OK, so Week One was an abject disaster for several prominent college football programs. For some teams (or ACC coaches from upstate South Carolina who will remain nameless), the aftermath has been worse for the prestige of the program than the actual 60-minute bludgeoning that way too many people ended up witnessing. And, thanks to the constant replaying of games on ESPNU, America got to see your favorite squad screw up royally over and over and over again.
Despair has crept into the hearts of even the most blindly optimistic, and talks of championships have turned into talks of buyout clauses and losing records.
Fans of Virginia Tech (which I predicted to lose for weeks, by the way), Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Washington, Virginia, and—a little bit closer to home—Clemson are probably still trying to summon the courage to wear their school colors within 100 miles of campus after each team suffered its respective severe meltdown last weekend.
The past week has been difficult, I'm sure, but there are reasons to be excited about football. And not just for fans of the SEC or East Carolina or USC (the real one).
For those of you who still question your inner desire to be at the stadium on Saturday, even willing to risk that pesky "Consecutive Home Games Viewed In Person" streak, here are five reasons why your couches should be empty this weekend.
1. It's not last week
Yes, last week was atrocious at best, unbearable to watch at worst. But this isn't last week—in fact, last week will never happen again. This whole week has been spent with the players on your favorite team stewing and itching to get back out there (and, hopefully, being coached up a little bit better than before). Chances are, your team will play with a chip on its shoulder when Saturday rolls around.
2. Refocus on the roster
Your team was solid—in some cases, even great—before last week. Don't let one game let you forget who you have on the two-deep. Just because a team goes out and lays an egg doesn't mean they all of a sudden can't play football anymore. Every team has at least one horrific showing—your guys just picked the opening week to get theirs out of the way.
3. Everybody loves a good tailgate
Nothing brings out the spirit of football fans like a solid tailgate (especially in the South). Crank up the propane tanks for the grill (or, if you prefer, light up the charcoal), let the tailgate of your pick-up truck down, and relax with the many others who came into this game as discouraged and dejected as you.
4. Think of the tradition
Chances are, if you're disappointed in your school's inaugural effort, then you probably have a pretty solid tradition of excellence. You probably expect your team to win every single week. Your fellow fans probably pack the stadium, rain or shine, to watch good football. Don't succumb to the general consensus of doom and gloom. Never stop being an optimist when it comes to your favorite team, because that sucks the fun right out of it.
5. It's only one game
This is pretty obvious, but think about it. There are 11 more to play. That means, in theory, you could go 11-1 and forget all about what happened way back before conference play even started. Once we get to November, August will seem like an eternity ago. Those games from Week Numero Uno don't amount to anything—as long as you take care of business the rest of the way. And as long as fans of the team continue to be fans. That's what makes this game special—the passion of the fans. Don't blow it. Be a fan. Support your team—players and coaches. Right now, I can say with absolute certainty that they need it.