The Best Laid Plans...


If there was a bowl, it's because my grits were in it.

I talked a big game about how I was going to end my December, didn't I?

It was just a post ago I planned to head to Charlotte for a pair of bowl games: The perennial Duke's Mayo Bowl, and the one-off Famous Toastery Bowl. Chronologically first, I took a day off of work with the intent of heading down the road for the Famous Toastery Bowl, while the Duke's Mayo Bowl would be our first day back from holiday travel.

I made it to neither.

I started feeling a bit off my game the day after my birthday (December 10). No worries - I had taken the day off for vacation anyway, though it turned out both kids were home sick as well. Perhaps that should have been my first indication. I was back among the functional, if not thriving, for what remained of the week, but by the weekend, I had told myself if I was still feeling a bit cruddy, I'd forego the bowl trip to Charlotte on Monday the 18th, and that's where I ended up. As a consolation prize, I did feel well enough to head to the closest Famous Toastery - a chain I had never heard of before the bowl sponsorship - out in Winston-Salem on the day I had already taken off. Enjoyable, but no football game.

Fast forward a week or so. Whatever we had - on the back end, it seems that we all ended up with sinus infections - had taken root during the holiday break. My still-slow-to-return voice was completely absent on Christmas. So by the time we returned to North Carolina from holiday travel, I had more or less already made up my mind that I'd not be heading down to Charlotte for the Duke's Mayo Bowl. True enough, that trip was always just going to be an atmosphere trip, as the bowl's popularity, combined with a local team (North Carolina) and as well-traveling regional team (West Virginia) kept ticket prices high, even on the secondary market.

Despite having my wings clipped, I made the most out of the remainder of bowl season through televised games. And Christmas money already has me laying plans for the college hoops season/postseason in the coming months. Stay tuned...