Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let's be honest, everyone has 'their thing'. Some guys are into cars, or poker, or chicken wings, or baseball. Some girls are into shoes, or shopping, or reading, or lattes. Whatever 'that thing' is that people consider to be their one vice or their one weakness, I believe everyone has it. college football.

I do not know why exactly college football is my 'thing'. I consider myself to be a relatively cultured man - I read, keep up to date on current events, travel, try different foods, but for some reason, fall is a sacred time of year.

It could be having experienced fall football Saturdays for four years at university - but even before then - there was something about waiting all year, prepping, working, training and practicing for 12 opportunities - 12 shots to win. For the most part, if you are out. No do-overs, no second chances, no regrets.

Be perfect for 12 games and you will earn the chance to play for the title.

Add that to the electricity in college football - legions of fans packing 100,000 person stadiums, decked out in their school's colours, ready to sweat and bleed for their team to beat their rival on the other side of the ball. That sounds a little too cheesy, I know, but there is truth - albeit hyperbolized - in cheese. These games are considered legalized war as these teams are truly manifestations of educational institutions and traditions going to battle. There is something pure in that - somewhere - and perhaps that is why college football is my thing.

I do not play fantasy football, I do not bet on games, I do not follow every stat of every game - yet, I simply cannot get over the amount of importance placed on two teams, two groups of athletes, playing a simple game - yet having so much riding on it - from perfection to history.

The irony is, the college football season has not been kind to my alma mater or team as of late. No, the Fighting Irish of my beloved Notre Dame have had their asses handed to them most weekends the past few years and have not sniffed a bowl win since Charles was still In Charge. Yet, until that ball is snapped, we are undefeated and as much a national championship contender as Southwest Missouri State.

So, it is August - the preview magazines and blogs and online articles are swelling with guesses, analysis and presumptions about how the season will go. The only way to really know is to wait for kickoff - but one thing is certain - weekends are about to get a whole lot more exciting over the next five months.

My 'thing' is back for another season.