Fourth and goal, the crowd was frenetic! The constant roar of the two hundred thousand historic fans measured at jet airliner decibels. It was a moment as big as any in modern history. The ball sat squarely on the two-yard line going in. The clock sat still at :03. The Reb defense, tired and gallant, dug in to protect its turf. The Rebs led 21-17. The world was watching. Everything hung in the balance.

It had been a long time coming!

. . . . .

It began in 2008, with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Obama’s presidency was filled with vitriolic racism channeled through talk shows and entertainment news. It was all about political and economic gain, but with the country in a recession, it was easier to cast doubt on a man of color and what his aims were. “Muslim,” they had called him. In the last years of his presidency, violence flared up along the unspoken boundary between North and South.

It had actually begun decades earlier with the deregulation of the media. Fewer interests controlled most of the airwaves. Independent voices disappeared. News outlets needed to fill the day-long, twenty-four hour news cycle with features, talk and, of course, lots of advertising. Bobbing head commentators subbed for serious news.

The division of red and blue states was not far behind. Next came rancor, resistance, little congressional cooperation, and a government run by corporate interests.

The people? The people were mired in ignorance, led there by bought and paid for leaders.

Under President Jeb Bush, the divisions grew deeper and more pronounced. A chasm developed in the country, fueled by politicians needing to be re-elected. Jeb promised he wouldn’t be a worse president than his brother, “W.” He was. Bush’s directives, cronyism and the reversal of President Obama’s course sent the country back to the fearful, duct tape, shop till you drop, Osama Bin Laden, be fearful of those different from you, the terrorists are coming to get you days. Jeb infuriated the liberals. But something new happened. The liberals fought back. No one had counted on that happening. The liberals had never fought back before. But, flushed from their safe havens of intellectualism, the once staid liberals did something beside talk. “An eye for an eye,” became their war cry.

President Duvall Patrick, after much deliberation and counsel with his War Chiefs, decided that short of war, there was only one way to settle things. Elections? They no longer mattered. In 2025, no one believed in or trusted elections anymore. Elections could be bought or decided by a Supreme Court ruling. The controversial Supreme Court Ruling of 2010 allowing an endless supply of cash to flow into elections meant not only that elections could be bought, but also recalls could reverse elections, as with the short lived tenure of President Hillary Clinton. Neither of the three political parties was able to get a sixty-vote majority in the Senate. Things ground to a halt in Washington D.C.

The settlement was the one thing the southern republicans, the tea party people, the young, the gay, the independents, the helpless, the rich and the liberals could agree on.

During his 2025 State of the Union address, President Patrick announced the plan for a World College Super Duper Bowl I. Every four years, beginning in 2025, the country’s political differences would be settled by a football game.

The nation celebrated.

. . . . .

The North called timeout. Yank quarterback, Abdul Lewis, “the traitor” as the Southerners called him, because of his Alabama heritage, jogged over to meet his coach, the legendary Paul D. Jones.

Southern linebacker Co-Captains, Leroy Gilliam, and Kassan Lewis, Abdul’s younger brother, jogged over to their equally legendary head coach, Jake Snead from Ole Miss.

The bands on either side of the field broke into their respective fight songs. The Yank band played The Star Spangled Banner. The Reb band broke out a rousing version of Dixie. The 200,000 fans on both sides of the specially constructed stadium that sat geographically right in the middle of the country’s Mason–Dixon line, stood yelling and screaming, some with hands over their hearts, other drunk off their ass.

Find out what happens next… read “The Game Between the States” in The Rest of the Pie, available in ebook or paperback copy