September has arrived! A lot of people know what this means, but for those of you who don't, it is the beginning of college football (although technically it started in August with South Carolina at Vanderbilt). I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but after the BCS Championship in January, much of the South has been craving the high blood pressure and sore throats that the nerve-wracking game tends to create; the enthusiasm of these Southern football fanatics, such as myself, makes the game even more enjoyable to watch.
Another thing about football fans in the South is that just about every single one of them thinks that their favorite team is the greatest and all other teams are horrendous. During the fall, you can hear many debates about whose team is better or who's going to win that big rivalry game on Saturday or who is going to be in what bowl game. It may sound pathetic to others, but that's how it is in the South! Football season is our favorite part of the year.
In the South, we prefer college football over professional ball. This has a lot to do with the fact that college ballplayers play for the love of the sport, not for the big paycheck that's given to them whether they win every game or lose every game. In fact, college players cannot be given any kind of special payments. They aren't allowed to be paid by other schools, coaches, NFL teams, etc. They also aren't allowed to receive anything from them: books, electronics, cars, anything. These players aren't even allowed to have jobs! This is all to keep the players as equals. Also, unpaid players create a more competitive atmosphere, which is what keeps the game interesting! Who would want to sit around and watch a game where they give points up to be nice? I know I sure wouldn't -- it would be really boring. Helping your opponent up after you just squashed them like a pancake is one thing, but not even trying to win for the sake of money? Boring.
So the anticipation is about over. You no longer have to wait six months to see Nick Saban screaming at the Crimson Tide in the fourth quarter to stop making careless mistakes even though they are 30 points ahead of there opponent. No more waiting to see your favorite team run on the field for the first time this season. Or to sit in those bleachers to cheer them on.
The best of luck to all of the teams, but most importantly, roll tide!