This column is not about Saturday

Mark Hammontree

Something terrible happened Saturday, but I’m not going to let myself think about it. Instead I’m going to think about happy things.

For example, on Sunday, I drove up to Birmingham to watch the U.S. Women’s National Team play one of their World Cup Victory Tour matches. It was a dominant performance, and before halftime, our champions had scored five goals against the Haitian national team. It was nice being able to watch a talented group of athletes play to their potential, unlike, you know, our football team. Also, there were a lot of damn Ole Miss fans at the game. I just can’t believe that happened.

Sorry. I slipped a little there.

Anyway, I also got to cat-sit my brother and sister-in-law’s cats a couple weeks ago, and cats are great. See, the thing with cats is that they are dependable. You can always count on cats to do cat things. They’ll hide from you at first, and then they’ll come rub up against you. Maybe they’ll ask you to rub their belly.

You know what they won’t do? Throw the 
ball repeatedly into the hands of the defense.

Sorry. Sorry.

So, happy things. Blue Bell came back. That’s definitely happy. There’s just no other ice cream that can quite compare to Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla. That feeling you get when you dip the scoop into a fresh carton is sort of like the complete opposite feeling of losing to Ole Miss at home in a game you should have won.

Barbecue is a great and happy thing. I had some good barbecue the other day – from Full Moon, I believe, with some of that yummy chow-chow. It was Saturday now that I think about it. Nevermind.

It’s no use. Nothing can ease the pain of that loss. The despair and bitterness will linger on for the rest of the season, and nothing will really make it
 go away.

Sure, that sounds dramatic. But it’s also very true for a good number of students at this university. Football is important to us, and we become very much affected by wins and losses of our football team. Sure we take it too far a lot of the time, and sure, we aren’t always gracious in victory, much less defeat.

But I’m not going to apologize for any of it. I love football, and I hate losing. And sure, it’s a game, but it’s not just a game. It’s also a very large part of life for many students, alumni and fans.

So, if you see me wallowing or perhaps occasionally bursting out into expletive-ridden mutterings, just let me be. Or join me. Grief is 
a process, and mine might last a while.

Mark Hammontree is a senior majoring in 
 secondary education – language arts. His column runs 
weekly.