Fall in the United States brings out the football fan in even the most unathletic. We all pick a team to root for or at least check the score of on weekends. One such weekend I was scheduled to perform a wedding at a local hotel.
I arrived at the venue very early, having anticipated heavy traffic and there being none. As I walked into the lobby and realized what time it was I headed to the bar to watch some college football before the ceremony began. Dressed in a white shirt, suit pants, and a tie, with my ministerial robe folded neatly over my arm, I crowded into the bar to see the score of our beloved Gators. While I stood there the groom and his groomsmen also came down to the bar to see the game and throw back a few drinks.
Now, only the groom knew my identity when the Gators intercepted the ball and ran half the length of the field to score against their long time rival. At which point the best man shouted at the top of his lungs, “f#*$&ing A man, f#*$&ing A.”
As quick as I’ve ever seen, the groom took advantage of the situation, patted his best man on the shoulder, and proceeded to point at me while he said, “Hey Tom, have you met Rev.Ferguson?” Like mercury in a thermometer, redness flooded the young man’s face and there was nothing he could do to conceal his embarrassment over having shouted a profanity in front of the minister who was about to marry his best friend. More than twenty minutes passed and in that time the best man must have told me a dozen times how sorry he was to have uttered those words. Even as I tried to let him know I was not offended, the redness in his face persisted. Finally, standing in the hall, just moments before we were to enter the ceremony; I told him that maybe he needed to go and splash some cool water on his face to calm down. I pointed down the hallway and told him there was a restroom located down the hall to his left. At which time another groomsman said “Man if I had just dropped the F Bomb in front of my pastor I would go drown myself in the urinal.”
And it all happened down the aisles.