Wedding Weekend Survived
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Nothing can take the place of college football on a Saturday in the fall - except maybe the wedding of a family member! As any of you that read the site know, I am a little over the top when it comes to college football. So to think that a whole day of games just went by and I hardly saw a play is crazy. But by being a groomsman in the wedding of my sister, Katie, to her longtime boyfriend Chuck, I wasn't able to take in the action this past Saturday. But I wouldn't trade it for the world, as this was a weekend I will never forget...
I went down to North Myrtle Beach on Thursday night to get in an extra day of quality time with the family - and I'm glad I did. That was the first of three of the more festives nights I have had in quite some time. Once again, Katie and her group of 23-year olds have me in physical pain following this three-day marathon.
Friday, the rehearsal dinner took place at the Surf Golf and Beach Club in North Myrtle. The course - just a driver and five-iron from the ocean - was built in the early 1960's and is home to many beautiful lagoons and lots of live oak trees. The club is also nice, with a large event room. But it isn't the physical makeup of the course or the clubhouse that makes the Surf Club where we wanted to host this. But rather the fact that this place is very special to our family.
From the 1970's up into the 1990's (before my grandfather, Wags, wasn't able to be active in it) we gathered each year as a big, extended family and played the "Wags Classic" golf tournament here. Wags and Mimi lived just a walk down the street from the course, and it worked out great. My grandfather, who died in 2000, was a very active part of the Myrtle Beach golf community as he published a book and hosted a TV show, both featuring golf in the Grand Strand area.
Saturday, the wedding took place at another special place: Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church. Again, for similar reasons, you can imagine how this church would give the wedding a special touch as many, many previous memories - both happy and sad - have happened here. The ceremony was shared by a Catholic minister and a Presbyterian minister. The Presbyterian minister is a close family friend, and he sang a great song in duet with Michelle Funderburk, one of the best voices - in my opinion - anywhere out there.
Luckily, the ceremony went off great. No one fell down, or forgot a line, or missed a note in song. Katie, of course, looked beautiful! Once again, to extend my streak to seven consecutive weddings as a groomsman, I mis-sat a family member. Luckily, this is probably the last time for a good while I will be playing that role. The stress of 45 minutes of tension, though, regardless of how well it went, led to a dire want of a cool beverage!
After about what seemed like four hours of picture taking following the wedding, we were finally able to join the crowd in the ballroom for the reception. Here, the good times really got going! Also here, I finally got to see a little bit of football - and I do mean a little bit! As a groomsman, I was involved in several very critical tasks during the night. Strangely, each of these tasks required me to walk right past the flat screen TV conveniently placed near the ballroom...
And while four pages of writing could never describe how great of a time I had at Katie and Chuck's wedding, I will say it again for emphasis: It was a great time!
Yep, it was still a Saturday in the fall, and just because The Top Fan was knee deep in a wedding didn't mean that the games didn't still go on. For the first time in a long, long time, not only was I not at a college football game, but I didn't even get to watch any games on TV! I was busy all day long, and once I was able to call my duties over with for the night around 10:00, I was so exhausted from the festivities and so loopy from champagne that I could barely tell you who was on the screen, anyway!
And while I can't really honestly give my opinion on what went down on the field Saturday until I watch all of the replays throughout the week, I can say that this weekend offered up some major suprises.
* Auburn scoring 65 points. IB1989 and his wife were at the wedding, and he was giving me constant updates on the Tigers as he was a regular with the crowd that had gathered at the flat-screen TV mentioned above. Again, I will watch the replays in detail, but just from the highlights and the numbers, Cam Newton is out of control!
* Ohio State goes down. All week long I told myself Wisconsin was going to win this game, and then at the last second I went with the Buckeyes. Not sure why, but it cost me in the Pick'em Contest. I wasn't overly impressed with OSU up to this point, and now this game shows me that they really are just a middle of the pack type of team.
* Kentucky defeats South Carolina. I have a whole bunch of Gamecock blood sloshing around on my mother's side of the family, and this game wasn't supposed to do this to them on this special night. Several uncles, aunts and cousins are USC grads or big fans, and all were present at the wedding. As much as I am supposed to like it when the Gamecocks lose, I have to admit I did not want to see them lose this game. Leading big early, the Cocks looked like they were about to take a serious, serious step towards winning the SEC East. But a second half collapse kicked them right in the gut....Even with the huge first half lead, I was scared USC might not win this one. Kentucky looked good in a loss against Auburn the week before, while the Gamecocks were coming off of their biggest win in school history. At halftime against UK, I'm guessing that South Carolina put things on cruise control with a big lead. The next thing you know, however, Kentucky was right back in it with quick scores.
* Nebraska loses their circled game. This is probably the biggest shock of the day - and not a shock at the same time. Texas probably did some serious soul searching to regroup and are still coached by a very fine coach with top talent. And although NU wanted to win this game in a very big way, this is simply a case of X's and O's and Nebraska's offense just couldn't do it. Texas has scored tons of points this decade, so giving up 20 isn't a major big deal. But you have to score more than three.
* Tigers beat Maryland. It isn't a big deal outside of the ACC, but Maryland had beaten Clemson two years in a row, and this needed to change. I need to watch the replay, but regardless of what I see, all I know is that the men in orange won the game. Next week is a team Clemson can break a streak on again in Georgia Tech. The Tigers have lost four straight to the Jackets, and a win here would get CU to .500 in ACC play with four league games to go. And while it is sort of a long-shot right now, winning the Atlantic basically comes down to three things for Clemson: Florida State losing an ACC game besides to Clemson, Florida State losing to Clemson, and Clemson winning the rest of their ACC games.
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