I don’t think I’ve made any secret of the fact that I am an ardent supporter of Jonathan Tu and his travels around this great nation of ours, in search of college football. He is in the early stages of his personal Odyssey, but he’s already been from one of the pinnacles (Lincoln, Nebraska for the USC game) to the unknown (Murfreesboro, TN for MTSU vs. Western Kentucky).
Why do I read? For one thing, I find it ironic that a man with a two-letter surname writes Hunter-Thompsonesque free association masterpieces that cannot reliably be read in one trip to the restroom. For another, I both envy his dedication to the mission, and value the occasional insight that this kind of thing is best left to those with vision, the brute strength of youth, and enlarged livers.
But mainly, it’s because he slays me. Sure, there’s pop culture in there – it’s a blog. But there’s real culture, too. If you don’t have to follow a link to wikipedia or think back to your own hazy undergraduate days at least once during a Tu article, you’re probably Dennis Miller.
Check this: during his recent trip to Middle Tennessee State University, the local paper covered his journey this way:
Tu has been in town since Monday. With a limited budget of $4,500 and a car that gets him from game to game, Tu looks for any assistance he can from accommodating fans. He found them in Murfreesboro.
And now here’s a small excerpt of Jonathan’s version (he doesn’t “do” brevity).
The end of that night was a microcosm of my stay in Murfreesboro: after explaining that I spend most nights in my car, Chris did not hesitate to offer his home and the guest bedroom. He was even kind enough to lead me down a back route away from the main police patrolled streets because, as he mentioned, “I think we’ve both had a few beers.” (Hiccup.)
During the rest of my time in Murfreesboro it seemed there was a roving pack of ninjas whose sole purpose, as far as I could tell, was to wait until I had to move my bowels or leave a table or bar or whatever and, when I was gone, deploy shuriken, smoke bombs and grappling hooks to make my bill or tab disappear.
So, you see, there’s a lot between the lines, there.
I’m going to be reading all season long and rooting Jonathan on, and I hope you will Tu. (Don’t tell me, I know. I already hate myself for giving in to the temptation).