A perfect Saturday

After listening to the absolute best radio program, “Wait, wait, don’t tell me” on NPR, I’m now ensconced on the sofa, watching that greatest of fall traditions, college football.  Granted, I’d be a little happier if FSU had stopped NC State on 4th and goal … thus setting the early score at 10-0 in favor the Wolfpack.

This is what I wait all summer for.  That moment when Chief Osceola rides out on Renegade, the horse rearing up to paw at the air, and thundering down as Osceola rams the flaming spear into midfield.

Goosebumps.

I yell enthusiastically, startling the dog who relocated to his bed in the kitchen.

My family is a big on watching sports, football, baseball, tennis … but, perhaps surprisingly, it’s the women who are parked in front of the television, remote control in hand and flipping between games.  Dad will watch but more often is happier to be in his workshop refinishing a table or turning a block of wood into a bowl through the magic of the lathe.

Do I just like bucking the trend?  Knocking holes in the stereotypical male fanbase?  Well, maybe a little – but it’s more than that.  It’s the (Woooo!  Sorry … FSU just landed a stunning pass for a first and goal) excitement of college rivalries … of ages old traditions. There’s a country music song I love about as much as I love college football – “The boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney.  Here are the lyrics, but google it and watch the video.  I dare you to deny the lump in your throat and the tear that comes to your eye.

When I feel that chill, smell that fresh cut grass
I’m back in my helmet, cleats, and shoulder pads
Standing in the huddle, listening to the call
Fans going crazy for the boys of fall
They didn’t let just anybody in that club
Took every ounce of heart and sweat and blood
To get to wear those game-day jerseys down the hall
The kings of the school, man, we’re the boys of fall
Well it’s turn to face the stars and stripes
It’s fighting back them butterflies
It’s call it in the air, alright
Yes sir, we want the ball
And it’s knocking heads and talking trash
It’s slinging mud and dirt and grass
It’s I got your number, I got your back
When your back’s against the wall
You mess with one man, you got us all
The boys of fall
In little towns like mine, that’s all they’ve got
Newspaper clippings fill the coffee shops
The old men will always think they know it all
Young girls will dream about the boys of fall
Well it’s turn and face the stars and stripes
It’s fighting back them butterflies
It’s call it in the air, alright
Yes sir, we want the ball
And it’s knocking heads and talking trash
It’s slinging mud and dirt and grass
It’s I got your number, I got your back
When your back’s against the wall
You mess with one man, you got us all
The boys of fall
Well it’s turn and face the stars and stripes
It’s fighting back them butterflies
It’s call it in the air, alright
Yes sir, we want the ball
And it’s knocking heads and talking trash
It’s slinging mud and dirt and grass
It’s I got your number, I got your back
When your back’s against the wall
You mess with one man, you got us all
The boys of fall
And FSU just scored!  Way to go, boys of fall!

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