Twanglish Lesson: Futbaw

If you’re offended by discussions of religion, you’ll want to avoid today’s Twanglish Lesson, because this one is all about one of the great religions of the South. No, it isn’t the only religion in the region. There’s Christianity – typically Baptist in nature…or Catholic, if you live along the coast. There’s food. You show me a Southerner who doesn’t worship at the altar of bacon, biscuits and sweet tea, and I’ll show you somebody with some Carpetbagger miscegenation in their heritage.

Then there’s the religion we’re talking about today – a religion that has broken families, divided states and resulted in the deaths of a couple of historic trees. It’s a religion that holds its worship ceremonies in cathedrals of brick, concrete and steel with congregations in the tens of thousands. Its preachers are foul-mouthed, hard-nosed and as likely to invoke praise as curses. And the worshippers don’t leave it behind after the Saturday Sabbath. It is a 365, 24/7 kind of religion. And it’s high holy season starts this week:

Futbaw -noun 1. A sport played by two teams of eleven with an oblong ball on a 100-yard long field known as a gridiron, the goal of which is to move the ball past the opposing team into a scoring area known as the end zone…and to embarrass one’s rival with 365 days of shame:

Baby, we need to run down there to the Walmarts and get some Buds and chips for futbaw.

Yep. It’s time again for “futbaw” season – and not just any football, college football. High school football is great and is a quasi-religion in states like Texas and Alabama. And the NFL is fine if you live in a pro market. But “real” football is played the way the game was invented: between university squads.

Starting this weekend, men and women all over the South will throw reason and sanity to the wind as they follow their teams with religious devotion. So whether you be Tide or Tiger, Dawg or Yellow Jacket, Bulldog or Rebel, Gator or Seminole, it’s time to don the war paint of your chosen colors, tune up your tailgate gear (or upgrade your flatscreen) and get ready to scream your little Southern guts out for glory on the gridiron.

Of course, there are those who are atheistic or agnostic in the ways of football. For those, I offer this: game time is a great time to get your shopping done…or so I hear.


  1. Be a Real Southern Man #13 – Deploy Your Tailgate | Real Southern Men - September 2, 2011

    […] it’s time for some “futbaw,” there’s no better way to commemorate the South’s great religion than with a […]

  2. The 10-Step Program of Real Southerness | Real Southern Men - January 31, 2012

    […] As RSM Wayne Franklin explained a few weeks ago, the South’s love of football (or “futbaw” as we would say in Twanglish) is steeped in history. At a time when it seemed the South […]

  3. The 10-Step Program of Real Southernness - December 8, 2014

    […] RSM Wayne Franklin explained a few weeks ago, the South’s love of football (or “futbaw” as we would say in Twanglish) is steeped in history. At a time when it seemed the South […]

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