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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Ready fer Football?....

Ery Ya Ready fer Sum Football?

Well, it's official, Nashville opened a new football stadium and is now a major league city with a REAL football team and a REAL stadium. I attended the opening game the other night and it was certainly like nothing I've ever seen - more like a country music video production than a sporting event -- but then, this IS Nashville, and it isn't as if we've never seen show biz before.

Yep, it was definitely big time entertainment stuff. Four hundred media people there, and 65,700 fans. Even ESPN showed up. E-S-P-N -that's another word for Every Screaming Person in Nashville. The stadium holds 67,700 and it was a sellout. I kept worrying about where the other 2000 were. "Yawl hurry up - somebody's gonna get your seat! Don't yawl care?" Probably stuck in the traffic outside or still waiting for the shuttle parade to get thru.

Or maybe they just figured like my son, who gave away his ticket to me, that a pre season game wasn't worth worrying about, and he'd rather go to St. Louis and watch the Cardinals play baseball!

If you read my column at Super Bowl time last year, you know what kind of fan I am and probably wonder what I was doing there. I'm not sure myself except, like I said, the ticket was free - my favorite word. Since I work downtown anyhow, it was just a short walk across the Cumberland River bridge to the coliseum.

There were droves of people walking; seems planners forgot about building a parking garage and are running shuttles to remote cow pastures all over Tennessee. They do things like that here. Same story at the new arena. Probably still people circling out there looking for a parking place. But, what I really hadn't figured on was those stadium ramps. Climbed for what seemed like an hour, passing mountain goats and weather balloons, till I finally made it to my premium priced seat in the lower stratosphere.

I came prepared to hate the game -- but turns out it was really just a flashy, well-staged show. Football was kinda the extra added attraction. There were fantastic scoreboards at each end of the field with slick video productions, rock music, and a light screen that told the crowd when to do the wave -- football fans not being smart enough to figure it out on their own.

There were giant inflated football figure balloons, sexy cheerleaders, a raccoon mascot, video close-ups of fans being fans, and everything was flashed on the big screen. Faith Hill, a country music star, sang the national anthem and a genuine bald eagle from a Tennessee wildlife refuge was released and soared over the crowd. (Even our wildlife is show biz here.) Country stars were flashed on the video screen to endorse and cheer the team, and Hank Williams, Jr. screamed, "Ere ya ready fer sum football?" The crowd roared.

Fireworks erupted after every point scored. The crowd was wild, especially by the fourth quarter when the beer hit ‘em good. One fan took off his shirt and decided to lead the crowd in cheering, waving and yelling, "Roo, roo, never give up!!" Excuse me, sir...but the Titans are winning. He musta been a student from Vanderbilt, not use to ever actually winning one.

And the game? Well, the Oil.... er.... Titans... (blush) did play hard. Wanted to win for the opening crowd, I guess. Scored early in the game and Atlanta was never able to catch ‘em. So, Nashville has pro football team AND a pro football stadium now. Nashville, cosmopolitan city with a rural flavor, has another entertainment extravaganza.

Course, they have already played another game since all this happened, and they lost it on some sort of strange call by a referee. In other words, "We wuz robbed!" People from around here just really don't want to talk about it. Besides, UT will be opening their season soon, and that is what most people consider the REAL football team from Tennessee anyway.


Copyright 1999 Sheila Moss


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