It's raining outside. Has been all night. Thunder rattles the windows and cool dampness seeps through the propped open doors. Finally. The low temperature is a relief from the AC-less, suffocatingly humid days gone by. Chilly, wet, dark days herald the approaching of the sweater-wearing, leaves-falling, crisp-aired, nutmeg/clove/orange/cinnamon smelling days of fall.
In the South, the coming of Fall brings excitement for one specific reason: College Football.
Sure, golden/red leaves are gorgeous and the [finally] cooler weather is a relief. The smell of campfires and bundling up against the chill are parts of the season that I look forward to. But today, the only thing on my mind is College Football. I've come to realize, after seeing this video recently and now living in Europe, that the College Football craze in the South is identical to the Club Football (the other Football...) craze in most of western Europe.
The excitement and anticipation grows from years of heritage and newly formed ties. It speaks of decades of loyalty and family history. It grows from new students and deep-pocketed alumni.
College Football brings memories of disappointing loss and unbelievable miracles. It brings to mind open doors, Brunswick Stew, the local team's radio announcers turned up and TV announcers turned down, camping trips where all activity comes to a halt for three short hours as we sit in concentrated silence around a small television set, "RUN LINDSAY!!", shrimp and grits, Larry Munson (you need to stop right now and listen to him below), family gatherings and weddings planned around big games, days of waiting, nights of cheering, red and black hats and shirts, and a deep sense of love and pride.
It may sound completely ridiculous, but anyone with a love for a hobby or sport feels what I just described. Chances are you feel this way about a holiday (Christmas anyone?), a profession, a sport, or an event. There is a sense of belonging, a sense of comradery, a sense of familiarity and enjoyment, even a sense of family.
Today, here in the little town of Badhoevedorp in the little country of Holland, this southern girl is missing her College Football family days. Oh don't worry, I'll be tuning in from across the sea, wearing my red and black, eating my Shrimp and Grits, cheering for my team. But it won't be the same this year, and I'm missing that.
Enjoy a little tribute video I found for my team, and get excited; College Football Season is coming.