The 75th Magic City Classic was just that, MAGIC! If you’re not familiar with the magic which is “The Classic”, it’s a large, and long-standing college rivalry pitting Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University in a battle of the best of football and half-time spectaculars, which also includes a week of epic tailgating, fashion, parties, comedy shows, concerts and more. Think of 75,000+ people converging in one place for one purpose….a GOOD time. And that would be the #mcc.
I had the privilege to again spend time in the VIP tailgate “Chill Zone” hosted by Coors Light. For a second year in a row, this experience did not disappoint! The adult beverage bosses served up a festive atmosphere right in the heart of the magical madness and had something to offer for all, even those non-drinkers like me. The floating crowd of alumni and supporters were welcomed into the zone to a feel which was like an uber-upscale family reunion with your favorite old and soon-to-be new friends. Per usual, there was delicious food. I mean the food was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!! (And I love food so I know food.) The picnic theme with burgers, hot dogs, pork sliders, pasta salad, garden salad, uber-SWEET corn on the cob, baked beans and plentiful liquid refreshments, of course including Coors Light, was the ideal back drop for the 88 degree October weather game-goers were surprised by. The food was hot, fresh and replenished often by a doting team who was always watching and making sure all was better than well. Little extras like that make a foodie like me really, really happy. Former Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta star and radio personality Traci Steele http://tracisteele.com/ was on the scene in a fabulous jumpsuit, might I add, along with legendary (and still cute) hip-hop DJ, DJ D-Nice, both bringing a party vibe to the hot “Chill Zone” which made one want to wobble right smack dab in the middle of the sun-drenched crowd. Joining them was life-style specialist Kenny Burns, and the return of none other than rapper and reality star Yung Joc, who, was one of my favorite entertainers at the tailgate last year too. Even in the midst of sizzling sun and scorching, hot temps, the Coors Light VIP Chill Zone was a breath of fresh air.
As if the celebratory atmosphere wasn’t enough, Coors Light extended their hospitality and HBCU support to the half-time show by presenting a $20,000 scholarship donation which was equally divided among the schools for students 21 or older. It just doesn’t get any more magical than that. Cheers, Coors Light! Here’s to more Classic magic.
Little things I learn about my mom through the simplest of conversations can be my biggest lessons in life. A random afternoon conversation while I was traveling from one job to the next diverted from talk about the weekend to the statement, “Did I ever tell you I didn’t graduate from college on time?”
“Huh. What?” was my reaction, but I held it in as my sweet, almost 70-year-old earthly inspiration told me the interestingly, funny tale of how a beloved professor her senior year, who had entrusted my Mama to teach her Shorthand Class (Google it) in her absence, and often used her as a representative, gave her a “D” resulting in my Mama’s inability to graduate with the Alabama State University Class of 1968. I listened as my Mama told me how she tried her best to sway the teacher into a better grade. Not only did this professor give her a big, fat D, she and the college leader turned down the smooth talkings of my grandfather as he tried to convince them through subtle name dropping to graduate his oldest daughter. They both succeeded in being unsuccessful.
On the verge of truly feeling sorry for the 20-something year old who must have been devastated and embarrassed to no end by not graduating on time, my flirtation with pity on her was quickly interrupted by her sweet, reassuring voice and the confident phrase, “Oh well! Everything worked together for the good of those who love the Lord! It all worked out for me. Had I graduated on time I wouldn’t have gotten that GREAT government job that ASU selected me to work for in Federal Court that year. At my Daddy’s advice I finished the retake of the course I got a D in. I was assigned to do student teaching in the great Robert E. Lee High School and my teacher, Ms. Dixie Hicks ADORED ME. She got married and recommended me as her replacement… and I got your Daddy. The rest is history!”
And just like that, I was served up a mighty lesson from a seasoned teacher in the classroom and in life.
Oh well!(That pretty much sums up a lot of things which hurt, but will end up helping.)
Father knows best.
Things don’t always turn out the way we want them to. (They often turn out better.)
Sometimes an A, B, or C can’t compete with a new career. (Regardless of a D.) (And by the way, guess who wrote her recommendation for the job…yep, the professor:))
The thing you think you fail at will be used to help others. (My Mama went on to teach Shorthand (Google it again) to high school students for decades. Like literally, decades.)
Sometimes a Bae or a Boo end up lasting MUCH longer than an A, B, or C, and certainly the sting of an ill-fated D. (My parents are officially 46 years married in June 2016, still hold hands and still go out on diabetes-approved hot dates!) (Ha! Take that D!)
The 74th Annual Magic City Classic has come and gone and already I’m looking forward to the BIG 75th gathering pitting Alabama State University against Alabama A&M University in Birmingham, Alabama for the largest HBCU football game in the United States. For those unfamiliar, the Classic, as it’s called, is more than football. It’s about food, concerts, syndicated morning shows, late night nights, high fashion, school colors, charity, half-time shows, long lines, even longer hugs, parades, vendors, tailgating spanning days, rivalries and reunions all in one. Both of my parents and several of my relatives are Alabama State University alums and have celebrated Classic for more than four decades. It’s a part of my DNA. It’s etched in my life’s story. It’s the Classic…an experience like none other.
Here’s a photographic snapshot of my Magic City Classic experience which started with the Rickey Smiley Morning Show dark and early on Friday morning and ended with the post-Classic family dinner on Sunday where my mother cooked enough food to feed a small British battalion. I hope you enjoy my instant trip down a not-too-distant memory lane.