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Gravel Gertie's Got Football

Laws, I've been getting tons of mail asking how to deal with football viewing, tailgate eatin', and bleacher fellowship. Read on!

Hi Gert,

Can you tell me the real reason football players wear the black paint on their cheekbones when playing a game? I always thought it was to reduce the glare of the sun or the night lights.

Thanks, Bear M

Hi there Bear! I think that long ago, some young men were tossing around a pig's bladder in Granny's back yard when one of them fell into a cow pile head-first as a pass was being tossed his way.

He must've jumped up, looked into the afternoon sun, plucked that bladder right out of the sky, and ran for a touch down next to the barn. Grinning triumphantly, the others were amazed (and partially frightened by the contrast of his bright yellow teeth and white eyes to the dark brown/green of the manure).

From then on, the bladder gave way to the football, and the manure gave way to the face paint. To this day, face paint cuts down on the glare of the lights, plus gives the player a frightening look. Even fans have picked up this face paint habit, I reckon to intimidate dates, other fans, and cameramen every where.

Dear Gertie,

Football season is coming up and my yungest boy is playing for the Wildcats this year. He ain't never played before and the coach says he has to get a cup. What is this cup and what's he s'posed to do with it? Is there a speshal drink for it? My other boys never took up with that kind of sport cause they always hunted and fished. Rayford always has been kindly backwards tho. Can you help me out?

Josephine in Murfreesboro

Hidy Josephine! A cup for football? Dang, them Wildcats must hit hard there in Murfreesboro! Ok, first of all, let me enlighten you on a man. His most prized possession is his wanger; he takes great measures to make sure it stays safe. When you are fighting with Maynard and you throw a plate at him, what does he protect? Yup. His harvey. Now, when the game of football is going on, those fellers are trying to get to the ball and they'll knock down anybody that gets in their way. They can't catch the ball if they're runnin' around holding themselves, so wearing a cup gives them a sense of security and they can run, hit, and dance all they can. For more on cups, read this little column on masculine appliances.

Hey Gert,

Allus noticed that them football players is touchin' each others back side, like when they line up for the snap and the quarterback practically puts his hand up the center's back side, or they make a touchdown and all slap each others back sides. Are these guys -- well -- "all right?"

Booger from Texas

Hi Booger! I got an uncle named Booger, but I bet you got more teeth than he does. Anyway, I asked some of my beer-drinkin' buddies, Bubba and Clyde; you know 'em -- in high school they were lean, handsome, popular jocks and now they're fat, crabby, and in middle management at the mill. They re-lived their heyday and proudly gave me the low-down on this butt thang. I found out that during a play, all the quarterback has on his mind is the ball. "Get-it-got-it-throw-it," is what he's thinking (kinda like how Aint Edna shops for Vienna Sausages at the Piggly Wiggly). The quarterback ain't grossed out that the ball is under another feller's butt -- no way. Feminine hygiene products gross out guys.

Now, when a touchdown is scored, team mates have to celebrate and they way they do it is by slapping other players in a place where they can feel it. The football uniform has paddin' everywhere except on the butt. I like it that way, too. Clyde swears up and down, "There ain't nuthin' seckshual goin' on. Hell far, this is serious, this is football. I get to feelin' seckshual when I'm doin' somethin' like visitin' the dirt track with Earline or somethin'." So now we know.

Hey Gert,

This next week, Tennessee plays Mississippi State and we're meeting my cousin (who is real uppity) out for some tailgating. I want to look refined. For the first course, we're having cheese curls and Vienna Sausages, next we're eating slaw from Winn Dixie, and the main course is Aunt Beth's famous ribs that I'm grilling myself. So tell me, what wine would I serve?

Judy from Augusta

Hey Judy! What I'd so is offer sweet tea and to impress your cousin, have some Night Train chilling in an Igloo cooler. You can never go wrong with Miller Lite, sugar.

Dear Gertie,

Is it good manners to slap a University of Florida fan if she is in the wrong section and she keeps hollering really loud?

Cayla in Carrolton

Cayla, it's always proper to slap a Florida fan.

Gravel Gertie,

Which goes best with cold fried chicken when tailgating? Potato salad or egg salad?

Alexis in Auburn

Alexis, if you're gonna be drinkin' lots of beer, make some tater salad, else make egg salad. Why? Beer + egg salad = bad gas.

Dear Gert,

I always go to the Iron Bowl with the guys, but this year I have a steady girlfriend. Should I take her?

Bob from Bama

Hidy, Bob. If your girlfriend likes to wear face paint, then take her. Else, buy her a Wal-mart gift card, a dozen carnations, and tell her "Sorry, baby."

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