Nov 15, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide fans during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime SEC Banter readers regard this column as a place for serious Xs and Os analysis, data-driven statistical breakdowns, and intense film study.

This week, however, with just one real SEC game on tap in Texas Agricultural & Mechanical vs. Georgia, Banter will lighten it up a bit and offer observations on that most interesting of creatures:  the SEC football fan, plus some lagniappe (Cajun-French translation:  a little something extra).

On Pom Poms

During recent “SEC on CBS” broadcasts I’ve noticed a proliferation of fans waving pom poms in the stands.

If you’re one of these fans you likely refer to pom poms as “shakers” to avoid sheer embarrassment, but let’s be real — they’re pom poms.  The little plastic stick affixed to them doesn’t magically transform pom poms into “shakers.”

Alabama fans have historically waved pom poms with vigor and they were out in full force during the LSU game.  Then, last Saturday, they were all over Jordan-Hare Stadium for the East Alabama Male College-UGA game.

I just don’t get it.  Pom poms don’t make noise.  They don’t intimidate the visiting team.  You think offensive linemen at 6’5″, 320 pounds look up in the stands and think, “My God, the pom poms!  Not the POM POMs!!”

Dudes on left get points for eschewing shakers, but are docked for the turtlenecks, even if it was 1989.

Kudos to guys on left for eschewing pom poms, but not so much for the turtlenecks, even if it was 1989.

Here’s Banter’s pom pom rule:  you may use pom poms in the stands if you’re 12 and under or a grandma 80 and older.  No exceptions.

On Grown Men Wearing Jerseys

I’ve also noticed an uptick in grown men sporting jerseys to football games.  These are 40, 50, hell, 60-year-old men wearing jerseys of 18-year-old college players.

It’s embarrassing, and heaven only knows what other sound decisions these guys are making if they look at themselves in the mirror with a jersey and think, “This is it, I look good, and I’m going out for the day.”

Banter’s jersey rule:  you may wear a jersey if you’re 12 and under or you are a mother whose son plays on the team.

While I’m on the subject of attire, I note some fans are sartorially challenged because (a) they have no fashion sense to begin with, (b) their team’s colors are tough to pull off (think South Carolina here; garnet and black with a chicken logo is rough), or both (a) and (b).

Real sharp.

Real sharp.

Might I suggest shirts and ever-versatile quarter-zip pullovers from my friend Peter Millar?  Pedro’s collection of collegiate gear is tasteful, subtle, and comfortable.

Take it from me — I’m an LSU fan and it’s damn hard to pull off purple and gold, and even more difficult to be subtle while trying.

On Beverages

The heart of fall means bourbon and ginger and if you disagree, you’re likely a nerd or, worse, not a college football fan.

It’s a highly complex cocktail to mix:  cup, ice, bourbon, ginger ale.  Boom.

A good Yeti rambler serves to keep your beverage cold but, even better, try a styrofoam cup.  My neighbor always shows up to gatherings well-prepared with a huge styro filled with something good.

Plus, you’ll enrage liberals by using such an environmentally friendly product.  Everyone wins.

On Timing of Thanksgiving Dinner

When to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner is a highly-contentious point with my wife.  We debate this longer than it took to name our first daughter — that was easy, Ella Shoo Prevost (say it real fast and you’ll get it . . .).

Anyhow, I grew up having Thanksgiving dinner in mid-afternoon.  My wife grew up eating Thanksgiving dinner around 6 or 7 pm, which I cannot fathom, though to her credit, she attributes the late start to an annual touch football game played in the afternoon.

This year, I suggest a mid-afternoon meal so you can settle in that evening to catch the New Orleans Saints feast on some Dirty Bird Atlanta Falcons.

On 80s Football Movies

This topic has admittedly little to do with SEC fans, Thanksgiving and the like, but as with bourbon and ginger, a gratuitous 80s football movie reference just feels right.

Everybody’s All-American, Lucas, and All the Right Moves come to mind.

But for my favorite 80s football movie I’m going with Wildcats, starring Goldie Hawn as coach of an inner-city high school football team down on its luck but high on spirit.

“U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi, you’re UGLY, your mama said you’re UGLY, hey!”

Speaking of ugly, I see a middle-aged dude in a South Carolina jersey waving a pom pom.  I’m guessing he eats Thanksgiving dinner at 7 pm.

I’ve got work to do.

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