Smoky Barbecue, Pretty Women, and College Football

In less serious news, a bit of a Twitter Civil War is heating up over a comment made by Sports Illustrated‘s Andy Staples in response to the seventh consecutive college football national championship won by a team from the Southeastern Conference:

I’m sorry, folks outside of SEC country, but a few facts are incontrovertible. They smoke better barbecue than you. Their women are prettier than your women. They play football better than your schools play football.

Jon Chait, a Michigan fan, responded:

Our women are better educated and interesting. And we have Zingerman’s.

Lord-a-mercy. Before long, we’ll have people debating the demerits of Real Housewives of New Jersey versus Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

As a native southerner transplanted to California, I would echo Staples’ judgments about barbecue and football. As for “pretty women,” I will note the Beach Boys once had a tune that provided a tribute to the sterling qualities of various American women before trumpeting Golden State chauvinism:

(Hope you enjoy the bonus spectacle of Bob Hope and Jack Benny trying to make surfer jokes.)

But getting back to the New Civil War, surely women have enough problems in this country without having to compete as regional trophies. So let’s leave them out of the bragfest, boys. Eat your barbecue and watch your football.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.