Friday, September 02, 2005

University of Alabama Football Report for 9/2/05: Season Kick-off Edition

Here’s the deal: The waters have risen. Gunmen roam the streets of the Big Easy. The cops who haven’t turned in their badges watch the bodies of the poor float by and heed their marching orders. The recovery’s over; protect the stores.

Heaven helps those who help themselves.

You’re just as likely to hear that spittle slip through the lips of a Red Cross volunteer as you are a looter. You can’t afford to drive your car anywhere, you’re living in a football stadium for saints in the city of sin, and you wait your turn on a bus headed for, God help you, Texas.

Then, on a small battery-powered TV you see the President. He praises his staff for their excellent response and scolds the people who didn’t vote for him. Thankfully, a gun’s fired somewhere behind you and you don’t have to hear the rest.

You’re learning something about your country, hombre. More and more things you thought were yours don’t belong to you at all. This is a luxury liner continent and you happen to live in steerage. If you were lucky enough to be born a chain outlet instead of the poor slob you are, you’d have someone to look after your interests.

But you’re a renter in the world of owners and sometimes things that should make sense don’t. The man behind you lost his house but he’s stealing a plasma TV. At least his kids are swiping fishing rods and cans of chili, so there’s hope.

If those kids make it, one day they’ll tell this story to no one in particular and if they can run 40 yards fast enough or put on enough weight before they’re 17, then a man from a university will pretend to give a damn and take them away so they can fulfill the need of lesser maniacs to cheer when the right color of jersey makes a good play.

But you can wait for that. What you can’t wait for is the moment when everyone who could escape your city comes back and expects things to be the same. You don’t know what you’ll do then, but just like the storm, you know you’ll be there to see it.