In the student section, where they were all dressed in black – a nod to the Wake Forest football team color – college-aged men and women put their arms around each other and swayed back and forth as one colossal happy family.
Just below them, the 100-plus Wake Forest players danced on the field together doing the jitterbug. It was unifying. The players are lead performers in this same family. Music reverberated from the stadium jumbotron. Stadium lights burned bright into the autumn night.
It was party time. Saturday night. College style.
Wake Forest had just shellacked Duke, 45 to 7, to improve its record to eight wins and 0 losses, a feat never before done in school history.
Dancing, tunes, swaying, singing, raising football helmets in unison towards the Heavens. It felt like everyone in the stadium was feeling what Heaven feels like. If Heaven feels like last night, we’re all on our way to a kick-ass eternity.
Young kids, middle-aged people, older people – we all danced. The body movements began in the third quarter when it was obvious Wake was cruising over the dastardly Duke Blue Devils from Durham.
In the fourth quarter, the super jumbotron cranked up Neil Diamond’s all-time super hit “Sweet Caroline.” The whole stadium sang it together. Even when a play started on the field and the music had to stop, the stadium fans kept singing. They didn’t want the song to end.
Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” then started rocking the stadium. That’s what this journey is all about, don’t stop believin’ that this Wake Forest football team can do something unthinkable this Fall meaning win the ACC championship and go undefeated.
Even rock and rock superhero Elvis Presley pranced and danced around. Shaking his pelvis, he of course won the jumbotron video dance contest. Halloween Eve.
Earlier in the third quarter, a gray-haired man named Bob McCreary, who used to play football for Wake, stood on the field holding a check as big as he was for $20 million to finance the completion of the university’s football training complex. This latest donation brings his lifetime total to $55 million.
In a gesture of theatrical brilliance, he turned towards the student section, raised his arms, and put up the V for victory signs, and pointed those V’s with both hands towards the students. The student section roared. They all just became richer. Everyone in the stadium felt wealthier just being there.
Earlier in the afternoon, before the game started the tailgates roared with glee. People broke out the good stuff, some sort of hard alcohol with a cinnamon twist that tasted like a piece of fireball candy. Down the hatch, shake your head, see if your brain is still intact, and then grab some Bojangles extra crispy fried chicken breasts.
There was more — an XXL apple pie sweeter than the fireball booze. There was beer and wine and old friends chatting it up who hadn’t seen each other since before Covid.
This was the place. This was the moment. This was the night.
As the fourth quarter ended, the crowd started chanting “Go to Hell, Carolina, go to Hell.”
Next Saturday Wake’s football team takes on the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. They’ll be riding the momentum of last night’s trip to Heaven.
To be continued…
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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