When I was a high school student in West Columbia, Texas (what are the odds of living in West Columbia, South Carolina sixty years later?) I was a member of the “pep squad” which cheered for our football team every Friday night in the fall under lights that were as important to our town as those in the 2006 – 2011 TV series Friday Night Lights. Our team, the Columbia High Roughnecks, weren’t nearly as successful as the fictional team in Dillon, Texas but that didn’t matter. We loved them anyway. At home during football season my daddy and I loved to watch the UT Longhorns on Saturdays along with the bowl games during the holidays. On Sunday afternoons my daddy, granddaddy and I watched the Dallas Cowboys together. We were a football family – the following is a post I published in March, 2015.
My love affair with country music is rivaled only by my love affair with football and until very early this morning when I was in the kitchen making toast for Pretty to have before she went to work, I never knew their paths had crossed. Country music and football, that is.
I could hardly believe my ears. As a matter of fact, I thought I had misunderstood the words I heard. I was fixing toast that refused to brown for some reason known only to the stove that is possessed by evil demons named Burning and Undercooking when I thought I heard the words dropkick me Jesus blaring from the country classics radio station playing on the TV. What’s that you say? Stick with me Jesus? Is that a country classic? Maybe gospel country music?
Two things as background. One, my AT&T U-verse decided over the weekend to change its music programming to a different venue and now uses something called Stingray for all music channels. Two, I hate change.
But I am between hell and hackeydam in this case and must use the new station if I want to hear the country classics. Many of the “classics” on this new station are different so it’s possible I won’t recognize some of the tunes I hear anymore. (Where’s Willie when you need him?) So when I thought I heard the lyrics dropkick me Jesus I assumed I didn’t really hear those exact words – just maybe something like those…which is common for my super-senior hearing.
But then I clearly heard the lyrics I’ve got the will Lord, if you got the toe. I lost the padded glove I was using to pull the toast from the oven and rushed around the corner past the liquor cabinet to the den where the TV showed the current song with its artist. Sure enough, as Granny Selma used to say when she was in her right mind, Bobby Bare was singing:
Dropkick me Jesus through the goalposts of life
End over end, neither left nor the right…
Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights
Dropkick me Jesus through the goalposts of life.
The song went on with references to the departed brothers and sisters forming some sort of offensive line, but mostly it repeated the title enough times that I knew the refrain by heart. Actually, I doubt I’ll ever forget it. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Bobby Bare recorded the song written by Paul Craft in 1976. How could I have missed this gem for so many years. Thank goodness I caught it today. I will mull over the sentiments of dropkick me, Jesus for at least the rest of the week, and to think I owe it all to the Stingray music channel I didn’t know I wanted or needed – the same channel which is now playing Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.
I’ll put that on hold for another day.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ramble like a wrecking ball through our lives, I wonder about sports in general, football in particular because decisions will soon have to be made determining the fate of the 2020-21 season. I don’t envy the calls those officials will have to make, but I hope the decisions are made with more than a coin toss.
Stay safe, stay sane and stay tuned.
Pretty holds Ella who is fascinated by Charly
(Charly hasn’t quite figured Ella out yet)
This is a totally unrelated picture taken yesterday from our screened porch.