Watching on the Radio Not Like Being There
Now I know why the late great Lewis Grizzard, when he encountered heart problems overseas, insisted, “I ain’t gonna be in no foreign country during football season.”
I have to admit that the good-looking guy in the red shirt was nowhere to be found in Athens last Saturday. I was in the Canadian Maritime provinces instead—on Prince Edward Island, to be exact—but I planned my itinerary carefully and intended to be hunkered down with all my screens, iPad, computer, smart phone and television, by the time all the big games kicked off Saturday night. We had Miami--FSU, Clemson—Louisville, South Carolina—Kentucky, Alabama—Bobo and, of course, Georgia’s annual cupcake party. This time the invited guest was Samford, from over in Birmingham, to which we paid half-a-million bucks to serve as a sacrificial lamb while we worked out a few kinks and feathered our stats.
But being a good Boy Scout, I was prepared—or so I thought. I had my Xfinity app and my ESPN app and my SEC Network app and I was in place, in my pajamas with my belly flopping out, complete with refreshments, beverages and remotes, when Florida showed the Champions of Life what an answered Hail Mary feels like to the losing team on the final play of a game.
That game was actually broadcast on a Canadian television station, as was the Clemson game. As kickoff Between the Hedges approached, however, I learned a heartbreaking fact. None of my streaming devices work outside the United States. Something about licensing agreements and money. I finally was able to stream the WSB radio broadcast and watched our game the old-fashioned way—on the radio.
Scott Howard and Eric Zeir do a serviceable job, but now I understand why I no longer look around Sanford Stadium on Game-day and see half the Dawg Nation with radios attached to their ears. Don’t you wish you could have heard Larry Munson calling the Notre Dame game?
But I was able to hear the game, and as Ed Thelinius instructed me when I listened to my first Georgia game back in the 50s, I imagined my radio dial (computer screen, in this case) as a football field. When Scot Howard would say “Dogs are moving left,” I would picture them driving toward the bridge—or the $60 million boondoggle down in that that end zone. When he would say we were moving right, I assumed that we were driving toward where I used to sit on the railroad tracks and watch games before I could think about affording a ticket to actually get into the stadium.
This is what I heard. I heard that Jake Fromm was very efficient and was allowed to make some vertical throws instead of simple sideline passes, which I liked. I’m not sure I heard the tight-ends mentioned a lot. I heard Chubb’s name called as he ripped off yardage and touchdowns and sort of wished I were there to judge whether he was running like the old Chubb behind an improved offensive line of whether the cupcake icing was simply extra soft on Saturday. I heard about Swift making some excellent open field moves and I heard about Terry Godwin having another stellar day.
When we didn’t have the ball I heard about Lorenzo Carter—a lot. The defense sounded fierce. I like that in a defense.
I also heard great things from the kicking game—again.
While I was watching our game on the radio I was watching Clemson on television and was heartened to see their defense take undeserving 2106 Heisman Trophy winner to the proverbial woodshed. I am not a Clemson fan, understand. I am just totally impartial. I don’t give a damn who beats Bobby Petrino.
I was also watching the Mississippi State—LSU score crawl across the bottom of the television screen and was reminded of Coach Dooley’s comment after being told that Georgia Tech tied Notre Dame 3-3 shortly after the Belue-to-Scott miracle on Duval Street. “We’ve got to play those guys”—meaning Georgia Tech.
Well, we’ve got to play those guys Saturday—meaning Mississippi State. I can’t wait to see how that goes. Look for me. I’ll be the good-looking guy in the pink shirt. Yes, I said pink. My oldest child, Jamie Leigh, was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago—at the age of 30. But she’s a fighter. Now, after months of chemo, a double mastectomy, and several reconstructive surgeries, she is doing well and we are going to honor her with a pink-out at our tailgate. Y’all come.
By the way. I will be in Europe for two weeks after that. If anyone knows the secret to watching on the internet in a foreign country—please let me know.
Darrell Huckaby is an author, educator and syndicated newspaper columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.