Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Eyes of Tbilisi Are Upon You

Tbilisi, Georgia.
2:30 pm
9 hours and 30 minutes after Rose Bowl kickoff
4 hours and 30 minutes before Rose Bowl broadcast kick off at the Hangar Bar

Mobile Phone: Ring ring!
Me: Hello?
A: Hey, Susan, it's me A.
Me: Hey, A, what's going on? It's been a while!
A: Yeah, I know. What are you up to?
Me: Ah, not too much, you know, just catching up on some reading. What's going on?
A: Oh, nothing, just wanted to call and say congratulations.
Me: Oh yeah? What for?
A: For the Texas game, for uh, winning the championship.

And that's when all the yelling and the throwing of things began.

But, being the good sport that I am, I nevertheless donned my Texas shirt and trudged down to the bar to catch the game. I made sure to arrive 30 minutes before "kickoff" to secure a seat, so imagine my surprise to glance at the screen and find that the third quarter had just begun.

I started cursing and asked the next both of patrons when they had started screening the game.

"Oh, it was about--" they stopped mid-sentence, glaring at my burnt orange shirt. "Oh I don't think we can tell you." And then, the woman, she hissed at me.

"What, California?" I sneered down my nose.


Oh God. Two booths worth of Aggies in the place. And a lone contractor from Galveston saddled belly-up to the bar, helping me decipher ref signals and remembering college regulations from pro. Though, to their credit, the Aggies mostly rooted for Texas. "What?" said one. "Are we really going to cheer for California over a Texas team? California's like Raisin Bran! Full of fruits and nuts!"

Well, the glory of the game was only partly spoiled by foreknowledge. I watched those fine moments, and it was very clear to me that I would be very tense if I didn't already know what happened. And sure, last two minutes, I was standing stock-straight next to my bar stool screaming at the television and jumping up and down and howling like a banshee, and after it was all over and I climbed back off my stool, I was only too happy to accept the handshakes and congratulations from my fellow patrons.

Well, it's not how I would have scripted my viewing, but I'll take it. What else is there to say?

Hook 'em!!


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