By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Column: College football is back
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

I was glad to see college football return over the past few weeks. 

At the time you are reading this, we will have our first taste of Southeastern Conference football. Georgia will be playing Arkansas. 

I have never quite understood how schools like Arkansas, Missouri and Texas A&M could be considered a part of the Southeast. I also am trying to understand what portion of South Bend, Indiana is on the Atlantic Coast.

I digress.

The only thing that would make a Georgia game any better, would be hearing Larry Munson call the game. I have asked the Lord to send us a cure for the coronavirus. 

While we are waiting, he could send us back Munson for a little while. It wouldn’t cure the virus, but it would sure make us feel better. I believe that hearing Munson again could cause some of the ailing faithful to get up out of their sick beds.

It’s been 13 years since Munson last called a game. He died nine years ago. Current undergraduates at the University of Georgia were in elementary school when he was last active in the broadcast booth.

The sponsorship thing had started as Munson was in the sunset of his career. He would have hated the stuff they do now. Everything is sponsored by somebody. 

“The kicker will put his Smith Podiatry Clinic foot in the Macon Shoemakers clete as the ball is placed on the Friendly Insurance Co. 34-yard line where he will attempt a kick through the Bob’s Plumbing uprights.”

Please.

I remember the old days when an entire half of the radio game was sponsored by Texaco.

Now, we are keeping our fingers crossed that we can make it through a shortened season. Young players believe they are invincible and go out to parties where they are shoulder-to-shoulder with people. 

Then, they find out a few days later that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and will have to be quarantined. I’m glad I missed COVIDS 1-18, and I’m doing everything I can to avoid the latest one.

College football is a big business. ESPN currently has a contract with the SEC that totals $2 billion, or about $150 million per year. A major university athletic program can’t afford to be without that kind of money for very long?

Then there are the faithful. They give sizable donations to the athletic fund just for the right to buy a ticket. Then they spend thousands on food, often catered, beverages and a big screen TV to set up in the background. 

One guy has a motor home that costs more than most houses. He doesn’t sleep in it, he just drives it to the game. Whatever happened to the Country Squire station wagon and a folding card table?

As for me, I make it to a game about once every three years. I spend the next three years grousing about having to sit in the sloppy drunk section. I may not give to the athletic funds, but I give generously to the TV provider, so that I have a nice color picture of the game. I wish the TV people weren’t so bent on showing me more information than I want. I don’t care who won the Liverpool versus Madrid soccer game.

All complaining aside, I’ll be watching with the masses on Saturday. I hope we win big.

Go Dawgs!

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the weekend Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.


Regional events