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  • THE Big Rival of the Week

    Nov 27, 2013 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Auburn, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Nick Saban, SEC Football

    Never have the stakes been this big in the Iron Bowl. No.1 Alabama at No.4 Auburn….

    If Auburn knocks off Alabama, the tigers will be heading to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game which is not one anyone predicted in August.  Yes, we realize that there are countless other rivalry games this weekend, but none carry the weight of the Iron Bowl.  Either way, if you are going to your team’s game or watching at home while eating leftovers, we have some Rivalry Week wardrobe suggestions for home or away! 

    Good luck!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

  • 2012 Fall Intern Opportunity

    Aug 2, 2012 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Arkansas, Athens, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles Internship, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, LSU Football, Mississippi State, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, SEC football writers, Southern Belles, Southern Football, Tennessee Football, Texas A&M and Mizzou SEC Football

    It’s that time again!  Gridiron Belles—the lifestyle guide to football in Dixie—is looking for fall 2012 interns to join our team.

    We are taking Gridiron Belles (and her sister magazine, SouthernLeague), to the bestseller list this year so we need the best team of brilliant Southerners that the SEC can provide!

    Qualifications: Gridiron Belles and SouthernLeague Magazine are seeking upperclassmen and graduate students at SEC universities, both male and female. Preference will be given to those majoring in: journalism, PR, sports marketing, fashion, photography, creative writing or English.  Interns must be self-starters. The ideal candidate is enthusiastic about life in the south, adept at writing short nonfiction pieces, and socially engaging.  Experience in publishing is preferred, but not required.

    Job Description: Each intern must commit 5-10 hours per week, beginning August 27, 2012 and ending in January 2013. This is an unpaid internship with an opportunity for employment based on growth of the company. Duties will include:

    • Creating and executing social media strategies
    • Writing and managing weekly updates for online publications, including interviews and photographs
    • Creating organized Excel sheets of research
    • Vendor relations- following up with inventory of stores and potential ad sales
    • Planning, organizing and promoting PR events, book signings and tailgates on your campus

    How to Apply: Complete the attached application and submit to ChristieLeigh@SouthernLeagueMagazine.com by 9 A.M. CT on Monday, August 20 2012.

    Looking forward to hearing from y’all soon!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

  • Another Title for the SEC

    Apr 12, 2012 CATEGORIES: Athens, Auburn, Auburn v Georgia, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, The Masters

    You made us Southerners proud, Bubba!

    Masters week is a special time in the South. It is a week where the rest of the nation can marvel at the beauty of Augusta National. It is also a time where the “frat boy” in all of us can come out. We watch the world’s best because it is the closest thing to a college game day that we have at this time of year. Some of us (me and my buddies) convince ourselves that we could be the world’s best and go hit the links with unreachable expectations.

     

    So, in the spirit of the Masters I decided to go play a round of golf yesterday. Unsurprisingly, I’m not nearly as good as I convince myself that I am. It’s easy to pump yourself up when you watch 25 pro golfers make it look easy every day, but that’s beside the point. I was an abysmal 15 shots over through seven holes, though I cleaned it up on the back 9. Oh well, I’ll get ‘em next time.

    I would like to point out that Auburn native Jason Dufner was 11th through Saturday at -2. Unfortunately, the back greens got the best of him, as he finished +1 for the tournament. War Eagle anyway.

    My favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson, has a scorching round Saturday, but finished tied for third at -8. Before any of you Phil haters start, I’d like to go ahead and counter you by saying that Tiger Woods finished at +5 and he probably has shown the least amount of class I’ve seen out of a professional golfer in a long time. It’s one thing to know you’ve hit a bad shot, but it’s completely different to kick your own golf club at Agusta! Not exactly a Southern gentleman’s way of handling the situation.  

    The Masters never fails to live up to my expectations, and this year was no exception. The playoff between Georgia graduate Bubba Watson and South African national Louis Oosthuizen was magnificent. Bubba ended up winning due to a marvelous recovery shot from the pine straw. I was very glad that the SEC could bring home another trophy, but the most important thing is that the USA is back on top of golf.

    And the green jacket fits!

    “Go DAWGS” or “S-E-C”— either way, it was a heck of a final.

     

    This blog post was written by Gridiron Belles Intern, John Burns, from Auburn University

     

  • A Thousand Thank-Yous

    Jan 17, 2012 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Athens, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles Tour, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, LSU Football, LSU v ALABAMA football, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, South Carolina, Tennessee Football, Uncategorized, Vanderbilt

    "Real Belles Watch Football"--and have chandeliers at their South Carolina tailgate!

    "Real Belles Watch Football"--and have chandeliers at their South Carolina tailgate!

    These Bengel Belles had quite the story to share- Thanks for all being Gridiron Belles!

    All season I’ve preached about the importance of thank you notes.  Thank you notes for your tailgate hosts, thank you notes for the people who get you tickets, thank you notes for the people who have you over to watch a game. (We really all should be writing thank you notes to our team’s players…)  All season, I’ve received some ever so kind thank you notes myself from fans I’ve met along the way. So, it’s only fitting that I thank YOU for all that you have inadvertently done for me this season.

    Aimee introduced me to Chimes and hosted me at her competition ready tailgate

    For the past 5 years I have expressed my obsession with SEC football with anyone who would listen.  For research purposes, I have talked unceasingly about traditions, clothing styles, tailgate menus as well as players and coaches on the field.  Then, I started asking for help.   I started asking the Belles and Gents that I had met along the way to reach out to their friends to help me. I needed pictures, quotes and stories and boy did I get them!

    Lesson learned: never go to a game in the Swamp before November!

    If you’ve ever written your own book, you know that the chronic nerves that surface once the book is at the printer requires more support than anyone anticipates. For those of you, strangers and friends alike, that offered your calming words via calls e-mails, posts, and tweets of encouragement, a thousand thank-yous.

    The Grove is the perfect place to display your Pink and Proper Lilly purchases! Thanks, P&P!

    Ready or not September 3, 2011 came around and it was time for the rubber to meet the road.  From the first game of the season to the last, strangers–now friends– took me under their wings.  Generous fans invited me to lavish tailgates, allowed me to stay in their homes and graciously promoted my book to their friends.  People I didn’t even know were inviting me to special events and treating me like kin.   Southern hospitality at it’s finest.

    My new friend, Kelly, took me on the field in Neyland Stadium... wow!

    Thanks, Vandy Belles, for all of your support and enthusiasm!

    Even those fervent SEC fans, that maybe didn’t love everything I wrote about their team, taught me something.  They thickened my skin. Taught me to be more open-minded. Encouraged me to look at all sides.  They reminded me that Belles are courageous and tough.

    The most supportive parents in the world. Also the most excited to be at the historical BAMA v LSU game.

    Without tearing up the way I do while watching Steel Magnolias, I’ll keep it short and sweet. It was because of YOU that my 2011 Gridiron Belles tour was a success.  It is because of YOU that I was able to fulfill my dreams of being an author. My career for the past 4 months has been tailgating.  And because of YOU, Gridiron Belles worked.

    These UGA Belles told me that the sky was the limit-- thank you!

    Thank you, from the bottom of my Southern Belle heart, for being such hospitable, generous and devoted fans of your team.  It is the spirit and excitement that y’all displayed that kept me going on the road for 93 days straight without a break from the South’s greatest pastime. It is people like YOU that make Southern football the living legend that it is.

    The savvy mama, Doran, thanks for having me on your wonderful show!

    Thank you all. For everything.

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

     

  • One Conference, One Nation.

    Sep 12, 2011 CATEGORIES: Auburn, Mississippi State, SEC, SEC Football, Starkville

    A perfectly clear morning for showcasing Auburn's campus

    Without a cloud in the sky, the crisp 78 degree morning was perfect for Tiger fans setting up a pre-game breakfast tailgate before the Auburn v MsState game.  In true Auburn fashion of well-mannered and tastefully dressed belles, Auburn fans were seen tailgating with State fans over large cups of coffee and stiff bloody Mary’s before kickoff.

    The mood in the stadium was calm and eerily quiet.  Maybe coffee should have been served in the concession stand, but even that would not have calmed the nerves that fans in blue and orange were experiencing.  The Tiger’s first game of the season had ended in victory like so many did last year… in the last few minutes and by margins of 4 points or less.

    The Plainsmen and women were well aware that Coach Mullen of Miss. State was going to bring some fired up bulldogs and a lot more cowbell.

    Fast forward past 3 personal fouls in the form of excessive celebration in the first 6 minutes of the game, answered touch downs and last minute scores and Auburn fans have a 41-34 reason to roll Toomer’s corner.  And I have a chance to show my mama, a first time roller, a two-ply covered intersection.

    Sweet Mama at Toomers... she felt bad making a mess so she didn't throw any, but she loved the sight!

    But more than the game was the win all fans in Jordan-Hare shared before kickoff.

    A presentation of  the Color Guard, a salute to Auburn veterans,  an award-winning choir joining the marching band to perform God Bless America and the National Anthem.  In a stadium full of 87,000 fans, there was a reverent period of silence, the most harmonious rendition of our National Anthem and not a single dry eye in a ten-mile radius.

    There is nothing more American than the National Anthem at a football game...

    This may have been a rival game full of division ranking implications, but for the 10 minutes before kickoff, we were one nation, one conference, under God, indivisible, for liberty and justice for all.

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

  • Three Belles walked into a bar…

    Aug 23, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky Football, Mississippi State, SEC, SEC Football, South Carolina

    Because sometimes it’s just plain funny to laugh at the other team’s expense!

    What does the average Alabama player get on his SATs?
    ………Drool.

    What do you get when you put 32 Arkansas cheerleaders in one room?
    ………A full set of teeth.

    How do you get a South Carolina cheerleader into your dorm room?
    ………Grease her hips and push.

    How do you get a Georgia graduate off your porch?
    ………Pay him for the pizza.

    How do you know if a Mississippi State football player has a girlfriend?
    ……..There is tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup

    Why is the Kentucky football team like a possum?
    ………Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.

    What are the longest three years of an Auburn football player’s life?
    ………His freshman year.

    How many Florida freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?
    ………None. That’s a sophomore course.

    Feel free to change any of these teams around–these are just for fun and are not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings.  But, to be honest, if these G-rated jokes hurt your feelings, you may want to reconsider changing conferences and never step foot at a tailgate where the jokes are a tad bit–to a lotta bit– more insulting!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

  • My SEC Birthday

    Jul 28, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Gridiron Belles Tour, LSU, SEC Football, Tennessee, Uncategorized

    SEC Birthday Treasures

    SEC Birthday Treasures-- Best Birthday Package Ever!

    I love birthdays.  Always have.  And probably always will–until I start celebrating birthdays that receive their own category at Party City mocking old age.

    It was around the 7th grade that I recall saving my (July) birthday check until late in September.  With the arch-rival match up between the two all boys Catholic schools (St. X and Trinity) just around the corner, I found the strength and common sense to save birthday money in exchange for having the perfect outfit for the Friday night match up.

    ( I also conveniently always scheduled a haircut for that afternoon as well, but that’s for another story…)

    Fast forward some 16 years, and my birthdays are still revolving around the gridiron. Only this time, my gifts have started to be accouterments of the SEC rainbow.

    My mama, a generous KY Belle, sent me a package on Monday with the following treasures inside. It was the Mary Poppins bag of SEC goodness and has me almost ready for the tour!

    Orange and white Lilly dress:  My new Tennessee dress!! Perfect for keeping me cool and stylish during the UT v UGA game in Knoxville.

    Spirit Gloves: Look closely, those gloves have pompoms on the finger trips!! Heaven forbid I ever forget my lucky shaker,  these spirit gloves will keep me warm on the Plains during the Iron Bowl!

    Luggage Spotter: This was my dad’s addition to the package, and it’s hilariously practical. An easy way to spot my bag and start conversation while traveling across Dixie. Thanks, Dad!

    Sports Mints: A rather obvious name, but I received a bag of Alabama and Auburn mints.  They make them for every SEC team and these are ideal for your tailgate bin that I talk about in the book.  Who doesn’t want fresh breath after snacking at a tailgate?

    Lilly Pulitzer Calendar:  Lilly has agreed to sponsor a book signing for me next week here in Austin!!! It’s only fitting that all of my stops are kept organized in this preppy calendar.

    Auburn Tupperware:  Where else are they going to put team logos?  Doesn’t matter to me, these are ideal for bringing your gourmet gridiron grub to a tailgate. Get your team’s edition and showcase your spirit and hard work in the kitchen!

    Blue and Orange bracelets:  These Florida orange and blue bangles are going to look great when I am at the Swamp. Anything and everything blue and orange is the norm down there– I’m giddy about that trip.

    Team Colored Unmentionables (not pictured for obvious reasons): What can I say?  A true Gridiron Belle doesn’t stop supporting her team at a surface level!!  Mama also threw in some pretty LSU colored unmentionables for my visit to Death Valley.

    You don’t need a July or August birthday to prepare for the season. All of the summer clothes on sale now are perfect for the first few games of the season in the southern heat. Get prepared!

    Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

  • Poisioning Football

    Feb 23, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Auburn, SEC


    Christie Leigh: Hello?

    Mama: Alabama is the stupidest state. Ever.

    Christie Leigh: What?! Mama, why? Where are you?

    Mama: I said, “Alabama is the stupidest state.”

    Saturday morning, my mama, was driving from KY to Florida and driving through Alabama when she called me rather perturbed. I could have sworn that hell froze over and that my mama had spent the morning listening to ESPN on her XM radio where she learned of the latest stunt pulled by an Alabama fan.

    To my dismay, she was simply referring to a disappointing employer she encountered at a drive thru window, but the effect was the same. What I heard was, “Alabama fans are the stupidest in the state.” That’s not new news to an Auburn or Tennessee fan, but to the rest of the world, it may now be coming a bit more apparent.

    The poisoning of Auburn’s historical oak trees in Toomer’s Corner by an Alabama fan is nothing short of a tragic heartbreak. The Auburn community has rallied around toilet paper, the intersection of Magnolia and College, and beautiful oaks for generations. Nearly all of life’s successes on Auburn’s campus are celebrated by “rolling” the trees in Toomer’s Corner. At least they were. Until some Alabama fan took it in his own hands to personally poison football.

    No one is here to discount the intensity of college football rivals, especially SEC rivals. No one here is casting the first stone (although I would cast a roll of toilet paper at this man if given the chance, and I’m not talking two-ply extra soft). No one here is claiming that team allegiance and rivals are wrong, unhealthy, or even a waste of time like so many non-football fans claim them to be.

    But the beauty of such deeply seeded and passionate rivals is that we all feel the same way. Ipso facto, shouldn’t we all be respecting the other teams, especially in the off season? Especially when it comes to defacing historical landmarks?

    Alabama has Bear Bryant. You don’t see Auburn fans burning houndstooth hats before kickoff or after they beat Alabama do you? The revered on-campus statue of The Bear has not been covered with orange and blue or covered in a liquid that would erode the metal and destroy the shape and tribute to Bear.

    Why not? Because that’s history. Bear Bryant was one of the greatest coaches of all times. He is as much a part of Alabama football history as their 22 SEC championships. Because you can hate Alabama with every cell in your body, but no one can dispute the tradition that lives on in the Bear’s memory.

    So why could Mr. Bad Alabama Apple not appreciate one of Auburn’s greatest traditions? Why could an Alabama fan not respect history, heritage, legacy the same way Auburn has done to them?

    Maybe he wanted to spend time in jail with inmates stealing his toilet paper. Maybe he secretly disliked Tuscaloosa and realized this was the only way to guarantee that he would never ever go back. Maybe he thought he had been to Bryant-Denny Stadium enough and had no desire see the inside of heaven again. Maybe his off-season Saturdays and Sundays were becoming boring and he needed an activity to fill his time, thus having to clean toilet paper from his house and front yard for the rest of his life would fix his idol boredom.

    Here’s the thing: Aside from this lost soul who fell off a very high rocker causing brain injury, the University of Alabama does football right. Bryant-Denny Stadium is an unforgettable experience. One of my dearest friends is a BAMA fan. I respect the program because they are passionate about football, but this has crossed the line; this is taking the rivalry too far. Aside from my  friend residing in Tuscaloosa, it’s safe to say I lost a lot of respect for the Crimson Tide.

    I hope the plainsmen and women turn the other cheek and beat the stew out of the Tide from here until eternity. I hope that this act of idiocy serves as a lesson to all fans teetering on stupidity when it comes to proving their team allegiance. It’s safe to say the entire football world is pitying this man.

    I’m not sure that, “ The curse of the herbicide” has a nice enough ring to it, but there will be a curse. It’s no longer just Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn that hate Alabama. The disappointment of Alabama from fans across the nation is spreading like herbicide at Toomer’s Corner. Good luck, Tide. That herbicide has traveled across the state and is causing Bear to turn over in his houndstooth grave. And that can’t be a positive omen for your future.

  • Duck Season

    Jan 10, 2011 CATEGORIES: Auburn, Cam Newton, SEC Championship

    It’s been five weeks since I’ve seen my Auburn Tigers play. I’ve watch a handful of SEC teams walk over opponents this bowl season. I’ve also watched a few fall short of carrying on SEC domination.

    I’ll admit, it feels like anything could happen tonight when the # 1 ranked Auburn Tigers take on the #2 ranked Oregon Ducks in Glendale for the Crystal Football.

    As a strong believer in karma, I’ve concluded that being overly cocky and rather boisterous about premature claims to the crystal football will only lead to an unwelcomed outcome.

    No, Duck fans, this does not mean I am scared. (in fact, you should be scared because I’m going duck hunting next weekend with or without a crystal football).

    This does not mean that your defense is better, faster, or more prepared. In fact, I strongly believe the opposite. Y’all have never seen the likes of Cam Newton or felt the sheer tenacity of Nick Fairly. Oh, did I mention Kodi Burns we’ve got too?

    My karma beliefs do mean that I am doing everything in my power to up my Karma. Example: Friday, I let a Duck fan into my lane of traffic during rush hour. Today, I’m hosting a 30 people watch party at my home with a Glendale atmosphere and Gridiron Belle recipes; and I’m even letting an LSU fan drink out of my sacred Auburn cups. I didn’t swear when I broke my favorite serving dish on Saturday. I even smiled and wished Urban Meyer and Nick Saban well while they were on “The Experts” Sunday on ESPN U. I put an extra 5 in plate at church.

    If karma’s not enough, I’ve been wearing my lucky Auburn t-shirt for 4 days straight (Sorry roommate). I have my SEC Championship travel outfit laid out to run errands in today and my gameday dress and scarf have just come back from the cleaners. Everything from my hair to my Auburn Orange unmentionables will be the exact same as they have been for every winning game Auburn had had this year. Wait, that’s redundant…they’ve won them all.

    The only thing different is, I’m not there. I’m not in Glendale at the pep rally. I’m not on the Plains with Pat Manning, the way I was for the AU v UGA game. I’m not in Atlanta with my Daddy like I was when they won the SEC. I’m here, in Austin. In Big 12 country. And while there is plenty of orange in this town, it’s not the right orange.

    So, I’ve done my best to bring Glendale to me. (Pictures on Tuesday)If I can’t be there with the team, I’ll just have to cheer louder to make sure they hear me!

    Oh, but in case the karma, superstitions, and luck thing are not real, this is my favorite picture of the week. 

    Good luck Ducks. You’re going to need to waddle like a bat outta … well, like a Duck outta Glendale to survive Monday night’s history making. Either way, I’ll make up for any discrepancies next weekend from the duck blind.

    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  • Heaven on Steroids

    Dec 8, 2010 CATEGORIES: Atlanta, Auburn, Cam Newton, SEC, South Carolina

    If you told me that I had died and gone to heaven last weekend in Atlanta, I would have believed you; every person I saw was an SEC fan, my dad was my date, and Auburn won the SEC Championship.

    If you were not blessed with the good fortune of walking through the golden gates of the GA Dome last weekend for the SEC Championship game, here is what you missed:

    1) Visors. Everywhere. Spurrier’s team made it to Atlanta and his fans followed suit in excitement and wardrobe.

    2) Creative but misleading t-shirts with “$CAM Newton” printed on them.

    3) Grandparents. Age doesn’t matter when it’s once in a lifetime. For fans of both teams, there may not be another chance to watch their team in the SEC Championship game for a long time. Especially if they are 80. “We don’t have to win tonight. I’m just glad we’re here” said a lifelong gamecock fan.

    4) BAMA fans wearing Houndtooth, Florida fans wearing jorts. Old habits die hard. I suppose they are just used to making the trip.

    5) God Bless America. Times two. Done in SEC marching band fashion. The South Carolina and Auburn bands both took the field and played National Anthem together with more vigor and pride than I’ve ever heard. Is there anything more American?

    6) Belles in pearls yelling “Go Cocks!” Lots of them. It still makes me wince.

    7) Four Auburn sorority sisters calling the entire game on the field before the refs had a chance to blow their whistle. I don’t think these belles will need to read the Xs and Os chapter of the book.

    8 ) No trace of cacophony by 70,000 plus fans. Four quarters of Southern drawls inside the GA Dome was a blissful melody.

    9) Gamecock fans leaving in the 3rd quarter. How can you be a fair weather fan when it’s 72 with a chance of a championship inside the GA Dome?

    10) Toilet paper being thrown throughout the stands as Coach Chizik wins his first SEC Championship during his second year as head coach, and the Tiger players parade around the field in front of the elated fans. Who needs confetti when the Plainsmen use two-ply to celebrate everything?

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