| FTBL Bama Fiction


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For you guys into the Literary stuff, I found an old article I think from the New Yorker called Birdland by Michael Knight. It's a short story with Bama football as the backdrop. The theme dances around why it is so important to people like us. Good read if you can find it. Just thought I'd post something y'all may not have read.
TP - My scanner leaves the words too blurry to read. No link because it was written before the New Yorker had online archives. Here is the info:

Michael Knight, Fiction, "Birdland," The New Yorker, November 9, 1998, p. 82

Individual back issues may be purchased from our customer-service department at 1-800-825-2510.

I'll also be glad to snail-mail you a copy. Just PM me with your addy if you want.
Here's a snippet:


Michael Knight, Fiction, "Birdland," The New Yorker, November 9, 1998, p. 82
November 9, 1998 Issue

The narrator, Raymond French, lives in a small, sleepy Alabama town obsessed with football, and is in love with an ornithologist studying the migration of African gray parrots. He wants her to stay, but she has to return North to finish her book. When she becomes pregnant, they compromise and migrate with the birds. The parrots she is studying are descended from pet parrots released by a millionaire philanthropist from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. They have flourished in the wild, migrating south for the winter. The platinum-haired Ludmilla Haggarsdottir has been in Elbow, Alabama, for a year, researching a book about the parrots. The parrots, mimicking the football fans of Elbow, call out, “Catch the ball!” and “Stick him like a man, you fat country bastard.” Raymond asks the Blonde to marry him, but she says she can’t stay in Alabama. Her book will be about the insistence of nature. When the parrots head north again in April, the Blonde stays, because, she says, she’s broke, but the thought of her leaving frightens Raymond. A former classics student who carves parrots out of branches, he tells her stories about Greek mythology. The parrots call, “Who are you? Why are you in my house?” repeating, generations later, what the old millionaire said when he was deep in Alzheimer’s disease. Elbow’s Mayor Dillard, an unrepentant racist, sometimes trades words and, when they were younger, punches, with Lookout Coley, the second black man to play for the Crimson Tide. But they always make up. The Blonde was at first appalled and tried to convince Lookout to run for mayor himself. Now the words don’t offend her so much anymore. Raymond returns one day to an empty house and panics, but finds the Blonde in an abandoned grain silo where she’s found a nest of baby parrots. The parrots keep returning to Elbow because their food supply dries up in the Rhode Island cold, but when the narrator asks, “Why here?” for once the Blonde doesn’t have an answer. The Blonde tells Raymond she’s pregnant, and he is about to waltz her joyously around the room, when she slaps him and shouts, “This is not my baby. This is not my life.” In the morning, she is gone, but returns in the afternoon. Raymond and the Blonde decided to spend the spring in Rhode Island, fall in Alabama, until she has finished her book, but she will give birth in Alabama. Maybe, if the stars are all in line, their daughter will grow up to be the hardest-hitting free safety who ever lived.
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