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FOOTBALL CHRISTMAS: GIFTS 91-100

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On the hour, a list of the gifts--real and potential--for the upcoming season.

100. The sound of Brent Musberger pulling a muscle on a touchdown call early in the first quarter, capped with a guttral "hhhhyyyyYEEEEEESSS!!!" Histrionic, overdone as a hospital cafeteria hamburger, and as essential to the milieu of college football as a good sunburn. If it doesn't sound like Brent's just been punched in the stomach by a Hell's Angel, then it's an impostor who must be thrown from the press box with all due speed.


Let the Musbergames begin!

99. Gravitation beyond reason: reader Pool Hall Bill, who at this moment is suspended above the Pacific Ocean on a jet on the way to see his wife, son, and the Georgia Bulldogs against Western Kentucky on his leave from duty in Korea, who has been thinking about this game despite sitting just a stone's throw away from half a million North Koreans armed to the gills.
Welcome home, Bill.

98. Flicking off complete strangers on the interstate based solely on the window flags flying from their windows.

97. Outlandish wastes of capital on items used for 12 weekends of recreation a year. Sure, guys like Peter just put a little bit of the spicy mustard on an already typical American level of overconsumption. (In most of the world, ownership of an SUV, a generator, and a satellite dish makes you "Minister of Sketchily Defined Department of Something" by default. Here it makes you, well, normal.) And some people get their truck tricked just for football season. In case you were wondering, the Tail Gator? Not ours...yet.

96. Mascot violence.

95. Cursing Lee Corso's mere visage with every atom of our soul. It's become a hobby, really, with Corso transcending the merely loathed into a Cossell-ish place of hated necessity. This year's bonus: wondering out loud during games if the shield-faced, unbelievably tanned announcer has in fact had an eyelift.

94. Drunk people. Sometimes they give you hot dogs and beer; sometimes they throw cinderblocks at your car. Either way, they're rarely boring and come in ample supply at a college football game. Being unpredictable and belligerent is sometimes entertainment enough for a visiting fan provided the tar and feathers don't come out. We're looking at you, Morgantown.

93. The roseate sunlight of dusk on the pine trees ringing the fringe of Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California.

92. A hit so hard an audible "SHIT" can be heard from a sideline bystander on the mike. God bless the lack of delay on sports broadcasts, because that only echoes what every viewer on the couch is saying out loud to themselves and their impressionable, innocent children.

91. Ay Ziggy Zoomba!