This is a guest article by author James Ross. Readers know James Ross as an avid golfer, but golf is not his only love. He also likes the world of College Football. I asked James what the denizens of his fictitious Prairie Winds Gold Course had to say on the subject. Enjoy…..
“This is the prettiest time of the year to play golf,” Fred said to Julie as he entered the clubhouse. “Load up a hot dog with ketchup, mustard and relish for me.” His girth suggested that the request would only be an appetizer.

One by one the guys followed him through the door until the number reached fourteen. “Did you guys play two fivesomes today?” J Dub asked as he reached for the remote control. “What’s your football game for the day?”

“Can you get the Alabama – Georgia game?”

“There’s nothing like college town USA on a football Saturday,” Scotty P said. The live-in lover of Father Alphonso Blair was a big football fan. It seemed odd but such is life. “Walking through Tuscaloosa on game day puts goose bumps on your body.”

“How about you Captain Jer?” Julie asked as she placed the hot dog in front of Fred.

“I want a Bud Light.”

“I know that!” Julie shot back. “Have you been to any college campuses on football Saturday?”

“Are you kidding me? With the wings I can fly anywhere.”

“What’s your favorite?”

“The atmosphere at ‘The Swamp’ is charged up?”

“Where’s that?”

“Gainesville, Florida. The students and fans have perfected the gator chomp.”

“What else have you seen?”

Captain Jer reveled in the attention that the impromptu discussion generated. His golf game didn’t merit any excitement. “Seeing the twelfth man in College Station, Texas is intimidating. The fans stand the whole game.” He took a generous sip. “Watching Ralphie run on the field in Boulder, Colorado is a charge.”

“What’s that?” Julie tried.

“A 1300 pound bison.” The retired pilot smiled. “You’ve seen all my souvenir sweatshirts, haven’t you?”

“I figured you were well traveled.”

“I am!”

“And you’re a football fan too?” Julie always was puzzled by everything that Captain Jer represented.

“I go there for the experience.”

“What is it — another stop on you drinking tour?” Pork Chop interrupted. The guys laughed.
Captain Jer grinned and raised his can in the air. “I’m living my bucket list. There’s the Touchdown Jesus mural on Notre Dame’s library that overlooks their stadium in South Bend. You have to see it and the all gold football helmets. Then you have the ‘Big House’ in Ann Arbor that seats over a hundred thousand people. You need to experience the big jump between the third and fourth quarters in Madison, Wisconsin and see the Purdue band wheel out the largest drum in the world.”

“You’re a lucky guy,” Julie admitted. She was never surprised when he went into stories about his worldwide travels.

“The tailgate party on Lake Washington is unique. The University of Washington stadium looks over that. Watching the Seminole warrior ride on horseback to midfield and throw his flaming spear into the turf is off the chart. And I can’t stop until I mention the world’s largest cocktail party in Jacksonville, Florida before the game between Georgia and Florida.”

“I’m sure that was right up your alley.”

“That reminds me.” He smiled. “I need a refill.” He gave Julie an empty and she was quick to replenish.

“Any others?”

“You have to see the dotting of the ‘i’ in Columbus, Ohio.”

“What do you mean?”

“The band scrolls out ‘Ohio’ and a tuba player dots it.” He took a drink. “I can go on and on.”

“We’re not stopping you.”

“There’s the boats docked on the Tennessee River in Knoxville.” He paused to reflect. “And of course I can’t forget Bevo the longhorn in Austin, Texas.” After another sip he continued, “You need to check out the ramblin’ wreck in Georgia Tech and watch Donald Duck ride a Harley onto the field in Eugene, Oregon.”

“How do you find time to golf?”

“In my younger days I didn’t play as much. You’ve got UGA the bulldog in Athens, Georgia as well as the cowbells at Mississippi State, LSU’s Bengal tiger in Baton Rouge and the white out at Penn State. I can go on and on.”

“You’ll go through a six-pack telling us about your college campus adventures.”

Captain Jer nodded. “I very well could. You have to see the sea of red in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Sooner Schooner in Norman, Oklahoma. It’s a charge to see the Clemson football team touch Howard’s Rock. You haven’t been anywhere until you’ve listened to the pig sooie chant in Fayetteville, Arkansas.” He paused to take another drink. “Just listening to the songs alone at all the venues is another story.”

“Okay. We get the picture,” Julie conceded. Even though she could listen to his stories all day there was work to do. “Give us your favorite.”

“All of them are, but I’m partial to the Trojan horse at USC with all the tan legged song girls dressed in their white sweaters.”

“Somehow I’m not surprised by that.”

“Then in Oxford there’s ‘The Grove’ at Ole Miss. That’s one non-stop tent party.”

“That fits your character too.”

“My favorite would have to be watching the students at the annual Army – Navy game. They are required to attend and the precession of cadets and midshipmen marching to their seats will make a giant tear or two roll down your cheek. It’s a humbling experience.”

“Jer,” Julie sighed, “I didn’t know you had feelings like that in you.”
I am delighted that James Ross has decided to share the scuttlebutt from the back booth of The Prairie Winds Clubhouse.

You can find out more about James Ross from his web site and of course his books are available at better bookstores everywhere, or through Amazon at James Ross

Simon Barrett

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