Expert Take: A Former Belk Employee Tells Bulldog Fans What to Expect From the @BelkBowl

Once upon a time I worked as a Sales Associate in a Belk store.  I’ll spare you all the details, but this account should get you up to speed.

In light of my wealth of knowledge and experience, here’s what we can look forward when Georgia and Louisville square off in the Belk Bowl.

Really, Really Ridiculously Good Looking Men’s Attire

When I began my career as a Sales Associate in the men’s department at Belk, I wasn’t paid on commission.  Accordingly, my go-to selling strategy was to chill at the cash register, play with hand-held massagers and other gadgets that I’d borrow from the Home apparel department and talk to anybody that came in.  As a result of these hyper-aggressive sales tactics it wasn’t unheard of for me to rank among the top two or three sales associates in the men’s department on any given night.  There were three of us.

I can’t say with any degree of confidence that my time at Belk refined my sense of style—as I type this I’m wearing sweatpants and a button-up oxford.  But I can say there was some perfectly fine clothing in the store.  And when Georgia and Louisville get together on December 30, it will be hard for either fan base to take issue with either team’s color scheme. Black on red on black on red.

Sit back, relax, and use a hand-held massage tool while enjoying comparable color schemes.


Want a Deal? Get a Deal.

I walked into Belk on a weekday afternoon, filled out an application, interviewed, was hired and did some training.  I was something of a prodigy in the department store circles.  I mean how often does a guy go from being a punk kid on the tough streets of high school to working 12-15 hours at one of the finer regionally-dominant department stores in just one afternoon?  It was like one of those feel-good stories from the beginning of American Idol.

But instead of showing up and singing my ass off, I showed up and occasionally rang up merchandise on one of the oldest computers I had ever seen.  Things got interesting when merchandise in our store didn’t ring up.  How did this happen?  Some Belk stores sold brands we did not carry and as a result we had some menswear with barcodes not recognized by our system.

So when a patron wanted to buy one of these items, I’d call my manager and say, “How much is this?”  We’d then look at the shirt in question, feel its fabric, examine its color, identify its brand and make a tough decision.  “That shirt is $29.99.”  This inexact science drew follow-up questions more often than not.

“Are you sure?”

“Nope.  It’s actually $19.99.”

What does this have to do with Georgia and Louisville?  In a word: Everything.

Recently, a Georgia defensive coordinator showed up at Louisville and for the past 12 games he’s been operating at an arbitrary price that I’m just not buying.

“I’m intrigued.  Todd Grantham is really a $29.99 pair of jeans?”

“Nope.  Actually, Mike Bobo just said he was going to be $14.99.”


Living on Credit

In the interest of fiscal responsibility, Belk used to offer incentives for sales associates to collect credit card account applications.  I’d get a $1 bonus every time an application was filled out—even if it wasn’t approved.  I’d take home $3 if it was approved.

If there’s one thing we now know about America in 2006, it’s that our country was not in need of more people making irresponsible purchases.  If there’s one thing I knew even then, it was that $3 was not worth 15-20 minutes of inputting data into that soggy old computer.

Some day Louisville will learn (for the second time) a hard lesson about purchasing items on credit.

Bobby Petrino is the figurehead equivalent of unchecked credit spending in the world of college football.

When he’s good, he’s good.  He gets you all kinds of things you never thought you’d get.  The guy won 41 games over four years at Louisville from 2003-2006.  He turned Arkansas into a national championship contender in 2010 and 2011.  Western Kentucky won eight games under him in 2013.  But all that glitz and glamour comes at a price.

Bobby Petrino will cost you your vehicle, your fiance and your livelihood if you don’t keep him in check.  He will leave you broke, battered and worse off than when he arrived.  This isn’t even debatable.

  • In 2001 and 2002, the two years before Petrino became the head coach at Louisville, the Cardinals won 18 games.  In 2007 and 2008, the years after, Louisville won 11.
  • In two years prior to his arrival (2006-2007), Arkansas won 18 games and 11 SEC contests.  In the two years after his departure (2012, 2013), Arkansas won seven games and just two SEC contests.
  • He was only at Western Kentucky for one season, but unless the Hilltoppers win the Bahamas Bowl in December the team’s 2014 season won’t be better than its 2012 season.


Enjoy these highs Louisville.  Enjoy ’em real good like.  Because while your athletic director got a $3.00 bonus for bringing in Petrino and you’re experiencing more success than you really can afford.  It won’t last forever.  Nothing ever does.  Not even a motorcycle.



That’s all I got/

Andrew Hall



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About dudeyoucrazy

College Football Writer

Posted on December 8, 2014, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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