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SEC Banter: College football a great distraction from angst of the real world
Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough (9) runs over Florida defensive back Chauncey Gardner (23) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship on Dec. 3 in Atlanta. - photo by AP photo

Enough with protests, floods, protesters protesting other protesters, North Korea, the eclipse (oversold in my book), sensational media, Washington, DC ineffectiveness, cowardly terrorists, and 97-percent humidity.

Our country — heck, the whole world — is a big hot mess and everyone is certifiably loony.

Mercifully, however, at the most opportune time, college football is here.

Enough with all the real-world drama and distraction. I am ready for college football’s drama and distraction. I am ready for the great escape.

I’m ready for cool, crisp afternoons in college towns across the South. Cool, crisp afternoons on a porch with the game on will do just fine, too.

I’m ready for a well-mixed cocktail and home-cooked tailgate food. Get them both going a good 5 or 6 hours before kickoff.

I’m ready for libations and Southern cookin’ surrounded by friends and family, because the great escape of college football is best enjoyed with those who matter most.

I’m ready for trumpets and trombones and drums and girls twirling batons and waving flags and tons of other ridiculous pomp and circumstance.

I’m ready for live animals in stadiums or just outside them. Dogs with names like Uga and Smokey and Reveille, a bald eagle flying free around 85,000 fans, steers and buffaloes and horses running across football fields, a Bengal tiger welcoming visitors to Death Valley.

Give me touchdowns and interceptions and fumbles and big plays and high-fives with the guy next to you who you’ve never met and may never see again, but is your best friend for the next 3 hours because he, too, is part of the great escape.

I’m ready for season-defining wins when your team is in the hunt for glory. You can’t consume enough media about how this could be the year. You feel connected to the team, as if the Coors Light and wings you pounded on Saturday willed the team to victory.

I’m even ready for season-crushing losses when don’t dare read a single word about those overrated bunch of losers. Your fall is now open for more productive and less energy-sucking endeavors than silly college football.

Since no one talks on the phone anymore, I’m ready for texts: lots and lots of texts from buddies I haven’t talked to in years but who stay in touch during college football season because, well, college football.

I’m ready for nonstop tunes and flicks from the 1980s. They have absolutely nothing to do with college football, but they remind me of my childhood and darn it if I don’t miss it.

I’m ready for the passion and pageantry. The spectacle of the greatest sport in America.

Give me all of this and more: college football. I am ready for you. I am ready for the great escape.

Ben Prevost writes SEC Banter each week during the college football season. He can be reached at

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