The Mizzou Fan’s Survival Guide To The SEC Puts The Ball in Play For College Football
I’m an elephant ready to stomp.
A Bengal Tiger ready to roar out of the cage.
A white horse ready to run through the end zone. A big steer ready to charge onto the field, a Sooner ready to boomer, a dignitary ready to dot the ‘i.”
I thought I could hold out for a while. It barely crossed my mind in June when I was drinking beers in the streets of Switzerland. Gave it no passing thought while partying at the fun beach volleyball event known as Smackfest. Didn’t pay it any attention as the Olympics arrived and the iPhone calendar switched to August.
But then I opened the cover of “The Mizzou Fan’s Survival Guide to the SEC.” The book was sent to me for review a couple of months ago, and I’ve been pushing it to the side like that plate of seconds you don’t need at the moment.
But finally, the time had come. Fall practice has started and I could no longer hold back the college football tidal wave (or is it the wave of the Tide?). And I knew right from the start I would be hooked from this paragraph in the opening section called About The SEC:
“Fans of some rival schools may not even totally like each other (Alabama-Auburn, Ole Miss-Mississippi State), but when SEC teams play in bowls or in the NCAA basketball tournament, the College World Series – anything involving the SEC vs. the rest of the nation – fans at each institution have fierce league pride.”
That’s more accurate than an A.J. McCarron pass.
The authors are Ron Higgins of SECSports.com, Director of the Football Writers Association of America Steve Richardson and Dave Matte, Missouri beat writer for the Columbus Daily Tribune. So they know of what they write. (And hey, the book is only $16.)
The publishers could not have picked a better person to send their book to for review.
I’m from Knoxville, sold Cokes in Neyland Stadium in high school, went to the University of Alabama (hey, I like to win!), and was a sports writer in Dothan, AL, and then in Savannah, Ga.
I’ve been to games in Bryant-Denny Stadium (including the new one, and WOW!), Neyland Stadium, was both exhilarated and scared to death in LSU’s Death Valley, had a Playboy Playmate of the Year sign a picture of herself to me in Toomer’s Drugstore on the Plains, been to Athens-town, Lexington and covered South Carolina for a few years (whatever became, I wonder, of that adorable blonde Carolina coed who kidnapped me one memorable evening?).
The book brought back a lot of SEC memories (I’m in California now), and I can tell you that it’s not only a good read but a must read for not just Mizzou fans, but newcomers from Texas A&M. SEC fans will take to it like drinks at The Grove.
I also recommended it for all college football fans. Other conferences need to understand the passion and tradition of the SEC and this book does a great job of explaining both, all in a quick-read 200 pages. I went through it faster than an Arkansas touchdown drive.
I even learned some things I didn’t know about the SEC and the teams. For instance, the eagle that soared above the stadium on an Auburn game-winning drive that gave birth to the “War Eagle” chant, crashed and died after its famous flight. That brought a chuckle from this Alabama alumni.
There’s truthful humor in the book, as well. It describes Death Valley as a “Cajun insane asylum.” If you’ve ever been to Death Valley, you know this to be the truth! (I thought I would never get out of the place alive but at the same time, I wanted to stay around for a while because it’s such an electric venue.)
The book contains great information about each school, its traditions, mascots, rules on tailgating, famous local eateries – like Dreamland Ribs in Tuscaloosa and Shakespeare’s Pizza in Columbia – and a few watering holes.
And speaking of watering holes, the ones in college towns, plus the tailgate parties and the sheer atmosphere of being at the game is what makes college football such an unique adventure. No other activity combines sports with partying as does college football.
For a full review on “The Mizzou Fan’s Survival Guide To The SEC,” click here.
For a full review of the Best of College Football, click here.