Tag Archives: football

You Know You’re from Alabama if:

Hi Everyone!

Alabama, maps

Map of Alabama, from the Texas Public Library Collection of maps

An email encounter with someone from out West started me thinking about what it really means to be from Alabama, and so I compiled this list.

You know you’re from Alabama if:

handshake, introduction, greeting

From http://www.clickartonline.com, all rights reserved

1) Your first reaction upon meeting someone from any city with a population of over 1,000,000 people is to ask them if they know your sister’s neighbor’s daughter, Betty Sue, who moved to that city five years ago.

Lynyrd Skynyrd. sweet home Alabama

Lynyrd Skynyrd in Concert in 2010. Photo from Wikimedia Commons, by Andrew King.

2) The opening riffs to “Sweet Home Alabama” raise your heart beat and give you the uncontrollable urge to sing along with Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

3) You think Jimmy Buffett’s rendition of “Stars Fell On Alabama” should be the state song.

falling star

from http://www.clickartonline.com by Broderbund. All rights reserved.

4) You are surprised to find out that neither “Sweet Home Alabama” nor “Stars Fell On Alabama'” are the state song.

5) Your definition of a “mixed marriage” means that one spouse is an Auburn fan and the other is an Alabama fan.

head scratching, wondering, thinking

From http://www.clickartonline.com by Broderbund. All rights reserved.

6) You wonder why in a state with a large NASA facility in the north of the State, state of the art automotive manufacturers sprinkled across the center of the state, a state of the art steel plant and Airbus plant in the south of the state and several major universities,  the national news media can only find the least educated and articulate of us to interview on television.

Fan, summer, air conditioning

From http://www.clickartonline.com by Broderbund. All rights reserved.

7) Air conditioning is a necessity, not a luxury.

8) You do not think running the heat at night and the air conditioner during the day in the spring and fall is odd.

9) You get your  coat and car keys, not a tool box,  when your husband tells you he is fixing to go somewhere.

10) You know perfectly well that there are three second person pronouns:

“You” – second person singular, as in “why don’t you come with me?”

“Y’all” –  second person plural, as in “Why don’t y’all come over to dinner?”

“All y’all”  – second person plural heightened, to be used when you are inviting large groups of people to do something instead of groups of five or less.

Picture by Torsten Bolten, on Wikimedia Commons.

Picture by Torsten Bolten, on Wikimedia Commons.

11) You think that basketball and baseball are just something they do to kill time until football season rolls back again.

12) You have ever considered the date of the Iron Bowl as something to be avoided when scheduling important family functions such as weddings, births and funerals.

13) You don’t have to ask what the term “Iron Bowl” refers to.

flag, usa map

From http://www.clickartonline.com by Broderbund. All rights reserved.

14) You are astounded that the man who invented air conditioning does not have a national holiday named after him.

Have a great day everyone!


Preparing for the Super Bowl – Home Edition

Good morning everyone!

The biggest football game of the year, the Super Bowl,  is played this coming Sunday.  Here are some tips to be sure that you are ready for the big game.

1)  Pick the team you will root for in advance.

For some people, of course, this is a no brainer – they have been Giants or Patriots fans their whole lives.  Others may have decided long ago that it would be a cold day in a very, very hot place before they ever cheered for the Giants (or the Patriots) as the case may be, so their choice is easy also.  For some fans, though, choosing sides may be more difficult.  Even if your favorite team didn’t reach the Super Bowl, find some reason to pick one team over the other, even if it is as trivial as the color of the jerseys.

2) Carefully plan your menu for the big game.

It has been scientifically proven that any foods consumed between the hours of 5 p.m. CT and 9:00 p.m. CT on Super Bowl Sunday have no fat or caloric content, so go for it!  A heavy dose of appetizers and finger foods is strongly recommended, including chips and dip, cheese fries, potato skins, nachos, fried cheese and anything else you can get away with.

3) Educate small children in advance.

Carefully explain to small children that their behavior during this last game will need to be exemplary.  Help them understand that they can jump up and down and scream when the adults do, but otherwise they will have to find quiet ways to occupy their time while the game is on.

4)  Females, strongly encourage male counterparts to leave the remote control alone during the commercials for this one game.

Watching the commercials during the Super Bowl is as much a tradition as watching the game itself.  If you live in a household where the male of the house watches two programs at a time – the main show and the “commercial” show that he flips to when the main show has a commercial break – and you don’t think he can break himself of the habit, it is perfectly acceptable to hide the remote where only you can find it once the game begins.

5) Don’t forget to stock up on the beverages of your choice, so no one will have to leave the house during the game on a diet coke (or other beverage) run.

6) For “mixed” families – where members of the family are die-hard fans of opposing teams – separated by long distances, make sure the phone lines stay clear so that each side can call the other at key moments throughout the game to gloat explain the importance of crucial plays.  Unplugging your phone to prevent the other side from calling you when the game is over and your team lost is considered poor sportsmanship.

7) For the more technologically advanced, it is acceptable to tweet or text such updates rather than delivering them by phone.

8) The five hours of pre-game shows are optional, although the flag football game between former players, if they do it again this year, is worth watching.  Who wouldn’t want to see Joe Montana and Jerry Rice connect one more time for a touch down?

9) The half-time show is not optional.  A great deal of water cooler conversation the next day can revolve around the half-time show (ie., the entry into the English lexicon of the phrase “wardrobe malfunction.”)

10) Enjoy the game!  There really is nothing else like it.

Have a great weekend everyone!


New Post on the Football Novice

Hi Everyone!

This isn’t my post here for the day, but I did want to let you know that there is a new post out on the Football Novice, Downs – the Rule of Four.

For those of you who like football, I would really appreciate your taking a look and posting comments on the site about how you think I could improve.  This second blog is a new adventure for me, and I want it to be helpful to new football fans.  Thanks! 


Football Memories

Good morning everyone!

Since I still have football on the brain, I wanted to talk to you about my football memories.  FN.

My earliest football memories stem from my pre-school years, when my family lived in Annapolis, Maryland.  I can remember my dad sitting in front of the television on Sunday afternoons sound asleep.  Either myself or one of my sisters would try to sneak into the den and turn the channel to something more entertaining than a boring football game (remote controls had not yet been invented; you actually had to go to the TV set and turn a knob) only to have him announce, while still sound asleep, “Touch that dial and you will be called “Stubby” for the rest of your life.”  Since my dad was a naval officer, and we were in Annapolis because he was stationed at the Naval Academy, we also could not help become aware of a rivalry between the Navy and the Army, although I’m not sure we really understood that it stemmed from football.  I do know that I was in sixth grade before I realized that the Navy and the Army did not exist to fight each other, but rather to join in common cause to fight our nation’s enemies.  I really think, given the choice, they would prefer to fight each other anyhow, but they have called a truce in the interest of national security that is only broken when the Army-Navy game is played each year.

Then, after several years, I started high school in the Washington D.C. area while Joe Theisman was the Redskins quarterback and Joe Gibbs was the coach.  Dad made sure to instill in all three of his daughters a love for Redskins football, although we noticed that he was very conflicted when the biggest rivalry game of the season would roll around – the Redskins v. the Cowboys.  Dad always wanted the Redskins to win, but the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback, Roger Staubach (who was a Naval Academy graduate like Dad) to look good.  Either shortly before or after we left the D.C. area, the Fun Bunch began their antics, which just made a football game pure fun, and the Hogettes began their long attendance at Redskin games as well.

We moved from D.C. to Alabama.  Over time, I learned that college football was even more important than professional football, at least in Alabama.  I am ashamed to admit that during the first few years we were here, my Mom and sisters  and I looked upon the Auburn-Alabama game as a great time to do Christmas shopping – no-one else was out during the game.  It took about four years, but we too ceased to go out during the Auburn-Alabama game, and instead stayed glued to the television to see the outcome of the game.  Even as transplants, we picked sides – myself and my youngest sister are Auburn fans, and my middle sister is an Alabama fan.

That passion for Auburn football only grew when I attended Auburn, met my future husband and began going to games as a college student.  The one year we were both at  Auburn together, we had student season tickets by the Auburn Yacht Club.  They were a great group of students to sit beside.  Every score or large gain led to high fives down the entire row whether you were a member of the Yacht Club or not, and that year, because a running back named Bo Jackson was playing for our team, there were a lot of high fives!

After I graduated from college and Mark and I got married, we watched both college and professional football.  We have struck a nice balance now; we watch Auburn football with a great deal of emotional investment, but we watch NFL football simply to enjoy the game, although there are many teams that we like and we usually know who we want to win the game that we watch.  (All right, I admit the year the Patriots went undefeated in the regular season, we got pretty involved in the New York Giants’ attempt to stop them from getting that record on the last game of the regular season.  That was one of the best football games I have ever seen, and the funny thing was that it didn’t make a difference to either team in terms of where they would stand in the playoffs.  Still, I don’t believe the Giants would have beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl that same year had they not put in the extraordinary effort I saw that day, even though they ultimately lost that game.  That effort taught the Giants that the Patriots were not unbeatable, and they believed that all the way through to the final game!)

We are now intent on passing along the football traditions of our family to Kayla, and she is taking to them quite well.  She is already an avid Auburn fan, and the first question she asks at the beginning of any NFL game that we watch is “Who are we going for?”  She likes Peyton Manning and Cam Newton as quarterbacks, and I can’t wait to see how far she goes in her love of the game!

Do you have any special football memories?  Are there any teams you are particularly a fan of?  If so, I would love to hear about them from you!

Have a great weekend everyone!


FN.  I suspect the Football-on-the-brain syndrome has a lot to do with getting my new website, The Football Novice, up and running as well as with the start of the NFL pre-season!

Finally! The Football Novice Debuts

After a hard night’s work, I have been able to get my new blog, The Football Novice, up and running with two posts, plus a sidebar that lists the televised games this week.  Check it out; I would love to hear what you think, and if there are topics on there you might like to hear about.  New posts on the Football Novice are normally once a week on Fridays.

Building a Web Site – It Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Good Morning Everyone!

Picture by Torsten Bolten, on Wikimedia Commons.

As you may recall from last week, I am starting a weekly post on basic football rules – the posts publish on Friday.  My ultimate goal is to have this weekly post on its own blog, and in a fit of overconfidence, I decided I would try to build the web page myself through WordPress.org.  I have not gotten very far along with the experience, but I have learned two things:

1) My excellent vocabulary does me no good when it comes to the terms necessary to build a blog site.

2) I have no clue what I am doing.

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

The first step seemed easy enough – I had to pick a web host for my blog.  I went to WordPress.org, they had several listed and I picked the first one.  The registration process went smoothly, my new domain name (www.nflnovice.com) was registered, my account was verified and then I started trying to download the WordPress.org software.

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

That’s when everything came to a screeching halt.  There is a very annoying thing called a FTP.  After several tries to guess what that meant (Failure to Prepare, Files to Press, Fast Top Press), I finally googled the term to find out that it means “File Transfer Protocol.”  I gained a vague understanding that this has something to do with transferring information from one location to another, but that is about all I have learned.  To install the WordPress software onto the website I want to use, I have to tell it something about my FTP, and I apparently am not giving it the answer it is looking for.  When I go to the place where I am supposed to be able to find the answer it is looking for, it gives me the information I am placing into the WordPress software already!  If you think arguing with one computer is hard, trying arguing with three!  I have censored several swear words throughout this process.

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

Then two days ago it occurred to me that the National Football League might object to the title “The NFL Novice” under some kind of trademark law.  I have spent some more time reading through the trademark papers, and even sending an e-mail to the licensing people at the NFL to try to find an answer, but no luck.  Of the many uses the acronym “NFL” is trademarked for, almost none of them fit the category of what I want to do, except for this one phrase about electronic dissemination of information to third persons for some purpose ( I can’t remember the exact phrasing; it is the purpose that is iffy – I may or may not be trying to do that, if I could ever figure out exactly what they mean.)  In the course of wading through that issue, I decided to be safe and picked out another name for my new blog “The Football Novice”, with locations at www.footballnovice.com and www.thefootballnovice.com.  (Don’t bother to check the links; there’s nothing exciting there yet.)

So then, I went back to WordPress to try to get it installed on one of the three blogs, and went to the “How To” page, which told me that before I did anything, I needed something called a “Text Editor.”  At that point, last night, I decided to call it a day.  They had several listed on the page,but I hadn’t heard of any of them.

Please Help!

For now, I think I am going to go back to my trusty Kindle, where, gathering electronic dust for a couple of months now, resides “The Idiots Guide to Building A Blog.”  I think my efforts have now qualified me to start reading!

So, for at least the next couple of weeks, bear with the Football Friday posts here.  I will figure out how to do this, and have the new blog up and running some day!

Have a great day everyone!


Football Follies

Good morning everyone!

Picture by Torsten Bolten, on Wikimedia Commons.

Last night was a big evening at our household – the first televised pro football game of the 2011-2012 pre-season popped up on ESPN.  All three of us love watching football; Kayla more out of self-defense than anything else, since she has learned that if a live NFL football game is on, we will be watching it.  Mark is a serious student of the game, but I am much more of a dilettante. 

I know basic aspects of the game, such as the fact that the object of the game is to take the oblong shaped ball down the field to cross your opponent’s goal line, that a touchdown is worth 6 points, a point after kick is worth 1 and that you can, if you choose, to “go for two” after the touch down instead.  A lot of the finer rules escape me.  For example, I know it is a bad thing if anyone moves (besides the one special dude who always gets to run the width of the field) before the ball is snapped, but I continually get lost between false start and encroachment.  The difference is whether the defense or the offence does it, but I do have a hard time keeping it straight. 

I know the names of certain positions, but not all.  For example, I know what a quarterback, center, running back and wide receiver do, but I really couldn’t tell you the difference between a nose guard and a tackle (although I should be able to).  I get a little confused about the tight end, because he seems to be sort of a running back, receiver and member of the offensive line, all rolled into one.  I also know the names of certain players, heavily weighted towards those players who played for Auburn University or in the SEC, including Jason Campbell, Takeo Spikes, Heath Evans, Peyton and Eli Manning, Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Sean Alexander and a host of others, and I am eagerly awaiting the debut of Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and Lee Ziemba onto the NFL stage.

Curtis Painter (7) and Peyton Manning (18), picture by Chris Staley from Wikimedia Commons

There are certain key points of the game that are hard to miss.  In particular, I think that a good offensive line is probably even more important overall than a star quarterback, running back, wide receiver – none of the last three can do what they need to do if the offensive line isn’t in the trenches slugging it out for them.  I think the star quarterback, running back and wide receiver would agree with me.  The same is true also of the defensive line.  You can predict the winner of a game by whichever of the two lines wins the battle in the trenches. 

I have decided this year to learn a little bit more about this game that I love to watch.  My goal for this season is to learn the names of each position on the field and what they do.  Unfortunately, last night I didn’t make this decision until I was into my third game of BeJeweled on the iPad, so I lost the opportunity to learn anything beyond the fact that the ESPN announcers felt that the lack of a full length training camp was very, very bad for the rookies.  They referred several times due to the fact that they believed that this rookie class would be the “lost rookie class of 2011.”  The rookies didn’t look particularly lost to me; it seemed that they had found the stadium and locker rooms just fine! 

Have a great day everyone!