As I’m typing this, my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes are thrashing the Clemson Tigers in the 2021 Allstate Sugar Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal. It looks like it will be sweet revenge for last year’s bitter loss in the Fiesta Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal. It also looks like we are on our way to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game with a chance to capture our 2nd title in this era. Tonight is one of the rare times where New Orleans doesn’t burn me. My sports teams always take Ls in New Orleans and it frustrates me to no end. Kansas has had their national championship dreams end there 3 times in my fandom (1993, 2003, 2012). Ohio State lost a BCS National Championship Game there. I even took Ls there when I ran track for the Wiggins Park Roadrunners. However, nothing riles me up about my dislike for New Orleans regarding losses more than the FBLA trip I took there in high school, where I found out my then-girlfriend—who was also on the trip—straight up cheated on me during said trip. The aftermath of it all brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: Uncle Sam’s “I Don’t Ever Want to See You Again”.
How I first came across this moment? It was around Thanksgiving in 1997 that I saw the music video for the song on The Box. I remember Sam hooping with his friend and his girlfriend interrupting the game to give him a hug while checking out his friend.
What it meant to me then? At the time, I was intrigued by songs about breakups and rough spots in relations. Uncle Sam’s hit along with Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna” and Dru Hill’s twin hits in “We’re Not Making Love No More” and “In My Bed” were the songs at the top of that genre of music for me in the Fall of 1997. “I Don’t Ever Want to See You Again” was one of the first songs that I really felt the hurt in the lyrics. Nearly 4 ½ years later, when I found out about my ex cheating on the trip during the bus ride back to Birmingham, I felt everything Sam felt and it hurt. I remember switching out seats with a classmate and just listening to the track on repeat all the way up I-20/59.
What it means to me now? Today, the track obviously has a place in the Juan Thomas Presents…Heartbreak Hotel playlist on my Windows Media Player. I don’t really think about it except when I read through old entries from March 2002 in Triumphs & Tribulations II or when I think about my fiery dislike for the City of New Orleans. I still feel the sting of the hurt from the lyrics and how they applied to what I was going through.