I didn’t choose to go to Michigan State University for Big Ten football, even though if you meet me today, I’ll jokingly tell you that that was the reason. The first time I ever really started to feel old was when I–for the first time in my life–didn’t have a school to go back to last fall. To add insult to injury, I couldn’t even be in the same state for Michigan State’s home opener vs Boise State.
Because there’s something special about College Football, isn’t there? I’m not even talking about the play on the field, though that is special in its own right. No, I’m talking about the way that College Football serves as a special place in our puny little human hearts.
The way that cool air and and those changing leaves beckon the call for new adventures, new experiences and new student section shirts. College Football is your first beer before noon or your debut corn hole match at the Tennis Courts. It’s sacrificing Friday night, and forgetting about Sunday morning.
College Football is how we make friends and memories. Its inherent tie to our fall semester weekends marries games with social events; like when I got no-hit in “MVP” before the Michigan game, that time that box of Franzia ruined our night after the Penn State game or how she broke his heart right before Ohio State broke everyone else’s.
College Football is why–even though his feet may never touch the gridiron ever again–Brett Swenson will always be a hero in the mind of a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshman. It’s why Otis Wiley’s name made for the greatest student section cheer and why Captain Kirk has nothing to do with Star Trek.
College Football is the reason that Zeke the Wonder Dog will live on forever.
It’s deciding to cave in and buy a new winter coat just for the Iowa game. It’s taking back every good thing you ever said about your team after a bad game, and then regaining that school pride after watching the Marching Band do the most killer performance of “Thriller” that you’ve ever seen.
College Football is why Taio Cruz is acceptable, why “Zombie Nation” is a call to proverbial arms, and why I’ll never be able to listen to “I Saw Her Standing There” or the “Curly Shuffle” without being transported to Spartan Stadium.
College Football is grilling and pop up tents, RVs and last minute Student Bookstore shopping. It’s being woken up by the sounds of tailgaters, and keeping up the neighbors later that night. It’s photo-bombing and name-calling, pre-gaming and house parties.
It’s working on your senior capstone final project ’til 4 in the morning, then getting up at 8 to drive to Indianapolis to wait in line at crappy bars to obtain one drink before heading to see your team lose in one of the most exciting and disappointing Championship games ever. It’s being unable to find a cab for 2 hours when all you can think about is how instead of looking for a cab, you should be out celebrating. It’s getting back to your smokey Indianapolis Comfort Inn hotel room to douse your pain in cheap beer and Godfather’s Pizza, to wake up the next morning and come to the conclusion that: we lost a close one, but that was awesome. I’m glad we did it.
We’ll get ’em next year.
It’s figuring out ways to keep yourself entertained while waiting to get into the stadium
It’s battling the elements
It’s about being “that guy” every once in a while
It’s road trips