Here are the top 10 reasons women love SEC football:
10. Cooler temperatures come with football season. The men in our lives sweat less and smell better.
9. Even when the Dawgs choke on a chicken bone, a bad day in Athens (Oxford, Knoxville, Tuscaloosa, pick your place) beats a beautiful day in Aruba, Vail or Bermuda.
8. We can count on our husbands to skip work on Saturdays. They know better than to make important decisions or sign vital documents while under game-day anesthesia. Ladies enjoy Power of Attorney for a full 12 hours each weekend.
7. During football season, optimism reigns supreme.
If their team starts out ranked in the top 25, men fall into believing that somehow, some way, their alma mater will make it to the NCAA championship bowl game. They thrill at watching flukes like Appalachian State embarrassing Michigan and Kentucky licking Louisville. They follow the national polls, marking the rise and fall of every school. They get wound up in convoluted logic like if so-and-so loses to so-and-so but wins over so-and-so and we then trump so-and-so, we have a Vegas chance.
If their team loses its SEC opener, men buoyantly remark, to us, their beloved confidants, "Well, look at it this way. We blew the biggest game of our season right off the bat. Now we don't have the stress of worrying something quirky might happen and we'll end up No. 1 or 2 in the nation. We can relax and I can go hunting more."
Either way, with his head buried in ESPN, or with his body sitting in a deer stand, he won't notice the decorator you hired to redo the house.
6. Football season is a dynamic process, during which attitudes and allegiances and allegations fluctuate week to week. Before the kickoff of the Georgia vs. South Carolina debacle in 2006, my husband threw all things burgundy into the doghouse. After the game, however, he said: a) he would never again wear the shirt he had on, and b) he hoped South Carolina won the rest of their games.
After next Saturday the fight song will have a different tune. But change keeps life interesting.
5. It's marriage therapy. Four months of the year, September through December, the emotional upheavals awarded us by UGA football bind my husband and I together in holy mutual discord.
4. Tailgating, i.e., eating, drinking, yelling, "How 'bout them Dawgs," walking an aerobic mile to and from the stadium, then eating, drinking, and yelling, "How 'bout them Dawgs," some more, is on every girl's diet.
3. Nothing resonates more lyrical than the voices of Southeastern Conference commentators and coaches on a Saturday afternoon in September, even when they say things as intelligent as a South Carolina teen beauty-queen. Each phrase, said in a Southern gentleman's drawl, pleases the ear more than Mozart.
2. Every dark cloud has a red-and-black lining (blue and orange, yellow and purple, or whatever, depending on the team) backed by green folding money. When Georgia loses, I blame it on my outfit, which I then vow never to wear again. Thus, a groom-endorsed, retail pick-me-up to purchase team-color clothes with better karma stitched in always follows defeat. Big grin.
Beaus even express opinions stronger than, "Yeah, sure. Looks good. Get it. I'll wait on this bench." Each takes an intense interest in selecting garments that match the team color-swatch in his pocket.
And finally (Drum roll, please):
1. If there's a better feeling, a better pastime, a better high than rallying around SEC football, God must have saved it for himself!
(Lucy Adams is a syndicated columnist, freelance writer and author of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny. She lives in Thomson. Lucy invites readers to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and to visit her Web site, www.IfMama.com.)