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College Football? What a Waste of Time!

In the American South, people structure their entire existences around college football. It’s like going to mass. Every weekend there’s a home game, people climb into their mascot-themed vehicles, drive hours in traffic, spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a buffet that would rival a royal marriage reception, and generally cannot be relied upon to do anything other than worship at the Altar of Football.

As the daughter of a rabid University of Georgia Bulldog, I grew up watching college football. I am a graduate of the Ladies’ Football Clinic at the University of South Carolina. I probably know the rules of the game better than YOU.

These days, I don’t even know who’s playing. Or when the season starts. I try not to pay attention to how much coaches make, because MTM is a former college professor.

I know what he was worth to Clemson University.

So.

Imagine my dismay when I walked up to the Columbia Museum of Art last week, pumped and primed to fill my Creative Tank, and saw this banner:

cheer“WHAT A FREAKING WASTE OF TIME!!!” I fumed out front. “I can’t believe I drove all the way downtown for THIS stupid advertisement for the worship of sports!!!!”

But it was 4pm, and the museum closed at 5. I was already there. And the Columbia Museum of Art has a decent collection of ancient artifacts. I figured I could stare into old marble eyeballs and garner enlightenment.

Only I never made it upstairs.

I was captivated by the artwork on display. Old Japanese block prints featuring tigers. Multiple works by John James Audubon. A chair crafted of steer skin and horns. An owl whose one eye captivated me enough to record the name of the artist for the day I can afford his work. A glass elephant the size of my hand. A steer made of nails.

All part of Cheer For the Home Team! Animal Mascots in the Collection.

Wonder lurks in places we think we won’t like.

Remember that.

This post is part of a series. To read the first post, click here: Desperately Seeking a Shepherd.

58 Comments Post a comment
  1. We have the same mania about cricket!

    July 15, 2014
    • I wish I understood cricket. πŸ™‚

      July 15, 2014
      • Oh…don’t try! I tried to explain cricket once to a bunch of Americans and Europeans, and they became squiggle eyed. The real classic match between nations, called a Test Match, lasts 5 days. You may laugh when I say that a test match can be really exciting! It’s for the purists…

        July 15, 2014
  2. teachnomore #

    Andra, I enjoy reading your posts. I’ve become a silent fan. Remember that we’re out here.

    July 15, 2014
  3. I can’t get enough of Aububon prints…they’re captivating. On the other hand I can get, and have had, enough of football (our sort, not yours) πŸ™‚

    July 15, 2014
    • Given his inclusion in my novel, I was delighted to see several of his prints in the exhibit.

      July 15, 2014
  4. i am a college fan, having grown up with a university of michigan wolverine, though i am not quite such a rabid fan, and i love the last line of your post, and the wondrous element of surprise. like when i found out i loved avocados after 40 years of life. )

    July 15, 2014
  5. As I think you know, I dislike American football. Intensely. But with my son now attending Clemson I am going to be forced to go to at least one game – parents weekend and all that. I will try to keep a positive attitude and find something to enjoy.

    Odd that you found something wonderful at the Columbia museum. Usually just being in Columbia itself is enough to depress me. The Greenville County Museum of Art is wonderful though. And you are one of the main reasons I ever visited the High Gallery in Atlanta. See? Your good influences do rub off!

    Still not thrilled about that sushi thing though – although it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

    July 15, 2014
    • Sorry about that – seems I must be in a very negative and crabby mood this morning. Bordering on bitchy. I will try to do better and bring more sunshine! Smile world, it’s Tuesday! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      July 15, 2014
    • Clemson is very clever in their parental indoctrination process………

      July 15, 2014
  6. Nancy Glenn #

    Not a fan of football! Period!!! Enough said…OK?

    July 15, 2014
  7. tarakianwarrior #

    I love me some college football, especially when my team is winning…Go Boise State Broncos – land of the blue turf! πŸ˜€ It’s always nice when we’re pleasantly surprised by something that we pegged to be mundane and boring. πŸ˜€ Expectations…

    July 15, 2014
  8. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    See, I’m one of those fans you write about, although I don’t have any paraphernalia to support my team. However, when football season begins, you will find me tuned to a Gamecock football game on any given Saturday. When we beat Clemson, my year is complete. Sad, isn’t it?!

    July 15, 2014
    • Not sad. I used to be that way. I guess I see a different side of it now, with MTM’s years as a professor.

      July 15, 2014
  9. Jen #

    I love surprises!

    July 15, 2014
  10. Wonder lurks in places we think we won’t like.

    Perfect. So true.

    July 15, 2014
    • I wish I didn’t have to constantly remind myself of that. πŸ™‚

      July 15, 2014
  11. I’m glad you stayed. Not for the sport, but for the art.

    July 15, 2014
    • For a little museum, Columbia is pretty awesome. I’m a member there, even though it’s two hours away.

      July 15, 2014
  12. Lance #

    Grew up a Georgia Tech fan then graduated from the University Of Alabama, the football factory of the country. The four women I live with like some sports but not football and it’s tempered my former fervor. I think perspective is a lot cooler to cheer for than something played by 18-22 year-old pituitary marvels…that being said, that sounds really interesting.

    July 15, 2014
    • Too bad I didn’t write about this earlier. You could’ve stopped on your way to Myrtle Beach.

      July 15, 2014
  13. In the blink of an eye, each of us can make a snap decision which limits our personal, creative and professional growth. I’ve done it So has every other human who reads this blog. It is a continual lesson to improve ourselves.

    July 15, 2014
    • Snap decisions are what humans are programmed to do. It’s a fight against nature.

      July 15, 2014
  14. That exhibit sounds fantastic. I’d be disappointed if I didn’t find wonder in an art exhibit, whether it was my taste or not. This is why I love art. One day when you visit me in Vegas I’ll take you to the small, but burgeoning, art scene. Spending time with the artists and their work…nourishes my soul.

    July 15, 2014
    • MTM got a behind-the-scenes tour of the symphony hall when we were out there, and he was very impressed. I wish I had taken in more of that when we visited. Definitely need to come out there for hiking, eating and exploring.

      July 15, 2014
  15. Very good point. What lurks where we don’t think we want to go. That’s probably true with people sometimes, as well.

    July 15, 2014
  16. Wow. So true. I would have had the same reaction. But I’m glad it still filled your tank. I felt like that when I first heard about the ceramic cows project in Chicago. Why on earth would they go there?? But walking around the Loop and seeing how different artists decorated the cows, I had a change of art.

    July 15, 2014
  17. SURPRISE!! πŸ˜€

    Our house painter just shared a catalog of ancient artifacts (some, I’m not sure if all, Phoenician) this morning. I’m off to look them up on the Web. Who knew I’d be fascinated by such a thing?

    July 15, 2014
  18. Carlos Ovalle #

    You have a very good point about digging behind the things one doesn’t like and finding wonderful hidden stuff. It brings to mind a colleague who admires the work of Albert Speer, he can overlook what the Minister of Armaments and Hitler’s personal architect stood for and appreciate his architecture. I can’t, not with this extreme example, but as I dislike football as well and I might do a little Internet digging on that mascots exhibit.

    By the way, no football in our household, except every four years we do watch the last four games of what the rest of the world calls football and we call soccer. But we never miss a Tour de France. What extremes, on the former every little tap by an opposing player is turned into an agonizing blow, on the latter horrific accidents are bandaged up on the spot and riders make a valiant attempt to continue riding with broken bones and shredded skin.

    Mascots? If they have any we missed them.

    July 15, 2014
  19. I love college football and do drive 11 hours one way at least once a year to attend a game. Tradtion, pageantry, TBDBITL, are all a part of a fun weekend.

    July 15, 2014
    • And Jeni’s Ice Cream! Which you can now have all the time.

      July 15, 2014
  20. Not a football fan, either, but, know I would enjoy the exhibit. Nice when find something hidden in that with which we don’t want to see.

    July 15, 2014
    • We’re lucky to live so close to this little museum. It isn’t the Art Institute, but I take what I can get when I’m dry.

      July 15, 2014
  21. Assumptions. Just think if you had turned around and walked away from the museum? A creative experience lost. As for football, that is my game of passion. Perhaps not like some rabid fans, but it’s the sport I love to watch – college or professional. And living 40 miles from Green Bay, MTM can tell you that we take football as seriously as one could with cheese on our heads. Go Pack Go! πŸ˜‰

    July 15, 2014
  22. Oh yes, what would have drawn me in was the fact that they’re animals — they do some wonderful bison art around here.

    July 15, 2014
  23. Who knew? Glad you took a chance and went in.

    July 15, 2014
    • Taking chances is a vital ingredient in life.

      July 15, 2014
      • Yes but to take a chance on a museum exhibit which is related in any way to sports, is to me, courage of the highest kind. I salute you.

        July 15, 2014
  24. I love your blog and the amazing things we can find when we’re not looking. Once again our pre-conceived notions of what something should “be” get in the way of what “is.” I’m glad your side trip became a Main trip.

    July 15, 2014
  25. What a pleasant surprise and good for you for not leaving!

    July 16, 2014
  26. Saw a college game in Texas years ago Andra – great day out

    July 17, 2014
  27. I’m with you on the football tirade. My entire family is rabid over UCLA football. It eats up the entire fall. I think it’s nuts, BUT, I don’t go to the games and do my best to tune it out, too! I would probably have found this exhibit very interesting. It’s at least something quite unique. πŸ™‚

    July 19, 2014

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