Let’s face it, as postgrads, there’s just not that much to look forward to. Basically every day, a bill is due, you’re out of food and/or money, you find a disgusting, new wrinkle or roll on yourself, or all of the above. But every Saturday for four magical months, all those terrible things don’t matter because you get to attend or at least intently watch your Alma Mater’s football games. After the traditional flyover, you’re more excited than a corgi puppy come chow time.
While other holidays are just one day, this fantastic season brings you four months (or more if your team literally just goes .500 in the regular season) of joy. You’re allowed to act differently than the other eight months of the year, which henceforth shall be collectively known as “the bullshit before next season starts.” As the 2013 season comes to a close, let’s review the things we’ll all miss about the most wonderful time of the year, college football season.
1. Early morning binge drinking thinly veiled as “tailgating.”
My particular DFW-based Alma Mater recently joined a new conference, which is great, except that if FOX wanted you to kick off at 3am, you’d pretty much have to. Most of our home games kicked off at 11am, which means tailgating began promptly at 8am. If you start drinking (heavily) at eight in the morning for any reason other than tailgating, the Betty Ford Clinic would try to perform an exorcism on you. But during football season, anyone not out there within two hours of sunrise is considered a weird and terrible fan. How great is that?
Ah, ‘tis the season for true bliss. By the time your solid buzz hits around that third game of cornhole, you realize it’s 9:15am and that everyone is already stabbing Miller Lites with their keys for the third shotgun of the day. You proceed in kind, right after you wipe away that one tear of pure, American football joy. It doesn’t matter that afterwards you look like you dove face first into a muddy slip n’ slide, because you’re just so damn happy.
2. Blinding, irrational hatred toward anyone whose degree or fandom is not identical to yours.
Much like regular holidays, college football season is a time that brings everyone together. For example, that guy you see twice a year outside of football season will become your best friend at every tailgate, while your best friends from different schools will become hated rivals that will be seen and despised for what they truly are: jackasses who made the wrong school choice, a mistake which you will never let them forget.
3. Shit-talking based on questionable facts and unsound reasoning.
For my Alma Mater, this year was, to say the least, disappointing. Success on the field is certainly the best shit-talking ammunition, but if you don’t have that, it’s time to start grasping at straws. It’s not like you’re gonna sit quietly and accept that you don’t have a leg to stand on with your cellar-dweller record and constant off-field issues, right? Hell no. You begin dredging your internal database for anything negative about their school. Your chain of reasoning, tact and concern for the friendship will fall by the wayside as you attempt to win the argument on game day:
“Oh yeah? Remember that guy on your basketball team that shot his teammate in the face? Yeah, suck it.”
“Oh that’s cool, I got into your dogshit school in four days and it didn’t even make the cut for my safety schools.”
“Charlie Weis looks like Mark Mangino went back for seconds.”
These deal-breakers will ensure a long, silent walk from the tailgate to the stadium. So as you load up your flask and take three beers “for the walk” like you’re still in college, try not to say anything you can’t come back from. Or if you do, screw it; eight months is plenty of time to apologize before you repeat your terrible actions next season.
4. Not having to listen to Mel Kiper or Todd McShay for four months.
Whether it’s Lee Corso’s baby arm or Lou Holtz’s mouth-full-of-peanut-butter speech delivery, you’ve grown accustomed to the freaks of this sideshow being your constant Saturday companion and it’s always sad to see them go. You know why? Because after them it’s three solid bullshit months of the Kiper/McShay debate no one ever wins. These two are the absolute mayors of Clown Town.
In no other profession can you be so overwhelmingly wrong every year and still be considered an expert on anything. Imagine this: “Well, Mr. Richards, I got 10 out of 32 sort of right. Can I have a raise? I know five were pretty much no-brainers, but I still worked really hard.” It would be a gruesome scene. Imagine the sacrifice scenes from Temple of Doom times 1000.
5. Baseball, hockey and basketball season just can’t carry the load.
I love baseball, but let’s be honest: if you miss one game, it’s not the end of the world. With over 13 times the amount of games as college football, it’s pretty easy to make up for that one bonehead loss you had last week, because you have 15 games in the next 5 days to try and even it out. But hey, once you get 75% done with baseball season, it’s already college football season again. That’s right, only 120 or so more games and it’s time to repeat the rancid, abrasive, selfish, misogynistic, gluttonous shit show that is you during football season. Just a few months, an All-Star break, a pennant chase, a birthday, several bank holidays, and a few pregnancy scares away.
Damn it. I’m gonna miss you, college football.