Will Leitch writes a lovely piece about the benefits of playing a Charleston Southern on a Saturday in late November:
This weekend is when everything relaxes for a bit. When Georgia is hosting LSU, or Auburn, or Alabama (Oct. 3, 2015!), it is a massive, serious, all-encompassing endeavor: The crowd is jammed to the gills with bourbon, packed shoulder to shoulder and screaming for four straight hours. It’s wonderful — it’s the reason college football is so much better to watch in person than on television, the precise opposite of the NFL — but it’s certainly something you have to fortify yourself for. And it makes it impossible to soak in the beauty of sitting in Sanford Stadium and enjoying the little things, the view, the ambiance, the band, the camaraderie. You can’t hear yourself think; you can’t absorb it.
A game against Charleston Southern, coming in the middle of the closing sprint, gives you that second to absorb. It’s a game I can bring my three-year-old son to and not worry about us both getting trampled during a tight fourth-quarter back-and-forth. It’s a game it’s OK to miss a few plays while in line at concession, or just walking around the concourse and observing the stadium. It’s a game it’s OK to leave at halftime if your kid gets too cold. Sports are high-pressure for both players, and fans. Sometimes everybody needs a week off. This isn’t the best weekend for competitive college football. That doesn’t mean it can’t be the most fun, though. Everybody relax. Everybody take five.
In truth, there is something to be said for that. I’d only add a couple of thoughts. First, cupcake games, like almost everything else in life, are best enjoyed in moderation. Second, if we’re serious about enjoying the relaxed pace of a game day like tomorrow’s, a nooner kickoff sure puts a real time squeeze on those trying to savor a mellow pre-game tailgate.
Not that anybody’s going to listen to me on either point any time soon.
On a related note, here’s hoping that Jack Loonam gets his wish. I’ll be cheering for him when he hits the field.