Fall is Here and That Means FOOTBALL!

ncaa-football-logoSummer is almost over and for many of us that means college football is about to begin. In the south, it is said there are three seasons:  football, recruiting and spring practice. Fans obsess over every player – who is hurt, who shows promise and who gained too much weight in the off-season. I am personally counting down the days until my football team kicks off in the Chick-Fil-A Kick-Off Classic in Atlanta, Georgia. On August 31, my alma mater, the Alabama Crimson Tide, will face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies (a hokie is a bird in case you did not know). Alabama has won the last two NCAA National Championships and three out of the last four awarded.  This year, my team will strive to win three consecutive national titles which would make them the only team in the modern era to do so. Unfortunately, there are a lot of teams standing in our way in this potentially historic season and my nails will be bitten to the nubs before it ends. However, I will be watching each week in hopes that Alabama can reach this great milestone.

There are not very many events that could pull me away from a great book, but when college football begins, that takes precedence over everything else that does not involve life and death (I can pick my book back up after the game). I learned this at the knees of my own parents who also attended the University of Alabama (as did my aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, children etc.). You do not schedule weddings on any Saturday in the fall unless you are certain it is an off week for football. Disregarding this would risk the ire of your entire family at the very least or the chance that the best man or maid of honor may walk down the aisle listening to the game on their iPods. The cable going out is cause for a major crisis and shopping centers find that Saturdays in the fall are the loneliest hours after the first college game gets underway. Even those who are not football fans quickly get used to the way that the season affects their daily lives.

College football fans are also extraordinarily superstitious. I have a number of “lucky shirts” at my disposal and if we are not doing well in a particular game, then I keep changing shirts until I find the right one. I also have a lucky spot where I sit when I watch the games. NO ONE else is allowed to sit there. My brothers and sisters are just as fanatical as I am and we spend most of the game texting each other about great or disastrous plays. The only person in my family not watching the game (unless we are ahead by at least three touchdowns) is my mother. She gets too nervous, but she does wait by the phone for our periodic updates. At age 82, she says it is just too stressful for her. But she remains one of Alabama’s most loyal fans and has been watching or listening to her Crimson Tide for over 70 years.

College football is my guilty obsession alongside reading.  Whether it is sports, or some other activity, what are your guilty obsessions in life?

– Mary AAR

12 thoughts on “Fall is Here and That Means FOOTBALL!

  1. PatAAR

    Can I sneak in a quick Go Big Red–uh, not Crimson Tide, but Cornhuskers? My husband graduated from the University of Texas (Go Longhorns!), and the first year we were married Nebraska and UT were in a bowl game playing each other. I can’t tell you how many times people asked if it was a strain on our marriage.

    We instilled the love of college football in our daughters who keep up with the season from their homes in Rome, Italy, and the San Francisco Bay Area. And we’re trying to get the grandkids interested even though European soccer and gymnastics have a greater hold right now. However, Ethan loves the hookem’ horns sign and gives it to my husband when we Skype every Sunday.

    Yes, my guilty pleasure is American college football, and on Saturdays in the fall, you can find me watching UT and Nebraska games on TV.

    Good luck this season, Mary! The Crimson Tide is rated #1 in number of sports news polls. Alas, the Longhorns and Cornhuskers should be so lucky.

  2. maryskl

    Pat: Both Texas and Nebraska have been to the big dance before though. College football is cyclical (I mean Nick Saban will retire sometime…right?) and they will be there again. I would not be surprised if Mack Brown is gone after this season. Pellini seems to be doing pretty well for the Cornhuskers. What do fans think?

    1. PatAAR

      Well, Mack Brown is about a thousand years old, right? Nebraska’s gone through a bunch of coaches since my Bob Devaney days, so I expect Pellini to hang on for a while.

      You’re right about it being cyclical, however. I think that’s what I love about it. The team on top today may be closer to the middle of the pack next week. And two years from now? That team may be at the bottom. Plus, game play isn’t as rote and mechanical as the pros seem. At least that’s how it looks to me.

  3. LeeB.

    I actually prefer pro football. It’s annoying when college powerhouses play really small schools and roll all over them. Boring.

    1. Mary

      I watch the pro teams who have Alabama players on their roster. The unmatched team games are kind of boring, but they do serve two purposes: they give the big schools a rest and they put a lot of money in the small school coffers.

  4. Blythe

    Between my girls, my husband, and me we have attended seven different colleges, but when it comes to football we are loyal to Georgia – where Dave and I went to grad school. When we moved there we had no idea what a big deal football was in the SEC – but we found out! If this isn’t Georgia’s year, you can bet we’ll be rooting for Bama or whichever SEC team is in the national championship game. Because the real national championship is the SEC championship. ;)

    1. Mary

      Blythe: I agree about rooting for the SEC (unless it is Auburn). I also think Georgia was the toughest team we played last year. Good luck to your team this year. If we meet each other it will be in the SEC Championship game again.

  5. LydiaH

    My cousins are about a year apart. One went to Alabama and the other to Auburn. Their parents bought tickets on the 50 yard line, then switched places at half time.

    The second weekend in Sept used to Ole Miss and the University of Memphis. that was also our church family camp weekend, where no electronic devices were allowed. But on Saturday afternoon people would start disappearing and wouldn’t see them til dinner time, and everyone knew the score.

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