OPINION: College football will have to do until ballet starts

There’s something in the air, and it smells like … ballet.
No, that can’t be right.
But I was talking with Sharon Long, artistic director of the Tupelo Ballet, and we compared ballerinas to football players.
“If a dancer wants a principal role, she needs to be able to do it,” she said.
“It’s like in football,” I said. “If you can’t block your man, the coach’ll find someone who can get the job done.”
“Exactly,” she said. “That’s the way it is in ballet.”
I was interviewing her for a story about the 2009-10 arts season that will run in the Sept. 6 edition of the Mighty Daily Journal.
About an hour after that conversation, I met with Dr. Matt Oswalt, an allergy and asthma specialist in Tupelo. We were talking about causes of and treatments for asthma. That story will run in the Mighty Daily Journal’s Health Journal in October.
When we finished our interview, the doctor and I had a serious, 30-minute debate about health care.
Actually, we discussed the upcoming college football season. He’s a Mississippi State fan, and he’s hoping to get a few wins out of Coach Dan Mullen’s crew this year.
Later on, I called my sister, and my brother-in-law, Adam Greene, answered. He’s a home builder, and the recession’s been on his mind.
He’s also a Georgia fan. He’s not predicting great things, but he thinks a few teams will be surprised if his Bulldogs avoid last year’s rash of injuries.
Speaking of family, my cousin, Jim (formerly Jimmy) Morris, is a commercial real estate man and an Ole Miss fan. Business is slow, but his Rebels are riding high in the polls.
He started an SEC blog, www.slobberknocker.net, where he thinks my brother-in-law’s hopes for the season are in vain.
“Georgia: Do you really think you’ll contend this year after losing your starting QB and RB in the first round of the draft?” he said.
I was right there with him until he tore into my beloved Crimson Tide.
“Alabama: You would think the Tide fans could remember their humiliation at the hands of mighty Utah last January, but they can’t,” he said. “Flashbacks of the Sugar Bowl debacle will hit early this season as the offensive line and new QB struggle to keep up with expectations.”
Slobberknocker had tough words for his own team, too.
“Ole Miss: You’ve won nine or more games only four times since the early 1970s,” he said. “Do you really think it’s time to talk big?”
To Jim’s question about talking big, I say, why not?
The recession’s going to hang on a bit; the health care debate isn’t going anywhere; and if you’re lucky enough to have a job that offers health insurance, work’s still work.
But take heart because college football season will soothe some of the world’s stings, at least until Tupelo Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” in December.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal