Note: Brian Oliu is the Commissioner of the University of Alabama English Department Football League, located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Here, Oliu revisits an e-mail sent to the English Department Listserv on Thursday, December 3, 2009, two days before the SEC Championship Game between the University of Florida and the University of Alabama. This e-mail was written at a nervous and dreadful time, when the Gators were four-point favorites and Tim Tebow seemed destined (by God? By God!) to win his third National Championship in four years. This e-mail captures some zeitgeist, a ghost of a time when both everything and nothing were certain. Before Tim Tebow cried for our sins.
Around 5pm on Saturday, the world as we know it, will end. This time and date, of course, corresponds with the culmination of what will, no doubt, be a classic matchup between the University of Florida Drunken Alligators and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide of Goodness. Regardless (or if I were your comp student, Irregardless) of the outcome, one must be aware that this, certainly, is the end of days.
If those decrepit punch faces from Gainesville have their way, the Filipino Wunderkind also known as Timothy Richard Tebow will prance and dance like a sugarplum fairy and give large bro-hugs to everyone in attendance. At this point, he will eat a pretzel, sprout wings, and fly towards the heavens, tearing a hole in the Georgia Dome (wh-what’s your fantataseeee?) while holding the hands of all those who are true and righteous, home-schooled, or wearing a Danny Wuerffel jersey. There will be looting, certainly. There will be people repenting and smearing the ash descending from the Peachtree County skies over their cheekbones like they were Andy Farkas. Shakers will turn into skulls, and then back into shakers, and then back into skulls again. The earth will open up beneath our feet and we will outrun it, and then we will get into a plane and out-plane it, and then we will land and then have to take off again and we will out-plane it yet again, like John Cusack. That nice old lady who works at the bank who tells you to, “Have a blessed day,” will throw an exercise bike at another woman she knows from church who, bless her heart, is a stick-in-the-mud, as Miss ‘Oh I Made Snickerdoodles For The Raffle Too! Aren’t They Greeyyaaate?’ will soon be seated at the right hand of the Father, and the nice old lady who works at the bankjust won’t understand, she just won’t.
And there will be a debate if this is Pre-tribulation, Pre-wrath tribulation, Seventh Trumpet Tribulation, Mid-tribulation, or Post-tribulation. And everyone will have valid points (‘Is that the sound of the fifth trumpet or a Million Dollar Band member’s last breath?’ ’The Million Dollar Band will not survive–gluttony, sloth, and pride are a deadly cocktail! This is pre-wrath, bitches!’ etc). And then, “OMG did the sun just swallow the moon?” And then we’ll have to rally together with Kirk Cameron and hopefully DJ Tanner and hopefully Pavel Bure and hopefully Valerie Bure and they’ll all be 99 Speed in NHL 95 for the Sega Genesis and we will escape only to be attacked by our own belongings. We will be lonely and sad, and the only restaurant chain to survive will be Taco Bell, and myself and Steve Kowalski will be upset because Taco Bell is reserved for Thursday, but we’ll have to eat it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday, and c’mon, that’s a lot of Cinnamon Twists.
If Alabama and the Dark Lord Saban prove victorious, and Tim Tebow assumes the fencing response, Tuscaloosa will experience a Golden Age unlike any other. Children will dance on University Boulevard at night unafraid (though not through the east-end suburb of Alberta City; Alberta City will feel no effects of joy. Also Vance). I will buy you a beer and you will buy me a beer and I will buy you a shot and you will buy me a shot and I will buy you a shot and you will leave. I will kiss a pretty girl who I think I love, and I will be happy, but it will not work out. Nothing will get done between now and the BCS Championship Game and we will not care, for we are living a life that we so deserve–the life of champions and no regrets. We will build a statue of Nick Saban and we will make him slightly taller than he actually is.
Yet the People have abdicated their duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions–everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.
Our fair city will crumble–the Druids will come back and they will have bows and arrows. It will be “Hamsterdam.” Your mouth will taste funny. You and your haircut will not survive.
And so, before football destroys us, us at the UAEDFL plead that you join us: SATURDAY DECEMBER 5TH AT 10AM
If anything, to remind us of how innocent we were.
Note: Of course, the Crimson Tide crushed the Gators, and you probably screamed “Where is your God now, Tebow?” at the television no less than seven times. A month later, Alabama went on to defeat the Texas Longhorns in Pasadena to win its 13th National Title. Yes, there were wild celebrations all throughout Tuscaloosa; you probably hugged and kissed total strangers, even if you had a bloody nose. You maybe ate a giant chocolate elephant. You might’ve grabbed someone by the shoulders and shook them and yelled ‘WE WON EVERYTHING!’ You might’ve been in line at Subway the following day and heard people behind you talk about how they got arrested even though when everything is won, there is martial law, and you might’ve wondered what horrible things they did to manage incarceration. You might be in a stupor for the majority of January, then February, through March and most of April; you might’ve used the victory as an excuse for being a less than stellar lover, you might’ve done a lot of things…but trust that this is the way that God wanted it.