Ask Old Man Football

Friends, last week I called you pansies, and I’m not proud of it. On the other hand, it seems to have prompted several of you to actually submit questions this week, so I’m not going to apologize for it, either, especially since you people punctuate no better than Diamond Dana draws up defenses. As always, I’ll reiterate that if you’re lovelorn, confused or curious, send your questions to and I’ll do my best to set you on the proper path.

Dear Old Man Football: Will our football team make it to a bowl game this year? – Hi Lee Dowtit. Sent from my iPhone

Dear Hi Lee: First off, congratulations on your purchase of the iPhone. You’re now just like every third jerk-along on planet earth. Please also let us know if you have a Chanel bag or Manolo Blahnik pumps. I mean, write back right now. It’s important for us to know this stuff. As for bowl games, if you’re talking real bowl games – you know, Orange, Rose, Sugar, Cotton or, I suppose the Johnny-Come-Lately-Tostitos-Frittata Bowl – I think you know the answer. As for the rest of them, which are all some variation on the Please-Come-To-Shreveport-We-Beg-Of-You Bowl, I suggest you try to find someone other than the president of the local chamber of commerce who gives one flying flip. “Congratulations on three months of mediocrity. Your reward is playing North Carolina State in front of 30,000 empty seats.” I figured a person with an iPhone would have too much dignity even to ask such a question. Sent from my Smith-Corona manual typewriter.

Dear Old Man Football: What ever happened to good old-fashioned hoe-downs at the football stadium? Too hokey for Yost? – Anonymous.

Dear Anonymous: I recall square dances, cotillions and even the occasional hootenanny at the stadium, but the old way-back machine can’t conjure up any hoe-downs. Maybe a young person like yourself thinks they’re all the same. That’s OK, I can’t distinguish between your modern dances like the jitterbug, the mashed potato and the superman-dat-hoe, either. Hell, I can’t even figure out what they’re supposed to mean. The last time I remember anything like you mention was back in ’94 when the Rolling Stones came to town and my old pal Keef had me deliver some small munitions, a metric-ton of blow and six llamas backstage. I’m prohibited by the terms of a confidentiality agreement from disclosing what happened next, but I’ll suggest to you that it might have been the genesis of a no-hoe-down policy.

Dear Old Man Football: Which kind of crazy do you prefer? Les Miles "I'm grinning because I have a pact with the devil" or Bo Pelini "I'm one double espresso away from ripping somebody's ear off" crazy? – Imma Hang Up and Listen Off the Air.

Dear Imma Hang: Call me old-fashioned (and many have), but I tend to prefer the kind of crazy that wins the occasional national championship to the kind that embarrasses its university and gets carted off the field mid-game by ambulance.

Dear Old Man Football: In honor of my football forefathers, I like to soundtrack my pregame festivities with the inspirational hits of yesteryear. But my feeble, poorly-developed, gen-Y brain can hardly come up with anything! What should be on my playlist? – Stressin' my berk off here.

Dear Stressin’: There are lots of different ways you can go with this (and none are wrong, unless they include the Eagles), but I’m going to suggest one possible pregame routine.

First, you have to warm up, get your body moving a little. The late, chronically great, Rufus Thomas will never do you wrong.

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Next, you want a song to get you agitated, something propulsive yet somehow irritating. I’m going to suggest “Thela Hun Gingeet” by King Crimson, but BE WARNED, if you’re inexperienced in dealing with prog rock, you must be very careful. If you play the wrong King Crimson track – say, “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic”- or (God forbid) anything by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, your pregame could go horribly, even fatally, wrong. Be advised that if the song mentions gnomes, elves or druids, even obliquely, you must abort immediately.

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Now that you’re agitated, you need to corral your energy and gain focus. Step three in the pregame playlist process should almost always feature the Thunder from Down Under.

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Finally, you’re all but ready to go. You just need the spark to set off the powder keg. Friends, the guitar lick and scream that open this song aren’t just a series of notes; they’re a battle cry. Play these songs in this order, and victory is yours.

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