I must confess. I'm a double dipper. Sometimes I'll use an article from "my column" as a blog post, and sometimes I'll pull blog posts from the past to create a new article for the paper. My blog doesn't have a large following, and lots of those don't read the paper, so I think I'm fairly safe. At least if accused with plagiarism, it will be my own words that I'm stealing. HA! Here's the column from this past week's edition of The Barrow Journal. Several of my facebook friends have told me, "I was there!", and they remember exactly what I'm talking about. Fun times!!!!
Friday Night Lights
Given my choice, I’d much rather read a good book, or piddle around in my craft room than sit in front of the TV to watch “the game”, with few exceptions. Sports has never been a huge priority in my life.
Check that. If we could turn back the clock, oh, let’s say about a hundred years to 1969, I believe you’d find me as passionate about a ballgame as any fan between the hedges could ever hope to be. Back in those days, there were six elementary schools throughout the county. Our schools went through the 8th grade – no middle school, except for the Winder crowd. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders were allowed to try out for the basketball team and the cheering squad. I can
dribble bounce a ball while
standing still. That’s about the extent
of my basketball skills. Forget
walking/running and dribbling. Talk
about a comedy of errors!!! However, you give me some saddle oxfords and some
pom-poms, and I could cheer with the best of them. And cheer we did!! Every Friday night during
the fall and early winter, we’d pack the gymnasiums all over the county, and
Play Some Basketball!!! Each school
would play the five other teams – once at home, and once away. There would be standing room only in the old
gymnasiums, with tiny concession stands stocked with candy bars and soft drinks. And you’ve never seen such rabid fans! Parents, grandparents, members of the
community would come out and pack the place, and the screaming and shouting,
I’m sure, could be heard all over town.
It was Serious Business. We
screamed, we cried, we hollered at the refs, and we stormed the floor after
every win. On the way home from away
games, we’d to go Dairy Delite for ice cream. Sometimes we’d sneak and sit with
a sweetheart and maybe hold hands on the dark bus ride home. Gives a new appreciation to the phrase “Those
were the days”.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to make the cheer squad in high school. One year I made the first cut, but not the second. I couldn’t play an instrument, so there was no marching band for me. So, I was relegated to The Walk. You know the one. Walk from the concession area to the stands. Then back again. A thousand times. Throughout the entire game. Sometimes we’d stop on the sidewalk and talk with friends. If we felt really brave, we’d walk into enemy territory to check out the cute guys. Then one year I got myself a sweetheart who played football, so I felt compelled to watch the game – though I knew nothing about it. Everything I know about football, I learned from his parents, who patiently explained the basics and answered my questions. I must say that after I learned about it, the game became much more interesting.
Interesting enough, in fact, to start attending the GA games in Athens. I wasn’t a season ticket holder, but I missed very few home games. Before the stadium was enclosed, there was a little side gate over by The Bridge, where students could get in for $2.00. Then there was The Hill. Yes, you remember The Hill!! Hundreds of people would sit on the grassy hill to watch the game. (And I think most of them were from Winder!!!!) The fact that it happened to be right next to the opposing team’s seating area only added to the fun. There was a special little song we used to sing to the Vandy fans…. Anyone remember? So many fun times on The Hill. I also got in big trouble one time on The Hill….. but we’ll just leave it at that.
Years later, I would again find myself in the stands every Friday night to watch the Double-G Doggs. Whitney was in marching band in high school, and I was a Band Mom. I loved every minute of it!! And though I really went for the band, I enjoyed the game as well. More fun memories.
This year’s season is upon us, and the excitement in town is palpable. I don’t expect I’ll be attending any of the Dawg or Dogg games this year, but I’ll have the TV on for the GA games. Here’s to a fabulous season for our favorite red and black teams!
Goooo Dawgs! And Goooo Doggs!!!