Posted August 17, 2012

Weekend Whimsy: What sticks with you

Appalachian State Mountaineers, Michigan Wolverines, Weekend Whimsy

[Engaging first-person mode for reasons of clarity. Be not afraid.]

Ah, memories. (AP)

It’s funny what sticks to the inside of your head for no reason at all. I have no personal or professional connections to Michigan or Appalachian State football. I had no real reason to be watching that game. I was sitting with my dad in a hotel bar in San Francisco in 2007, killing a couple hours before heading over to Berkeley for the second game of Cal’s home-and-home series with Tennessee. I don’t remember the lead-up to that final quarter at all. There were a dozen television screens in that place, and it was the first Saturday of the season. There was a lot to pay attention to.

It plays out like a disaster movie in my head. When it became apparent that Things Were Happening in Ann Arbor, probably on that first blocked field goal late in the fourth quarter, the bartender switched the game to the big projection screen in the corner, and patrons began to peel off from other activities around the room and crowd around it. And when that second kick was blocked, and the room burst into disbelieving chatter, I saw two men stand up from where they’d been sitting, right in front of the big screen. They turned, revealing Michigan State logos on the fronts of their ball caps. They wound their way through the crowd, saying nothing, but as one passed by, I caught a snatch of the song he was humming quietly to himself. “Hail to the Victors.”

With no personal investment in the outcome, that one slice of one Saturday is just lodged in my brain for all time. I think it was the song that did it.

That’ll do it for us this week. Leave your stories of games that floated tangentially into your life and stayed there below. 

4 comments
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TylerFisher
TylerFisher

That was my senior year at Michigan. I was in the middle of the student section. I did not have a real good time.

JimmyThomas
JimmyThomas

I'm an App State grad and was in the Big House that day - and what a day it was!  Made the trip with 7 of my college buddies thinking we'd play some golf Thursday/Friday, go to the game Saturday and lick our wounds as we made it home Sunday.  Jerry, Armanti, and the boys had other ideas though.  Needless to say - trip of a lifetime.  

CaptainAnnoying
CaptainAnnoying

I remember the Thursday night during my freshman year at UGA when I came back to my dorm from dinner or something like that and found Virginia-Florida State on the TV in the lobby. The Cavaliers were somehow up 33-28, and I got there just in time to see the Seminoles' final drive, which ended with Warrick Dunn getting stuffed at the UVA 1 yard line. It was FSU's first ACC loss in four years as a member of the conference, and the significance of this was not lost on us SEC-obsessed Bulldogs -- I remember guys standing there in the lobby, staring slackjawed at the TV screen, incredulous that the mighty 'Noles could've been brought low by UVA. And, of course, the minute I got up to my dorm room I got a phone call from my UVA-alum dad, saying, "DID YOU SEE WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!"

Wayne1
Wayne1

So at the time I was living in Birmingham, and like you, had no vested interest in the teams involved.  I was following my wife around a La-Z-Boy furniture store and found the only TV there which happened to be tuned to that game.  I found company with two fellow victims of being drug around shopping on opening day.  Both were clad in Crimson but we sat, a couple of Bammers and a Blazers fan, transfixed to the screen as it became apparent that the unthinkable was about to happen.  When that kick was blocked we erupted into unexplainable cheers and drew looks of scorn from all 6 other people who chose to shop for furniture on this, the holiest of days.  Like 9/11 or JFK, you'll never forget where you were and what you were doing when it happened (too much?).