My friend Dan says I'm stretching out this story and he's dying to know if I got to see what was arguably Alabama's biggest game of this season. So for the sake of his children who benefit greatly from their fantastic father's presence on the earth, here goes:
Steve, Patrick and Brad are outside fiddling with the HD antenna, climbing up on the roof for more elevation and grunting to each other inside the Martian cave. Eyeballing each other in that way that only girls understand, Leslie and I walk away from watching them out the window. She grabs the yellow pages. I grab the phone. Calling Buffalo Wild Wings, I put our name on the list. The background noise of loud televisions, clanking dishes and shouting crowds tell me that even though the teenage girl on the phone promises we can get in, it will never happen.
Pulling the plug on "The Adventures of the HD Antenna," I lean out the window and let Patrick know it's time to pack it in. The screen is still black and he and the guys gave it the best effort anyone could ask for. I hated to do it but the reason I finally make this call is the red-faced, steaming ears, two-legged creature pacing the floors of my house. The fanatical animal decked out from head to toe in crimson and white is my favorite sister. To be fair, she never actually SAID anything to me about the fact that she was about to miss this game. But everyone knows that actions are much louder than words. She's rattling keys, holding her purse and eyeballing me. It's time to go.
As fast as I can drive without killing anyone, I turn the radio to the Bama Sports Network to keep her listening to Eli Gold's play-by-play as I race through traffic to Buffalo Wild Wings. I sling up to the door and she jumps out. As Caiden and I walk into the restaurant after parking the car, I realize by the size and sounds of the restaurant patrons, there is NO WAY we'll be sitting down. Janie is in her usual position. Arms crossed, jaw set, she's standing right in front of the closest tv. I hesitate to even approach but she did smile at me as I sidled up and grinned apologetically. Leslie's already talked to the hostess -- 1 big group in front of us. But a 3-hour game just started. Steve is working the phones for another wings place. I'm working my sister to make sure she allows her niece to grow up with a mom.
Florida scores first and the mood darkens. Half the room erupts in cheers. I sigh. Steve gets a hold of Wingers and they have lots of room. We race through the double doors and the crimson crowds outside go crazy as Julio Jones makes a wild 64-yard Alabama catch near the end zone. I get the car and once again we're off to the races. Eli Gold is shouting again on the Bama Sports Network and finally he explodes with the first Bama touchdown. Janie screams. I almost run off the road. She high-fives me. I break a nail on the roof of the car. She's happy. I'm happy. Wingers has plenty of room. Plenty of beer. Plenty of wings. And a huge big screen tv that we have practically to ourselves.
Florida ends up winning but Bama played a great 3 quarters. My Christmas lights didn't get up until the next day. But they did get up and we did get to see the game. A tremendous effort by Patrick and the guys--their perseverance alone probably would have paid off if I'd given them time. But in the end, we met the goal: Bama football, beers, wings and a happy sister!