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  • 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 by 9 A.M. CT on Monday, August 20 2012.

    Looking forward to hearing from y’all soon!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

  • Are away games worth the trip? Absolutely.

    Apr 10, 2012 CATEGORIES: Florida, Georgia, Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles Internship, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Southern Belles, UGA, Uncategorized

    “You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does.”-Tom Petty

    Tom Petty was right, you know. College does end. The “best days of our life” last around four years for most, five or six for some. And so, although I was raised under a conservative roof by very financially-responsible parents, I am using my four years to play the college card and follow Tom Petty’s advice. I am typically cautious with my wallet and protective of my time, but there’s one weekend every year in which I surrender all my worries for a greater cause…


    The GA/FL game is always played on the last weekend of October. The University of Georgia has a one-day fall break the Friday before the game, when a majority of the student population relocates to St. Simons Island, Georgia. “Frat Beach,” as it has come to be known, is the perfect place to prepare or “pregame” (as we college students like to say) for the big game on Saturday.

    St. Simons, an easy 1.5 hour drive from Jacksonville, is the prime spot for UGA students to stay before and after the game. Houses are rented, condos are packed to the max (and beyond), and restaurant lines are outrageous from Thursday night to Sunday morning. SSI hot spots like Crab Trap, Mullet Bay, Barbara Gene’s, Brogen’s and Gnat’s Landing are the obvious dinner favorites, but nothing—I repeat, nothing—compares to the lines at Chick-fil-a on Saturday morning. A chicken biscuit is the perfect start to a true Southerner’s game day experience.

    Frat Beach

    Chick-fil-a, though, can also be found in Athens or at home, which is perhaps why some students opt out of the infamous GA/FL road trip.  It’s easy to understand why an away game would not be an affordable priority for all students, especially in today’s economy with such high gas prices.  But, if you follow Tom Petty’s advice to “spend money you don’t have” just this once, I guarantee you won’t regret it. Memories trump money any day of the week. And a little hard work to earn some extra cash never hurt anyone…just saying.

    DAWGS win!

    GA/FL budget (when sharing costs with friends):
    Hotel: $250
    Food & Beverages: $200
    Gas: $60
    Ticket: $80
    Beating Florida (24-20): PRICELESS

    This post was written by a Gridiron Belles intern, Darby Thompson, from the University of Georgia


  • 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



  • 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?

    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


  • “Help! He thinks I like football!”

    Aug 2, 2011 CATEGORIES: Florida, Gridiron Belles Tour, Kentucky Football, SEC Football, Uncategorized

    WingBelle in Gainesville

    The Greatest Wing Belle. Ever.

    Going on a date with someone under false pretenses is perhaps one of the most frightening of all circumstances in the dating world.

    Spending an entire date nodding your head, mindlessly agreeing or feigning interest about a topic that you simply loathe, is worse.

    I’ll spare you the etiquette rules of dating conversation. Suffice it to say, if the conversation is so one-sided that the prominent feeling you are experiencing is nausea from head nodding, not butterflies in your stomach, there are bigger issues to be addressed. But I digress…

    “Help! He thinks I like football!” Was the subject line of an e-mail I received from my darling sister. Before I even opened up the body of the message, I had a huge grin on my face. My sister was panicking and realizing that she should have listened to me for the past decade as I tried to teach her how to “talk football” with eligible suitors.

    Of course, this is my wing-belle we are talking about, so while I am laughing at the situation, I am not taking it lightly and immediately delve into her recount of why her upcoming blind date was already doomed. The trepidation in her every sentence was only going to be mitigated by a long distance call.

    Without a “hello” I was bombarded with bits and pieces of a hilarious story. To me, anyway. “Last week, I was doing YOU a favor, and telling my friend about YOUR book!” (I didn’t even have time to say thanks before…) “The next thing you know, she’s telling me about some handsome guy she wants me to go out with.” (So far, this is all very good. Book promotions and a date for Sis.)

    “Do you know what happened??!!” (She asked as if I had planned to sabotage her potential date.) “ My friend called me to tell me he was excited to meet me because she thought that I was the one who wrote YOUR book and (insert a long unintentional dramatic pause—the heart of the matter was about to surface) that I was the one who liked football!”

    There was no more excitement in her voice. Her last words trailed off as if she was reading her own sentence to be guillotined.

    Oh dear, I thought. This really has taken a turn for the worse… But, again, I inserted an inappropriate laugh. Because well, this was quite comical!

    Before I could rectify the situation, I needed to know three things:

    1) Who is his team?   Kentucky Wildcats

    2) Have you picked an SEC team yet?   No, but I’ve been thinking about that…

    3) How much time do we have? The date is tomorrow.

    Individuals like my sister cannot be made up. They are sweeter than south Georgia sweet tea so it’s a crime not to help them. Especially in the name of love. And SEC football.

    Solution: I made her a cheat sheet that included questions to ask him about UK football that had nothing to do with the actual game of football…which so viscerally annoys my sister:

    “Who does he usually go to the games with?” “What’s his gameday ritual?” “How many years has he been going to UK games?” “Does he have season tickets?” “Does he like going to Keeneland before a night game?” “What’s his favorite memory from a game?”

    You see, the answers to these questions provide insight to the type of person this guy is, his friendships, his morning routines, his level of commitment, etc., without talking Xs and Os or allowing him to show off how many hours of SportsCenter he watches. This, is a Belles dream come true.

    Men are simple creatures—as long as they THINK they are talking about football and not showing you insight into their heads and emotions, they’ll keep talking. And apparently this guy had lots of non-football-football things to say!

    So yes, I have a sister who has no interest in the game of football. But she’s the greatest wing-belle there ever was so I don’t mind a bit.

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    Post Script: To come full circle with the story, my sister has narrowed down her teams to Alabama, Ole Miss and Kentucky. Right now, Ole Miss is in the lead only because “it’s the fanciest.” It’s our goal to have her committed to one team before kickoff of this year’s season.

    The date apparently went well and she carried her own with the football conversation. She immediately enlightened him- “Just so you know, I don’t like football. I don’t know anything about it, and I don’t want to know anything about it…” Because she wanted to know about him, however, she did use the questions above to gain some insight. Turns out, he fell hook line and sinker for the non-football-football questions and she learned more than she imagined and actually ended up enjoying the company of this gridiron-loving Kentucky fan.

    It didn’t turn out to be a match made in heaven, but it sure did teach me a lesson. (Yes, she taught me a lesson in football.) Football conversations don’t have to all be about Xs and Os, wins and losses and comparing national titles and Heisman winners. SEC football is about the people off of the field—maybe or maybe not—interested in the team on the field.

  • 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


  • SEC Waves

    Jul 14, 2011 CATEGORIES: Florida, SEC Football, SEC Media Days

    SEC Team Body Boards

    Take your team to the beach! Found at the Publix in Destin, FL

    Let’s say you were taking a vacation to the beach.  Let’s say that you were getting rather excited for the upcoming SEC Media Days and the 2011 football season.   Let’s also assume that you wanted the perfect way to combine your excitement for the waves of the ocean and the waves that ensue from 12 SEC coaches talking about their teams.

    The solution??   SEC body boards! What a great idea for a fun beach activity and a comfortable seat on the sand!  Just because you’re on vacation and leave your work behind, doesn’t mean you ever leave your team behind.

    This picture was sent in from the Florida panhandle– looks like SEC fans have found a way to combine two of the greatest things on the planet– the beach and SEC football!

    Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


  • SEC Wedding Belles

    Jul 8, 2011 CATEGORIES: Atlanta, Florida, Georgia, New Orleans, SEC, SEC Football

    Florida and Georgia football fans in love

    Tracy and Nate Happily Every Season After

    I’ve begrudgingly attended more than my fair share of fall weddings that coincide with rival weekends on the gridiron. You likely have too.

    In my upcoming book, available on August 10, I dedicate two chapters to the rules of having a fall wedding (if you absolutely must) and to hosting a wedding shower during the beloved football season.

    But it was during a recent summer wedding held in New Orleans when I was the date of an Auburn fan, for a bride of Florida Gator allegiance and a groom of Georgia Dawg allegiance and their respective fans– I mean guests– that I realized football season is still alive and well in the month of June.

    If the ability of all invitees to dress to the nines in bright colors, support an open bar, have attractive dates and party until the sun comes up doesn’t give away a gathering of SEC alumni and fans, the frequent “Go Gators” being said in place of “Amen” at the rehearsal dinner or “ Sic’em” in defense of an embarrassing story told, certainly would!

    But that wasn’t all.  Nearly every person I met at that wedding had a strong belief in their team, their upcoming season and the same light-hearted trepidation about the couple becoming a house divided. He barks, she chomps.

    It was possibly the best weekend of the summer. A weekend full of chatting endlessly about SEC  football and of course, weddings!  Is there anything better for a Belle?

    What topped off this evening of wedded bliss between the delightful bride and groom and a taste of football season was the send off.  One large basket full of orange and blue shakers and one large basket full of red and black shakers patiently waited by the door to become alive.  Who needs rice or sparklers when you have shakers?!

    The pictures that the photographer got were great, fans of Florida and Georgia (and the couple) got to warm up their shaking before kick-off, and everyone was able to see how this house divided, was truly a house united.

    At least until October  in Jacksonville.

    Xs and Os,

    G Belle


  • “Will Muschamp changes his name to Must-chomp”

    Apr 28, 2011 CATEGORIES: Florida, SEC

    Hearing a Big 12 coach refer to any SEC players as “his” is a tough pill to swallow. As a loyal fandom to Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp is going to have to pull out the big stops to prove to the Gator Nation his new loyalty to the program and his ability to be a head coach in the SEC.

    Can someone who played a supportive role at a great (historically speaking, anyway) college football team successfully play the leading role of a phenomenal football team (historically speaking, anyway)?

    What is it going to take to get the Gator faithful on board??

    This monumental shift in title, pay-grade, and conference is of paramount importance. Will he understand Gator tradition? If he understands it, will he fully appreciate it? How good is his Gator Chomp?

    To really prove your dedication to the people of blue and orange, Coach, head over to City Hall in Gainesville. They are waiting for you to show your seriousness by changing your name to Will MustChomp. You may have hooked’em for the past few years, but this is Florida, now you Must-Chomp.

  • An SEC Pregnancy

    Apr 13, 2011 CATEGORIES: Florida, SEC

    The book I’ve just completed, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, touches on every aspect of football in the SEC that is relevant to a Belle. I cover what to bring to a tailgate, gridiron etiquette, what to wear at each stadium, when to get married during season(if you decide to ruin a fall Saturday), and even the basics of Xs and Os so that all belles can become Gridiron Belles.

    I covered it all. Or so I thought.

    Last week I e-mailed a Florida Gator enthusiast about attending the Florida v Tennessee game with me in September. Her response this morning filled me in on her exciting pregnancy. Sure I was happy to hear that she was expecting, but how was she going to drink a pre-game “Painkiller” with me in the Bull Gator Lot? As if she read my mind, I was quickly put at ease with her next line:

    “Don’t worry, the little Gator is due in July and we already have a babysitter lined up for every home game of the season!”

    Well fiddle-de-dee! I thought I was a planner by already having hotel rooms lined up for every game of my tour. I thought I had thought of everything a woman must think about in relation to a football game. Clearly, there needs to be a second edition of Gridiron Belles to cover pregnant fans!

    Sarah Hart, gator fan from Ocala, FL awaits to find out if she’s having a little Albert or Alberta.

    If this Florida fan can line up a babysitter for each home game five months before the first kickoff soars, surely you can go ahead and decide on which games you’ll be attending this fall… without a newborn.

    What are you waiting for, plan your season!

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