If a football game is played in a practically empty forest, will anyone notice? Well, after attending the ’Bama/Texas A&M game Saturday, I can definitively say, “yes.”
In these strange days, attending a game can oddly be convenient. Traffic in Tuscaloosa last Saturday was easier to navigate than an average Tuesday morning through downtown Alex City. Our crew pulled in right next to a usually packed restaurant, sat down immediately and received our beers and food quicker than a Jaylen Waddle post route.
We then parked about 1,000 yards from the stadium, had no crowds to wade through and stretched out comfortably in our seats all game long. When the game was over, we quickly hopped in the car and made our way back to Birmingham in time for the Auburn/ Georgia game kick-off. Bada bing, bada boom.
However, I missed the atmosphere of a true college football game. There was no palpable buzz reverberating through campus as there would be for a normal opening home game and the piped-in crowd noise has the same mundane effect as the laugh track from a 1970s sitcom.
Don’t get me wrong; I will take football anyway I can get it. Poorly attended football is better than no football at all, right? It also helps Alabama’s offense is putting up staggering numbers. You cannot go to the bathroom when the Tide has the ball because a big play could happen at any moment. Just think: If these attendance restrictions were in place during a Gene Stallings era, it would essentially be gridiron melatonin.
My point is, next year when we (hopefully) have a vaccine for this pandemic and football stadiums are once again filled to the brim, I will be sure to appreciate the moment.
Yes, the assigned seats are too narrow for today’s American backsides. Yes, the bathroom troughs have stains with colors not normally found in nature. And, yes, you have to pay $50 to park in a stranger’s driveway, but I now know I need to appreciate those little inconveniences.