It would be an outright insult to my upbringing and to the entire state of Texas if I did not discuss the beginning of college football season this week.
Ambitiously, I hope to make it to three of A&M's football games; one will be played at the new Cowboy's stadium in Dallas in October, one is the requisite Thanksgiving game against UT which others in my family also attend, and then spend a weekend in Houston and catch another. It's been far too long since I've been to College Station, undoubtedly because of my family and all their trickery.
Yep, with the advent of football season flares the family rivalry, one in which I am vastly outnumbered.
This weekend I will be attending a college football game, oh yes, but it will not be my Alma Mater's game. You see while A&M is playing New Mexico, I'll be in Austin with my family for the UT vs. Louisiana-Monroe game, 120 miles away.
The sunny weather, the hanging out with family and friends who will be in town, the good Mexican food... poor me. Truth be told, I always enjoy Austin and there's nothing better than the opening weekend of college football season.
I don't know what exactly it is about football particularly. In Texas we build shrines to the sport; stadiums that hold upwards of 90,000+ fans on a single day. Maybe the excitement stems from the fact that a football team's schedule is concentrated; teams play only a handful of games and thus every one could potentially make or break a season, unlike in baseball or basketball where upwards of 80 or 100 games are played before the post-season. Maybe there is a buzz because football season coincides with the beginning of a new school year. It could be the tailgating, your team's fight song or a myriad of other things. Football season just comes with an energy that is wonderfully infectious.
Students really don't know how good you have it until you leave college, leave your season tickets and friends and figure out that no, TV stations in New York do not regularly broadcast Big 12 games into your tiny apartment and no, you cannot go to a game a certain weekend with friends because you are traveling for work.
For those of us who have graduated college already, it gives us the opportunity to reminisce for a few hours, to relive the glory days when committed time did not extend beyond 15-18 hours a week, friends became family and studying could wait.
Wherever you are this holiday weekend, be it Austin, College Station or hunched over your iPhone checking scores from an ill-timed wedding, happy football season to all!
Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you it's much more serious than that.