Saturday, November 14, 2009

A fine football day in Nashville

Well, I finally got to do it again! Attend a Vanderbilt University Commodores football game. While I was a graduate student at the University I probably attended most home football games, and in the years before and after probably attended one or two a year. But today was my FIRST since I returned at the end of July '08.

Yesterday while contemplating what all were possible on a rare Saturday off from work, I got a wild hair and decided that I'd go to the game, stopping by the Lambda Chi Alpha house on the way. The Brothers were having a "tailgate party" on the from lawn, as were the other Greek houses nearby. The sun was bright and warm but the air wasn't hot. It was "chamber-of-commerce weather", for sure!

Football Saturdays on the Vandy Greek Row are certainly different from what they were on the Idaho Greek Row! For one thing, most of the LCA Brothers (and other "frat rats") were wearing dress shirts and neckties; some also sported blazers or suit coats. However, a few of these with shirts and ties also sported Bermuda-type shorts and/or sandals! Strange.

Also, they had a couple of games going on: a bean toss and a game involving knocking empty beer cans off poles with a Frisbee. One of the Actives (undergraduate Brothers) talked me into a challenge at "beer bat" (I think it was called). This involved taking a slim hollow plastic bat with the large end removed, filling it with a can's worth of beer, chugging it, then dancing in a circle in the same spot (to the count of five, if I remember correctly), then trying to bat an empty beer can. Well, the dancing in a circle almost did me onto the ground -- whew! such dizziness! -- but I stayed upright and then actually hit the can tossed at me. This really seemed to please the Actives!

Nobody seemed anxious to head over to the stadium, Dudley Field, even after the game had been under way for a quarter hour, so I excused myself and walked on over. When I inquired at the nearest gate about whether there were tickets available for sale, one of the ticket-takers offered me an extra that an earlier attendee had given him. So I got in for free!

Just after I got into the bleachers the Commodores kicked a field goal (I could have caught the football had I made a little effort to move a very short distance and get my hands up but just didn't feel like it), to trail 3 to 7. On their next drive they added another field goal, and with little over two minutes left before the half scored a touchdown, to lead 13 to 10!

Halftime activities included an "appearance" by "The Beatles" for about a verse and chorus from one of their smash hits of the Sixties, and recognition of band seniors who had just played their final halftime show. Later in the second half, a champion bowler from VU was recognized, too.

But the Kentucky Wildcats pretty much controlled the second half, and beat my 'Dores 24-13. Even with the final score, I still felt good about being there at the game. I mean, the weather was so perfectly football-type weather. And participating in the Lambda Chi Alpha "tailgate party" had been such a fun prelude!

All in all, a fine football Saturday here in the "Athens of the South"!

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