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SEC Banter: Recent anthem protests give reason for pause
The Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem before an NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday in Glendale, Ariz. - photo by AP photo

I can sit idly by no longer. Recent events have given me great pause, and I’ve reflected deeply over the “stand or kneel” debate that’s swept the nation.

As I write these words, I do so with the full understanding that my decision may alienate some SEC Banter fans, especially longtime readers. But difficult times call for difficult decisions.

That’s why, after a particularly intense 3/4 mile jog followed by banging out 14 push-ups, I mustered up the courage to stand instead of take a knee.

No cameras, no spotlight, no sensational media captured the moment.  But I did it.  I stood despite the heavy toll that 8 minute jog took on me, not to mention the push-ups; I wanted to quit after five of those darn things.

You may have noticed recently that our national treasure — football — has been poisoned by politics.  Good grief, can’t we just all enjoy a football game without this nonsense?

In these crazy times, the answer is apparently no.  The result is that, while so far confined to the NFL, the whole thing feels spoiled.

But hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  I’ll stand or take a knee, depending on the circumstances.

I’ll stand for the Alabama Crimson Tide, clearly still the cream of the SEC crop.  Plus, I’m afraid what Nick Saban would do if I took a knee.

I’ll kneel, however, for Vanderbilt.  A 59-0 beat-down at home will teach you not to say silly things like “we want Bama.”

I guess I’ll stand for Georgia, the conference’s second-best team after four weeks.  With steady improvement they could make the SEC Championship game against Alabama at least mildly interesting.

I’m taking a big-time knee in this late September heat.  For Heaven’s sake, it’s the South and all, but can’t we get a little fall chill in the air?

I’ll stand for some darn good corn souffle’ I had the other night.  Not sure if it was the ridiculous amount of melted butter or sour cream that did it, but this was “slap-yer-mama” good.

You’ll find me taking a knee on the soccer field this weekend, in protest of whoever schedules my daughters’ soccer games.  We have a 9:00 a.m. game and a 4:15 p.m. game Saturday.

4:15 p.m. soccer on a fall Saturday should be banned, period, and I call on President Trump to issue an executive order to that effective immediately.

I’ll stand up proudly for the best new tradition in college football.  I’m not sure the word “Iowa” has ever found the pages of SEC Banter, but go ahead and Google “Iowa wave Kinnick Stadium” and watch the videos that come up. Trust me.

I refuse to stand for the SEC’s schedule this week.  Only one match-up between ranked teams (No. 24 Miss. St. at No. 13 Auburn), and squads like New Mexico State and Eastern Michigan and Troy litter the schedule. Sad!

Whether you stand or kneel, I hope we muster through this mess, like Americans tend to do. I hope football, in all its goodness and glory, gets back to football.

In the meantime, it’s past my girls’ bedtime and they refuse to go to bed. I protest!