Searching the guide on my TV remote on the last Saturday morning in August, I knew I could find one. Some school or the other jumps the gun every year to play the first football game of the season. Turns out this year it's Oregon State vs Colorado State at 1:30 PM. I consider it an appetizer for what is to come.
Good memories surround my obsession with college football. Beginning way back when I turned thirteen, Daddy welcomed a companion to listen to the radio as Ole Miss played every Saturday afternoon. As pastor of Abbeville Baptist Church, ten miles north of Oxford and the Ole Miss campus, becoming a Rebel supporter was a given. Although he was an avid sports fan, a visual impairment kept him from playing any game well – unless you count dominoes.
He taught me the rules and how to follow the game as we listened. Little did he know he was laying groundwork for my good relationship with a future brother-in-law who was the alumni director for Ole Miss for many years. I became an avid college football fan.
High school football is fine enough that Al and I kept our season tickets for Leesville High School long after our children had graduated. Some of those players went on to star at LSU and then in the NFL. I’ll watch pro football if it’s a Saints game or if a Manning is playing, but there is nothing like a college game.
One beautiful Saturday afternoon when the three kids were growing up, they were outside with their dad. With our windows open at Fort Sam Houston, the next-door neighbor could hear whichever college game was on, and asked who was watching. He was a bit surprised when they answered nonchalantly, “Mom.”
So here we are at the beginning of another football season. My favorite college teams (Ole Miss and Baylor) have a challenge before them, but it’s okay. When it comes to college football, I’ll watch anybody who’s playing and just hope it’s a good game. The season begins in earnest Saturday, September 2. I’ll sort out the opportunities when I get up early that morning, knowing I can begin at 11 AM and watch well past my bedtime. Work that can be done while watching the game will be scheduled. I might even catch up on the ironing!
My year divides neatly into two parts – Football Season and The Rest of the Year. Thanks, Daddy, it’s been a lot of fun!