“You know I’m back, like I never left” – Me, maybe
Tomorrow, August 31st there will be an electrifying crescendo.
Buckeye Nation’s collective restlessness.
The Ohio State University Football Team.
The Rest of the College Football World.
Welcome back College Football, we need you now more than ever. Just writing these words about Ohio State football gives me this transcendent energy(it’s a good thing that I’m writing this at 9:45PM, sorry sleep schedule) that will reverberate throughout the land come tomorrow.
That energy is what gives Columbus, OH and all other college towns all across America the unique feeling that only college football can bring. I am excited for the NFL, although it is somewhat similar to a football version of the Saw movie series; in which the Bengals find yet another way to rip my heart out of my chest. But the real excitement that I have for this football season begins in Bloomington, Indiana at 8:00PM.
That is when the city comes alive, water cooler discussions on Monday begin and end with Ohio State Football, and even the construction barrels change colors to Scarlet and Gray…just kidding, that’s ridiculous. No matter where you are, if you are living in the city of Columbus or are a part of Buckeye Nation dispersed throughout the World, life will feel a little better come Thursday night.
College football can seem like a somewhat trivial thing…a sport played by college kids. Where the NCAA makes head-scratching rules, and the coaches make more money than I can imagine. But there are reasons to care deeply about this sport and these players. These reasons are accentuated leading up to the season opener, because we have gone 7 months without this great sport.
“You know I’m back, like I never left” – College Football, probably
In my mind Buckeye Nation collectively cares for a multitude of reasons. We care because of the tradition that Buckeye football brings. Not just the football tradition, but all the other traditions that come with Buckeye Football. Pre-gaming and tailgating with friends that may have traveled from all over. Playing backyard football while grilling out. Letting the Aunt that has indulged a little too much have the microphone while simultaneously asking where in the hell we got a microphone. Simply being with friends and family, rooting and cheering for a common cause. We care because Buckeye Football brings us back together.
We care because of the indescribable feelings that the sport and our team gives us. For 4 hours last November during The Game I had quite the experience. I had who I am assuming was a very nice lady hating me because of an accidental spill that slightly got on her purse. But when Curtis Samuel crossed that goal line and our Buckeyes defeated that team up north, Fur Coat lady and I embraced like the weight of the world had been lifted off our shoulders. Not a lot of things these days can destroy animosity like those 6 points did. Similarly, not a lot of things can bring together a group of thousands wherever they are located throughout the world.
Lastly, I think that us as fans care so much about watching this great sport is because of the players. I finally feel old as heck not because I have to ice my knees after working out. I feel old because these players are younger than my younger sister. Where the hell is Never-land when you need it?
These players seemed like super heroes when we were children, they represented our future when we were high school kids, peers when we were in college, and now they are just kids playing a game. One of the greatest things about kids is watching them grow up, and that is what we as fans get to do each and every football season.
We have had the ability to watch one player in particular grow up from a kid out of Texas to the man and leader he is these days. Of course I am talking about JT Barrett IV.
From the moment he stepped on the field to lead the Buckeyes he has been a natural leader, a great teammate and by all accounts a great friend. But he has had his share of ups and downs. This article written by Bill Landis of Cleveland.com describes everything that I could say here but don’t need to. We are witnessing one of the greatest Ohio State players of all time, and we have one more year to appreciate it.
This year is unlike any other year and at the same time it is just like any other year. We will witness Heisman moments, we will witness insane upsets, we will sing along to Hang on Sloopy. And we will drink until we wobble in our shoes.
“You know I’m back, like I never left” – Macklemore, actually
We’re going to rekindle old friendships, make memories, forget our dignity at times(along with our wallets), and create lifelong friends.
That is what this and every football season is about…and like Macklemore said(probably not about college football but whatever) it is glorious.
As always Go Bucks, Beat IU!