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SEC Banter: On pom poms, adult jersey wearers and more
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Ben Prevost writes SEC Banter weekly for The Times during the college football season.

Longtime SEC Banter readers regard this column as a place for serious Xs and Os analysis, data-driven statistical breakdowns, and intense film study.

This week, however, with just one real SEC game on tap in Texas A&M vs. Georgia, Banter will lighten it up a bit and offer observations on that most interesting of creatures: the SEC football fan, plus a little lagniappe (Cajun translation: a little something extra).

On Pom Poms

These last few weeks during SEC on CBS broadcasts, I've noticed a proliferation of fans waving pom poms in the stands.

You might call them "shakers" if you're guilty of waving them, but let's be real — they're pom poms.

Alabama fans have historically waved pom poms, and they were out in full force during the LSU game. Then, last Saturday, they were all over Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Auburn-UGA game.

I just don't get it. Pom poms don't make noise. They don't intimidate the visiting team. You think offensive lineman at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds look up in the stands and think, "My God, the pom poms! Not the POM POMs!!"

Here's Banter's pom pom rule: you may use pom poms in the stands if you're 12 and under or a grandma 80 and older. No exceptions.

On Jerseys

I've also noticed an uptick in grown men sporting jerseys to football games. These are 40, 50, hell, 60-year-old men wearing jerseys of 18-year-old college players.

What are these guys thinking? If they affirmatively decide to walk out of the house wearing a jersey, imagine what other horrible decisions they're making.

Banter's jersey rule: you may wear a jersey if you're 12 and under or you are a mother whose son is an active player on the team.

While I'm on the subject of attire, I note some fans are sartorially challenged because (a) they have no fashion sense to begin with, (b) their team's colors are tough to pull off (think South Carolina here; garnet and black with a chicken logo is rough), or both (a) and (b).

Might I suggest shirts and ever-versatile quarter-zip pullovers from my friend Peter Millar? Pedro's collection of collegiate gear is tasteful, subtle, and comfortable.

Take it from me — I'm an LSU fan, and it's damn hard to pull off purple and gold, and even more difficult to be subtle while trying.

On Beverages

The heart of fall means we're well into brown liquor season.

I'm in a bourbon and ginger ale kinda mood, and if you're not, odds are you're a nerd or, worse, not a college football fan.

It's a highly difficult cocktail to mix: cup, ice, bourbon, ginger ale. Boom.

A good Yeti rambler serves to keep your beverage cold but, even better, try a styrofoam cup. My neighbor always shows up to gatherings well-prepared with a huge styro filled with something good.

On Timing of Thanksgiving Dinner

This is perhaps the most contentious issue in my marriage. I grew up having Thanksgiving dinner in mid-afternoon (in my family, dinner was lunch and supper was dinner).

My wife grew up eating Thanksgiving dinner around 6 or 7 p.m., which I cannot fathom, though to her credit, she attributes the late start to an annual touch football game played in the afternoon.

This year, I suggest a mid-afternoon dinner so you can settle in that evening to catch the New Orleans Saints feast on some Dirty Bird Atlanta Falcons.

Gratuitous Reference to 80s Football Movies

An entire Banter could be devoted to great football movies of the 1980s.

Everybody's All-American, Lucas, and All the Right Moves come to mind.

But I'm going with Wildcats, starring Goldie Hawn as coach of an inner-city high school football team down on its luck but high on spirit.

"U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi, you're UGLY, your mama said you're UGLY, hey!"

Have a great November college football weekend. In the meantime, I see an ugly 55-year-old dude in a South Carolina jersey waving a pom pom. I'm guessing he eats Thanksgiving dinner at 7 p.m.

I've got work to do.


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