I must interrupt my regular programming for a very important update.
I've already mentioned my sadness about the passing of summer. Even now, looking out my office window, the flowers across the street are looking slightly wilted and there are now, not just yellow leaves, but red leaves too in the trees around the school yard.
Someone else out there must have felt the same pain that summer was over. Because they did the very best they could to ease the transition between warm, carefree summer days and the nip and chill of autumn.
They invented college football.
Last night, watching Boise State beat up on Oregon while checking the progress of the Utes game on the computer (Oh, the sadness of leaving our beloved Mountain West conference and living in the land of the Big Ten) I once again realized how much I love football.
I'll be honest here. Before I met Hubster, I didn't know a pick from a fumble, a tight end from a running back, a play action pass from the option. But then, just as I introduced Hubster to the wonderful world of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, he introduced me to the beauty of college football.
I've tried watching the NFL. While I will admit that I do love the occasional Monday Night game, and that I enjoy a good Super Bowl party as much as anyone, I just never was able to get that into. The NFL is more about super egos, trades, and politics.
College football, on the other hand, is all about the love of the game. Most the boys playing college football will not go on to play professionally. While most of them do get some compensation for their playing in the form of scholarships, it still requires a lot of them. We joke about paid test takers and easy majors, but the truth is that sports gives college opportunities to many who wouldn't have any otherwise. These kids play with their hearts. And you see it with every ecstatic cheer after a win and every look of heartbreak after a loss.
I'm going to miss my Utes something fierce. After two perfect seasons and two BCS appearances I have high expectations and higher loyalty. Because of a poorly thoughtout decision to have a conference TV channel, I will not be able to watch very many Ute football games here in Iowa.
But Iowa is doing its best to ease our pain. College football, depending on who you talk too, comes just after, or just before, God and church out here. During game day, the local university stadium becomes the fifth largest city in Iowa. We hope to make it to a game this year.
Because it doesn't matter if it is your alma mater or not. It doesn't matter if you cheer for the home team or not. It doesn't (always) matter whether you win or lose.
What matters is the game.