I can almost hear the ESPN Gameday theme song through the lingering thickness of summer's humidity. There are only a few more days until the mighty pigskin begins to fly across the perfectly manicured fields of every college in America. I can hardly wait, can you? It won't be long before crockpots of chili, portable grills, and team-specific desserts are a part of our Saturday routines.
I can't remember when I began to care about football, but I do remember that it has always been something I looked forward to when August began to set in. I don't come from a large football family, but most of them are University of Florida fans. Tim Tebow not withstanding, I do not like Florida. I am a bonafide orange and white University of Tennessee fan. Yes, I know we're supposed to suck this season. Let's just wait and see. I didn't have the opportunity to attend a major university when I went to college but I did attend my fair share of ball games in Neyland Stadium. There's something so intangibly exciting about the crispness of a fall Saturday when I put on my school colors and either head to the stadium or get ready for a football watching party at home.
Incidentally, I married a Kentucky fan. It's a mixed marriage. For most of our relationship, it's been tough being the one whose team always won. That will not always be the case, I'm sure, but it's a fun rivalry. I do know enough to hate the Louisville Cardinals, though, and that is enough for my dear husband. Together, my husband and I cheer for TCU. It stems from our time living in Fort Worth and often times, the Horned Frogs were the team that brought us together after a day of friendly competition.
I've had the opportunity to live in several different states and I must say that nobody does football like the SEC. I'm not sure how I feel about all these other teams trying to join our club, but the more the merrier! Here in the South, we get dressed up for football games. No matter what state it is, we ladies like to accessorize with monogrammed necklaces, high heels, and handbags in our school colors. In Georgia the guys dress like they did when people used to sit on their wrap-around porches sipping lemonade. Heck, we even dress our dogs up in little jerseys. And then there's the mascots. People have them tattooed on their biceps, etched on their windshields, and even name their pets after them.
Somehow people become much friendlier during football season. If you see someone else with your team's shirt on, you're brothers for life. Especially at away games. I have seen my father-in-law [not the most social person in the world] become best friends with random Kentucky fans in Razorback Stadium.
I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see Desmond, Kirk, Lee, and Erin on my Saturday morning TV screen. Get your car flags ready folks, it's almost that time! May your team always win, unless they're playing mine.