So, I bought a puppy at a school fundraising auction Sunday.
Upon sharing the news with my mother, she asked in an all-too-familiar tone, “What on earth were you thinking?!?”
She then suggested I name the puppy after her childhood dog, Boudreaux Brown, “Bou” for short (pronounced “Boo” for those not raised in south Louisiana).
Her question is one I hear often from loved ones, friends, and my internal Banter monologue: What were you thinking?!?
For example, I recently played a 195-yard par-3 over water, stiff breeze into me, and I chose to hit a 5-iron.
Kerplunk, straight into the drink. What was I thinking?
I ordered pizza using the Domino’s app the other day. It’s quite neat, with that pizza tracker and whatnot.
As I neared checkout, the app asked the following question, one that still haunts me: “Extra cheese on your pizza today?”
After careful deliberation, I clicked “No thanks.” What on earth was I thinking?!?
My own struggles answering this question aside, I have several Banter stand-ins across the South to help me gauge the temperature of SEC fans, help me know what they’re thinking.
These stand-ins are my SEC spies, if you will, who constantly feed me inside SEC scoops. Careful though – they might try to sell you a puppy.
Here’s what SEC fans are thinking with two – just two! – games remaining in the regular season.
SEC Fans in General and All of College Football: We’ve seen this movie before.
Georgia Fans: We got a shot at ‘Bama if Tua doesn’t... ah, whatever, we got no shot.
Florida Fans: Lose to Kentucky for the first time since 1986, beat LSU, lose to Mizzou, barely beat South Carolina. This season is bumpier than an alligator’s tail.
South Carolina: Yeah, we’re a serial 7-5 or 8-4 team, but it’s no sweat because we have a cool state flag and care more about eating and drinking and Charleston and the beach and Garden & Gun.
Tennessee: We might be bowl eligible! Nothing beats Memphis on New Year’s Eve in the Liberty Bowl against a pathetic Big 12 team!
Missouri: Resisting the strong sarcasm urge, I note the Tigers can finish a respectable 8-4 if they win out, and both remaining contests are on CBS’ SEC broadcast package, providing nice exposure for the Mizzou program.
Kentucky: We’re all in for the Wildcats’ best football season in a generation! Wait, we lost to lowly Tennessee last week 24-7? What time’s tipoff in Rupp Arena?
Vanderbilt: Sure, we’re 1-5 in the conference, but we beat Tennessee State 31-27 earlier this year, so take that!
Alabama: We’ve seen this movie before but if we don’t act it out again, Coach Saban will yell at us, tell us we’re bad fans, and we don’t like that.
LSU: We aren’t sure what our coach is saying or whether he can even coach football, but we’ll take an 8-2 record.
Auburn: Fire Gus Malzahn! (He has a $32 million buyout, proving pure negligence on the part of Auburn’s administration.)
Mississippi State: Who wants my tickets for Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against Arkansas? Offered at $75 each. Okay, $50. $25? Just take them.
Ole Miss: We’re terrible, but hey, the Egg Bowl is on Thanksgiving night and we get to spend all day in the Grove, thank you very much.
Arkansas: My SEC Banter stand-in/spy refuses to spend any more time in Fayetteville, Ark., so I got nothing.
Texas A&M: We Agriculturals can win eight games this regular season, meaning with Jimbo Fisher’s $7.5 million annual salary, each win will have cost us just under $1 million.
If you’re not thinking along these lines about your SEC team, let me know and I’m happy to consider a correction in exchange for a nice steak dinner.
Meanwhile, my new puppy just soiled the rug and I owe the vet $575 for a three-minute check-up. What was I thinking?!?
Ben Prevost writes SEC Banter during the college football season. He can be reached at SECbanter@hotmail.com