Sunday, September 10, 2006

Saying goodbye to Erk

I had tentatively planned to go see "The Protector" today, since I can think of few ways to better pass a couple of hours than by watching a man kick massive ass because someone stole his elephant. Instead, however, I'm going to do something I've never done before: Go to a funeral for someone I've never met.

That someone is Erk Russell, the famed Georgia Southern and Georgia football coach who died Friday in a car accident after suffering a stroke.

So why am I driving all the way to Statesboro for this? I'm not sure. I suppose it's because I love college football, and there are few figures who have loomed larger in that arena than Mr. Russell. How many college coaches can say they've won four national championships? Mr. Russell can, with three as head coach at Georgia Southern and one as defensive coordinator for UGA in 1980. For this he deserves my respect.

And, I must admit, I'm going for the sheer spectacle. Not many people get to have their funeral in a football stadium (Paulson Stadium at his beloved Georgia Southern). I know this sounds corny as hell, but it should just be a massive outpouring of love for this great man, and I want to be a part of it.

So, no movies for me today. Have a great day one and all.


D said...

I really expected there to have been more people there. I just wish that the entire stadium would have been full of those paying their respects.

I still imagine Erk looking down and saying "Get off the damned field! You're gonna mess it up and we have a game next week!"

Reel Fanatic said...

I was a little surprised at the turnout too, Derek, but thought it was overall a very nice service ... A lot of good stories about a great man

D said...

It was a great service, the kind I'm sure he would've liked. As Bruce said, he'd have rather us laugh than cry.

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