I spend my summers waiting for them to end.
The last weekend in August has been my favorite time of year for as long as I can remember. It’s the weekend when I organize my new stack of spiral notebooks, ready to be filled with lecture notes. It’s the weekend when the days remain warm, but the nights get cold, teasing the change of seasons. And it’s the weekend college football returns.
I loved — and I’d like to think I still love — college football, ever since setting foot on the University of Michigan. That place has a way of turning even the most counterculture of us all into a maize-and-blue-bedecked zombie who staggers to and from Michigan Stadium every Saturday for three months each autumn. I was one of them. I attach many of my favorite memories to Michigan football games: bonding with girlfriends after an epic win over Penn State sophomore year; being almost-late to my sister’s wedding because of the nail-biting triple-overtime win over Illinois; and my S.O. and I going to our first game together at Michigan Stadium when Nebraska came to town after joining the Big 10.
I love the atmosphere of college football, and how the fans have a deeper connection than they do with a pro team. I usually celebrate Michigan’s season opener with a spread of tailgate food — even if it’s just the S.O. and me. But somehow, this year, I didn’t even realize college football was kicking off this weekend until I logged in to Facebook and saw several “Go Blue!” posts. I wasn’t excited. I just felt obligated to watch. (more…)