I found myself back home in Nashville recently. It was good “get away” time, and it gave me a chance to watch a Vandy football game live and remind myself why I wrote my last column (Proud to be a Commodork).

The game against Mississippi State was a big let down, but at least I got to catch up with some old friends…guys like “muffed punt”, “3 and out”, and an old favorite…”empty student section”. I haven’t seen them in such a long time. Ah, memories.

As I’ve said before, if you don’t keep a sense of humor as a Vandy fan, you’ll go insane. Case in point, I couldn’t help but laugh when State scored a touchdown to go up 15-3 with just over three minutes left in the game. As the teams were walking to the sidelines, the stadium announcer said, “Taco Bell is a proud Vanderbilt sponsor. If the Commodores score 24 points or more, everyone in attendance gets a crunchy taco for 24 cents.” Seriously?! 24 points in 3 minutes? Taco Bell has a better chance of catering a Tri-Delt sorority formal. I laughed hysterically with the 250 fans that remained in the stands.

But Nashville time isn’t always about Vandy, believe it or not. I of course visited with family as well. My nephew and I played the basketball game HORSE. I figured I was about a two-and-a-half letter favorite. That’s roughly the equivalent of five or six crunchy tacos. As we know, however, games aren’t decided by predictions or fake Mexican food.

I should have been favored to win. After all, I’m taller and he’s seven. Okay, actually he’s 15, but I have a ton more basketball shooting experience. Here’s how it went down.

Will:  “Uncle Keith, can you help me with my math homework?”

Me:  “Absolutely. What are you studying?”

Will: “Imaginary numbers.”

Me:  “I know all about those.  Girls used to give them to me in college.”

Will:  “Um, okay….Let’s play basketball instead.”

We walked outside. I calmly surveyed the surroundings that made up my sister’s backyard and took note of all the potential injury-inducing obstacles. Things like big dog toys, bigger pavement cracks, and what looked like half of Home Depot’s birdbath inventory. Since I didn’t feel like fighting for rebounds with a dozen or so garden gnomes, I suggested we play HORSE. After all, it’s like a real game, only with imaginary numbers. Therefore, this was just like doing math homework. I’m such a good influence, eh?

Will:  “You go first, Uncle Keith.”

Keith:  “Big mistake, Little William. I hope you like getting mail, because you have five letters coming your way.”

Well apparently the mail doesn’t get delivered if the sender constantly misses the mailbox. I lost by a score of HORSE to H. He only got one stinking letter! I couldn’t even gain the satisfaction of saying “At least I’m not a HO” like we used to say on the playground. On top of that, my knees hurt afterwards. What?! How can my knees hurt when the only movement involved in the game was chasing down shots after they clanked off backboards, rims, and various St. Francis statues?

I iced down my knees for over an hour, pretending they were my dignity. It certainly wasn’t the first time I did that. Maybe next time I’ll write about that Tri Delt formal.

Categories: Columns