======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Tonight, after a seemingly endless dearth of watchable sports since NBA Finals (regular season baseball is not comparable), football returns to reclaim its rightful crown as the greatest sport on earth. Yes, I realize tonight is a lowly preseason game, which is like watching simulated soft core sex on Showtime, but, like the taped pelvic slapping of premium cable, it’s still something, and the prelude to the rabbit hole or Pornhub: almost seven full months of nonstop college and pro football.
As of today, no calendar week will conclude without multiple football games, a nearly 30-week stretch of pure American bliss, unrivaled by any of the major sports. Most of us are three weeks from our first tailgate, firing up our Fanduel and Bovada accounts and preparing for the inevitably imagined “early season run” and for the elders of the group, planning out alma mater homecomings with gleeful nostalgia.
There’s nothing like fall and football season in the United States. Waking up the coeds at seven in the morning for an early start to the substance marathon, carrying on like escaped inmates until an abrupt stadium entrance moments before kickoff. The chills of the national anthem, and for that brief moment even fans of hated SEC rivals regale in unison in the flag and our country, before promptly giving way to renewed hatred as the players take the field for kickoff.
Do I sound insane? Maybe, but I don’t care. Every new season gives the hopeless hope, brings families together, enhances and pillages (more likely) bank accounts, and etches its own anecdotal history never to be forgotten. I can still tell you where I was when Stephen Morris, the Miami starting quarterback at the time, threw a last second pick-six down seven against Virginia Tech. I had Miami +7.5. When Blair Walsh missed a field goal shorter than an extra point to lose to the visiting Seahawks, I had the money line. When the Michigan State Spartans throat fucked Jim Harbaugh and all of Ann Arbor in that one fateful moment of total Michigan ineptitude (typical), again, I fucking lost.
It’s not about the money, though. Admittedly, that’s easier to say now than during those aforementioned debacles, just a few “highlights” of past misfortunes. It’s about getting out of class Thursday night and having a pro and college game to choose from during pregaming the bars, Saturday morning hangovers filled with garbage Big Ten matchups as we rally for the SEC slate, the PAC 12 shepherding you through the near vomit spins, all to wake up on Sunday and do it again. It’s the endless party, camaraderie, fantasy football triumphs and shortcomings, and the literally endless wagering potential. It’s about fucking football.
In seven months, after the shine of the Super Bowl has faded, a new national champion crowned, and even signing day has passed, we will look back on this day August 11, 2016, and yearn to relive the incredible experiences we had. Enjoy it, especially those of you entering your final tailgate season of your college career — you’ll miss it more than you know.
Fucking football is back..
Image via Instagram/@Steelers