gold chain, gold clip-on-earbobs and a shoulder bag. I wore my Sunday high-heel shoes and dotted on Pink Mink perfume.

I had never been to Auburn University. So, I didn’t know the football field was on the back 40 and a country mile from the parking lot to the football field. On the long trudge, I understood why the Auburn mascot was an eagle.

We had good tickets – in the end zone, on the ground. Nobody would be jumping up and blocking our view of the field, my date said. Fortunately, the ground was grassed for comfort but, unfortunately, the end zone “seating” was sloped and slippery. I had a hard time staying put. But, when in Rome …. so, I did as the other young women around me.  I jammed the sharp heels of my Sunday shoes deep into the ground and braced myself with my feet. I grabbed a handful of grass, just in case I lost my foothold and slid, fast and furious, into the end zone. Touchdown!

I don’t know who won the game and didn’t care.  When my date stood me erect, my legs had been braced so long they were as stiff as Chester’s leg on Gunsmoke.

It was a long, painful, stiff-legged walk back to the parking lot. We stopped for

hamburgers and French fries at a drive-in and I got home the same day I left.

In my journal that night, I wrote: What it was, was football. Best time ever!