College Football: Vacations, Pre-Season Publications, and Anticipation

Ed JackoCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2008

They say a watched pot never boils.  I’m beginning to believe this saying transcends into the world of sports. 

It seems that the more excited I get about the upcoming college football season, the farther away it gets.

It’s not as though I haven’t done my best to keep busy.  In fact, I just got back from a family vacation in Disney.  Great time had by all. 

The trip was a celebration of my twentieth wedding anniversary.  My wife and I honeymooned there back in 1988.  I still remember calling her mom from Germany, in EPCOT, on a pay phone; this was long before the advent of cell phones.

But I digress.  Let’s get back to the subject at hand—college football, and the anticipation thereof. 

As any of you who have read my previous articles have likely extrapolated, I’m a die-hard Rutgers fan.  Yes, I can now say that with pride. 

But I am by no means a band wagon jumper.  I’ve followed the Scarlet Knights through the ups and downs, and more downs, since the early Seventies.

Through the Eighties, while I was a student at Rutgers, my friends and I would attend home games religiously. I say religiously since I was usually praying that we wouldn’t get embarrassed by East Sheboygan Polytechnic School of Manicures and Back Hair Removal.

But, as any Cubs fan can attest, every year had the potential to be "our year".  It had been that hope that kept me coming back year after year. 

And now, good readers, that hope has evolved into anticipation.  It’s no longer a question of whether it will be a good year, but how good a year it will be.

And so, here I sit, at the beautiful Jersey Shore, flipping through a stack of football annuals that would choke a Rhino. 

Do I really need fifteen separate anticipatory Team Breakdowns begging the question, “How does Rutgers replace Ray Rice?”  Obviously not. 

And yet, when I stop at the WaWa for hoagies on the way to the beach tomorrow, I will invariably scan the magazine rack, seeing if I somehow missed another college football preview mag.

Whether you’re a lifelong Florida State fan, or just started following the Engineers of Lehigh because your daughter will be starting classes there in the fall, don’t tell me you’re not doing the same thing. 

It’s okay, no need to be embarrassed.  It’s who we are.  Perhaps our wives would prefer we were equally passionate about our marriages, or finishing the wallpapering in the guest bathroom, but at least we are passionate about something.

We’re talking Christmas in July here, people. 

This is the time of year when we all go to bed with visions of conference championships, BCS bowls and national championships dancing in our heads.

So let the bathroom remodeling go for another month or so.  Get one of the kids to clean out the pool filter. 

There are more college football preview magazines, annuals and pre-season conference previews than there are bowl games. 

And now, with the addition of two more bowls beginning next year, chances are better than ever that your particular team will be playing a thirteenth game.

College football 2008—so close, and yet so far.