By Nick Nunn
I love a close game. Whatever the outcome, the close games are the ones that I always seem to remember the best.
I guess it is because the close games really make us open up and invest ourselves fully in what is happening, either play-by-play, pitch-by-pitch or whatever.
And I think a lot of people feel the same way about close games.
Just this past Saturday in Athens, an semi-reliable eyewitness – cough, cough, Citizen photographer Jesse Walker – claimed that people were stopping their cars in the middle of the road in downtown Athens so they could get in range of a television to be able to see the final minutes of the game.
(If you have to ask “which game,” then you clearly weren’t in Athens last Saturday.)
As time ticked out on LSU, Jesse said that he saw a man jump on top of a table and scream out at the top of his lungs, “Ain’t nothing finer in the land, than a drunk, obnoxious Georgia fan.”
The rest of the patrons, who were apparently inclined to agree with him, shouted the rhyme back to the man, approving of both the statement and his behavior in one fell sentence.
Colorful anecdotes aside, nothing puts me to sleep faster than a blowout, even if the side that I’m rooting for is the team that is ahead.
The games that I remember the most acutely from last year’s varsity football season are the game at home against Elbert County and the second playoff game against North Hall, even though they were both losses.
Sometimes when my team is way too far ahead, I’ll even secretly – and deviously, I suppose – wish that the opponent will get a chance to catch up and make a real challenge out of the competition.
I’m sure I’ve told you out there in Readerland before about the way my grandmother, Sybil Nunn, will lean back in her recliner, kick her feet and giggle when her team catches up or gets out in front of the other team unexpectedly near the end of the game.
That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the thrill of competition that I really enjoy, and that I look for in each game that I see.
The same feeling could be seen even last week in the varsity football match against Oconee: the first couple of unanswered Morgan County touchdowns elicited such cheers from the audience that someone who wasn’t paying the least bit of attention to the game would have known that something spectacular had just happened.
But by the second half, when the Dogs scored the touchdown that put them ahead 28-0, the crowd sounded sleepy and somewhat less than interested.
However, as the Warriors were adding points faster than the minutes were expiring near the end of the game, the fans’ interest was renewed once again: because of the worry and anxiety that comes from giving up ground to the opponent.
No one would continue going to games if winning was a sure thing. It would be no fun.
So, here’s to competition, win or lose.