Well, I am oh-so-happy to say that we had a little bit of unexpected excitement around here this past weekend.
Mississippi State won the SEC Baseball Tournament here in Birmingham (well, technically it was in Hoover, but considering that Hoover spreads out all over the southern end of the ‘Ham, you don’t really know when you pass out of one and into the other), and we were just as tickled as we could be. We went to most of State’s games last week – which means I heard the sounds of bats hitting balls in my sleep – and there was no way I was going to miss that championship game Sunday afternoon. Oh, sure, it was supposed to be 95 degrees outside and humid and sunny (all my favorites!), but we got to the baseball stadium early enough to secure some seats that were far, far away from the dangerous U-V rays. I will thank the Lord for that particular blessing for the rest of my earthly days.
And listen. As thrilled as we were to see State’s players win the championship, we were just as excited to see about 11,000 State fans show up to cheer for the Bulldogs. It was remarkable, really, to be here in the Birmingham area and see maroon in all directions. I’ll never forget when we first moved here and I was completely astounded by the fact that people said “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle” to each other as a casual, everyday greeting – just like you or I would say “Hey” or “How’s it going” – so to be within a few miles of our house this past Sunday and be surrounded on all sides by State folks? And to hear “Go ‘Dogs!” at every turn? Well, it was a mighty big treat.
The tournament was so fun all week long, and while I know I’m a bit biased about the general, all-around wonderfulness of the Southeastern Conference, I really can’t say enough about the way they run their events. The baseball tournament is a well-oiled machine, and it’s a fun, family-friendly environment. We made some great memories this past week and had an absolute blast. The fact that our team won the championship was just the scratch gravy on top of the homemade biscuit.