Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sweet Home Alabama

I am in Auburn Alabama on this football Sunday.  I have some business tomorrow at Auburn University.  It is my first time here.

I've been in town for only half a day but thus far the town is very impressive.  I am staying on a street called, appropriately, College Street.  Across the way from my hotel is a beautiful looking library.  Down a little bit beyond that is what I imagine was the very first building on campus. It is majestic and it is in front of this building where the sign for the university is displayed.  I took a stroll to a CVS and saw in the distance the football stadium which looks as professional as NFL facilities.

What readers of this blog might be most interested in is my experience in an establishment called Halftime.  It may seem like frivolous to some, but as anyone who read the Madness of March knows, I have written about sports fans and am one myself.  I arrived early enough today to watch the games and scouted out a place that had "the ticket" before I left Boston.  The ticket is the NFL television package that allows establishments to broadcast all the NFL games on football Sundays.  Halftime has the ticket. So there I went.  Above the bar, five televisions were broadcasting five different contests.

What was interesting to me was that here in Auburn Alabama I sat next to a man wearing a Tom Brady jersey who knew more about the Patriots than I do.  To his left were a couple swearing their allegiance to the Green Bay Packers. To my right was a man whose knowledge about all teams seemed encyclopedic and he was parked at noon central awaiting the 3 pm Detroit Lions game. And to his right was a fellow bursting alternatively joyously and with frustration as the fortunes of the Carolina Panthers ebbed and flowed.  Behind me was a very sad fellow who was from Erie Pennsylvania and watched unhappily as so called Johnny Football (aka Johnny Manziel) played like a pop warner substitute in the Browns-Bengals game.

Within twenty feet there were reps from many places east of the Mississippi.  What's more the conversation throughout the game could have taken place in hundreds of taverns that had the Ticket across America.  There was no difference about anything in Halftime than there is in places I have been to in Boston or Chicago or Buffalo or New York or New Jersey or Maine or anywhere.

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