by Whitley Clifton | October 17, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: October 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm
Writing a column weeks before publication has disadvantages. Especially at this time of year when two sports are vying for your attention. As I compose this in mid-September, baseball teams are pushing to reach the World Series. Football season is in full swing, and win-loss records are predicting playoffs. On the date you are reading these words, you will probably already know some of the answers.
I strive to keep my writing nonpartisan, for readers each have their own favorites. I can do that with most subjects—but not with sports. The Braves and Yellow Jackets always have first place in my heart.
Loyalty to Atlanta goes way, way back to sitting on the front porch with my father and neighbors listening to games of the Atlanta Crackers from a radio propped in an open window and plugged into an inside outlet. Even today, I sentimentally call them the Atlanta Crackers. For several years Greenville, SC was a farm team for the Braves. My husband and I were great fans of a very young, third baseman named Chipper Jones. Perhaps, you heard of him later.
My interest in football was mainly the SHS Tigers until I met a Rambling Wreck from Arkansas. From that moment on, it was all Yellow Jackets. We saw championships and Bowl Games in the glory days of Coach Bobby Dodd.
Now I am surrounded by Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks (even in my own family), but I proudly display my Yellow Jacket flag throughout the season.
My attention span is just too short to sit and watch games, but I keep up with my teams. As I drink my morning coffee, I turn to the sports page to check on the Braves. On this day, they have clinched their division and a playoff berth. HURRAY HURRAY!!
When a Tech game is televised on my limited channels, I watch sporadically to hear the band play Rambling Wreck and to see Buzz.
Two other teams have been added to my favorites list. Georgia Southern that I knew as Georgia Teachers College is now a football power. What a thrill to have them come to Greenville, play Furman University and win. My alma mater, Georgia State, was University of Georgia, Atlanta Division in my student days. A football team did not seem a part of their future. Now the Georgia State Panthers are on a winning streak and have defeated Furman and Tennessee.
As you are reading this, results are final and World Series teams are ready. I always have faith that this is the year for the Braves to bring the championship home to Atlanta.
Probably the Yellow Jackets will have won some and lost some, but I will have had the thrill of hearing Rambling Wreck and seeing Buzz.
I have heard that sports bring us together even though we are often rivals. One thing is certain. In the fall, this encourages many heated conversations. It’s nice to win, and sad to lose. Don’t forget that it is just a game and will be played again next year.
Write to Shirley at firstname.lastname@example.org