When my son Jimmy was six years old, we were coming home one evening and as we stepped up onto the front stoop and I reached to unlock the front door, he looked up at me and said:
“Mom, there are frogs in those bushes.”
“Oh yeah,” I replied. “How do you know?”
“Because I can smell them.”
His little beaming face was so excited; I do believe he really could smell those frogs. That kind of glee, that sheer joy of knowing that something exciting is right around the corner, is how I feel every September at the start of each football season.
I love football. Now, I know that loving something like football seems silly, but I do, I really do love it. I’ve always loved football. When other little girls were swooning over David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman, I was crushing on Bob Griese and Larry Csonka. OK, maybe I also had a little thing for David Cassidy…
At high school football games, as the other girls laughed and socialized in the stands, I was often heard yelling at the refs or trying to shout out plays from the bleachers. Post high school, the Football Gods most definitely knew what they were doing when I ended up attending Florida State University, home of the FSU Seminoles – GO NOLES! Don’t even get me started on the legendary Bobby Bowden; BEST. COACH. EVER.
Most of my gal pals, including my own Mom, do not understand this transformation that I undergo each Fall. I do sometimes find it difficult to explain my all-out obsession with this sport. However, here are a few insights as to why I so look forward each year to that first weekend in September when the season kicks off anew:
- Mondays, after all my teams have won. A perfect Fall weekend for me is when all of my teams: the Seminoles; the Dolphins; the Nittany Lions (shout out for Jimmy); and the Wolfpack (shout out for husband Greg); have won. There is of course an exception: when the Seminoles play the Wolfpack each year (they’re both currently in the ACC), I am ALL team FSU. Hubby knows this and steers clear when necessary.
- A close game with little time left. There is just nothing better than a game that comes down to the wire. The score is tied or separated by three or fewer points, the team with the ball is driving down the field, no time outs left, the Hail Mary pass goes up…. I swear I get a chill just thinking about it; how can you not?!
- Armchair quarterbacking with my Dad. I love to talk football with my Dad. It’s one of the best things we have in common; this love of the game. Every once in awhile there’s a little side wager; I’m pretty sure he’s won a time or two more often than me, but I can hold my own – thank you very much.
- The “Tomahawk Chop” and other traditions. It’s truly an unforgettable experience to be perched in the stadium and feel the energy of 80,000 fans all moving and chanting in unison. Whatever your tradition, you know exactly what I mean when that buzz starts. I haven’t been to a Florida State game in awhile (never miss a televised game), but I will be attending one this coming October. I’ve got my Seminole fight song all ready to sing. I. CANNOT. WAIT. Lucky FSU sweatshirt circa 1984 is already packed.
See you in the bleachers. Oh, and one more thing…