ACC Championship game in 2006 between Wake Forest and Georgia Tech

I attended yesterday's ACC Championship game between Wake Forest and Georgia Tech in Jacksonville, picking up two $125 lower deck tickets near the 50-yard-line. I wanted to see whether seats that good at Alltel Stadium are worth the price.

The game wasn't even close to a sellout, so there were giant packs of unhappy scalpers outside. One thing I didn't need to hear as my son and I walked in: "Lower deck seats, $5!"

The section we were in, 237, has its own entrance and a Carrabba's, Outback Steakhouse and other restaurants in an indoor mall. I didn't know this, so we entered through the main gates in lines several hundred people deep for a half-hour, holding nachos and popcorn.

In retrospect, carrying nachos through a large, tightly-packed crowd of people during cold and flu season wasn't the best idea. My open tub of cheese must have been exposed to every toxin short of Polonium 210, but I lacked the will to throw it away uneaten. I'm hoping the artificial preservatives and coloring in the cheese create an inhospitable environment for germs and viruses. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

As for the game, what's not to like about a 9-6 defensive struggle in constant drizzle as a bone-chilling breeze wafts off the St. Johns River?

The best part was taking my seven-year-old to his first football game and fielding his rapid-fire questions about the rules. He patiently asked "how do you kick a field goal?" a dozen times before I figured out he wanted to know how a coach decides to attempt one, not how the points are scored by kicking the ball through the uprights.

One I couldn't answer: What is a Demon Deacon? I couldn't think of a reason a school would adopt a well-dressed elderly Baptist deacon with devilish tendencies as a mascot.

Decked out in Wake Forest hoodies we bought on the way in as survival gear, we were so happy they won without going to overtime that some of the team's fans thought I attended the school.

-- Rogers Cadenhead


Good Lord, man, what awful spell has you in its grip?

You told us a while ago that you have poor impulse control, now you blithely inform us that you're willing to expose yourself to all sorts of pathogens and toxics, just because you lack the will to let some foul junk food remain uneaten.

A Demon Deacon isn't mysterious to me at all.

Have you ever seen a hell-fire-and-brimstone preacher in full blaze? I've never seen anything else that so resembles a demon-possessed maniac.



Enjoy. You are going through the nadir of parenting and it is pure joy. Anything and everything you do with a seven year old is worthy. They only want your time. The hard stuff comes sooner than you ever think it will.



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