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Imagine what Gus Malzahn was thinking after a big home win over LSU Halloween night and as he headed straight home. Such a win usually meant heading straight to Waffle House after leaving Jordan-Hare Stadium. It is a tradition he and his wife Kristi have had for nearly 25 years. Then COVID came along and ruined it all. Gus can no longer risk post-game trips to his beloved Waffle House. It has been so traumatizing for Gus and his wife that AL.com is out with a lengthy report on how the couple is dealing with these tough times.
“I’ll tell you what, I’m real disappointed I can’t go to my Waffle House after the game,” Malzahn said of the predicament COVID has put him in. “So, it’s a weird year, like we’ve talked about, in a lot of different ways.”
The tradition started while he was coaching at Shiloh Christian High School in Arkansas, and it has been part of his life ever since. The Malzahns giving up Waffle House in 2020 should tell you how seriously they’re taking COVID. They’re just trying to do their part to lay low and get a college football season in for the university.
According to AL.com, Gus always orders a “ham and cheese omelet with hashbrowns scattered (crispy), smothered (with sauteed onions), covered (with melted cheese) and chunked (topped with hickory-smoked ham), plus a side of bacon.” Maybe a side waffle here and there.
The couple tried to do Waffle House takeout, but it just wasn’t the same. Now Gus is left with Kristi whispering the words “fix yourself a sandwich” instead. It must be devastating to work 100 hours a week, face SEC team after SEC team, battle it out for four quarters and then know your work week won’t end with that cherished omelet. That’s enough to break a man.
Missing Waffle House on Halloween was particularly hard on the coach and his wife.
“That was a tough one,” Kristi lamented. “I think we did a little extra celebration after these last couple of years of really close losses (to LSU) and that ugh feel. It was nice to celebrate a big win, but it wasn’t the same.”
There’s possibly good news on the horizon for Gus and Kristi though. Pfizer and biotechnology company Moderna say they have vaccine candidates that have 94.5-95% efficacy and are ready for emergency authorization. Next year will bring better times for people around the world, and the Malzahns may once again restart their Waffle House tradition. Stay strong, everyone.
— Bucky (@Buckys_the_name) September 11, 2016
— AJ Spurr (@SpurrFM) November 24, 2018
Great to celebrate a win with @kristi_malzahn at our postgame hangout!
— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) September 8, 2019
— Kristi Malzahn (@kristi_malzahn) February 5, 2015