Shane: Let the games begin

By Shane from Centerpoint
Forget the mundane drudgery in all the activities you associate with your normal daily life – the 2009 college football season is about to start. Leave those worries about bills, rising taxes, and your health in limbo for a while because it’s game week. Banks may be collapsing around you, but have no fear, America’s favorite pastime is alive and kicking.

Actually, the story lines and scenarios surrounding this great game are a welcome relief from all the unpleasant things we encounter in today’s modern society. In college football we find a place where we can release our frustrations, fight our battles play-by-play, and live vicariously through our chosen team.

It’s about time for the tailgating to crank up. Some of the best food in the world can be found in tailgating lots around the country. Tailgate chefs create some of the most unique food ever served; and some of it tastes pretty good too. Besides, nobody really complains about the food because the beer is so good.

Don’t forget the television game parties that will be coming to the guy’s house that owns the biggest flat-screen and awesome surround-sound audio system. People he’s never seen will just show up and join in the fun.

Time to put the golf clubs in the closet, leave the hunting and fishing to the diehards, and focus on the play-by-play. College football 24/7 can fill up an entire weekend, while leaving no time for anyone to do his or her normal outdoor activities.

Put the lawnmower in the shed. Tell your wife to put the landscaping plans away until next spring, and if you have to cut the grass, take off work early Friday and get the chore done, well before the beginning of the week’s football activities.

Send notification to all relatives and friends that no weddings or other social functions are to be planned on game days. If anybody wants to die they’ll just have to wait until after the BCS national championship game to do it. Just kidding about the dying thing of course.

Everybody needs to load up with information about their favorite team. The conversation around your work place is about to turn from who got votes on American Idol to what key plays affected the outcome of the big game – you know, something that is really important.

The female gender – including some who you would never expect – will suddenly become a supporter of and expert on college football. If they pull for a team who beats yours, they’ll shove the loss down your throat and make you like it. A fanatical female football fan is a truly dangerous breed.

Some of you dads will get to carry your little boy to a game. During these tough economic times it will take a miracle in some cases for that to happen. I wish all fathers could do it just once. The sight of a young kid watching the pageantry of college football is a sight to behold. The sheer magnitude of the event can be breathtaking to a child (and to us adults, too).

The main point is: we’ve made it through the desert called the off-season. Now talk-radio will improve. The local television sportscast will step it up a notch. Finally, the newspaper’s sports section will be filled with something interesting for a change.

There will be a continuous electric buzz flowing through the air for the next five months or more. College football ignites a passion inside its fans that is explosive. That is what makes the game unique among all sports. Besides, “real” football is the only genuine American sport. It also serves as a reminder why we don’t need soccer in this country.

So tune up your remotes or check the seating arrangements on your season tickets. College football is about to take over. Grown men are about to yell and scream while coaching their team from the stands and lounge chairs across the nation. Let the games begin!
—Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.