This just in. I'm addicted to college football.
I am finally coming out in the open and declaring my weakness. I can't hide it anymore.
The start of the every college football season makes me weak in the knees and numbs my senses. Whenever I see a game on television, an electric shock passes through my entire body and I find myself sitting on the couch, watching it intently.
My passion for college football has come as a second nature to me. I often find myself involuntarily doing the Gator chomp, humming Hail to the Victors, or yelling Ole Miss’ Hotty Toddy cheer randomly throughout the day.
Occasionally, I even black out, waking up in a cold sweat to find myself cradling a football in my arm with my Florida Gators football jersey on.
I just cannot help myself. My addiction has no cure.
During the offseason, I, for the most part, am able to control my college football demons. However, I am also subject to dangerous outbursts of fandom, often firing up NCAA Football on my XBOX, poring over past ESPN the Magazine College Football Previews, and even watching an excessive number of college football re-runs on ESPN Classic.
I cannot, and I’m embarrassed to share with you, how many times I’ve watched Rudy during the spring and summer months.
But what is it about college football that makes a sane, level-headed person like me, as well as many others, so crazy?
Tradition plays a huge role. The Gator Chomp, Howard’s Rock, Play Like a Champion Today, the Seminole War Chant, Boomer Sooner, Geaux Tigers, and so much more! The traditions around college football have been passed down for generations, dating back to our parents, our parents’ parents, and even their parents.
Being part of the proud tradition of a great school is one of the most exhilarating emotions that a college football fan can experienced. The passing down of that tradition over many generations makes it that much more thrilling.
The college football season is an adrenaline rush. Every single game, week after week, your school’s national championship hopes are either dashed or they live to see another week.
Although the majority of the college football world despises the BCS and campaigns for a playoff each year, the BCS is the reason that regular season is so intense.
The BCS makes every single game matter.
If you lose once, you’re automatically set back. Lose two games, and you’re title hopes are pretty much nonexistent, unless you have a “damn, strong football team.”
The BCS certainly is flawed, but it makes the season a lot more exciting and a lot more important.
The stadiums also make college football as great as it is. Death Valley, the Rose Bowl, Neyland Stadium, the Big House, the Coliseum, the Swamp, Kyle Field, and many other stadiums tremble from fan noise and intimidate their opponents week in and week out.
Home field advantage in college football is more pivotal than any other sport .
The fans at LSU once recorded a cheer so loud, it registered as a legitimate earthquake on seismographs in the LSU Geology Department. That’s the power of the home crowd in college football.
Another big factor is the game day atmosphere around these massive stadiums. Look me in the eye and tell me that hearing your school fight song as the team comes running out of tunnel and doesn’t give you goose bumps.
Whether it’s tailgating, watching ESPN College Gameday, or going to the campus bookstore to load up on gear, the feeling is amazing. From personal experience, I feel like an eight-year old kid when I’m at a college campus on a Saturday in the fall.
However, what really makes the college football experience so special are you and me. The fans.
Every single week, we come out in droves, ready to give our team unwavering support. Every single season, we defend our team, believing that we are, indeed, the title favorite. When we refer to our beloved school, it’s not them or they.
It’s we. It’s us.
We won. We lost. We’re stacked on offense. Our secondary is suspect. We converted a crucial fourth down. We should have kicked the field goal, taken the easy points.
As fans, we feel great joy, and sometimes relief, in victory and overwhelming despair in defeat, especially the first loss of the season.
So, when I think to myself, “Why am I so crazy about this game?” I know exactly why college football gets my blood pumping.
It’s the storied traditions of the nation’s most prestigious programs. It’s the high stakes of every game, every week. It’s the stadiums—or football cathedrals if you will—that are packed to maximum capacity each football Saturday. It’s the campus atmosphere and the hearty tailgating that takes place around the country every Saturday in the fall.
And most of all, it’s the passion of the fans that keeps me so enthralled with college football. The community of fans that share my obsession and love of the game. Millions of strangers, people I’ve never met, that I can relate to.
No matter our race, religion, social background, or political affiliation, we can all profess our love for the wonder that is college football.
I am addicted to college football and proud of it!