“Dead Period” in college football normally refers to limitations between coaches and players, as well as recruits. For the fans, it is currently the “dead period."
There are no meaningful games in the near future. The earliest sign of an official touchdown during a game is more than six months away. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it?
Put away the tissues—spring football is nearly here. That means every single school across the country has a chance at redemption, improvement and achieving new goals.
For the fans, this is the time many great predictions are expressed openly, typically in bold lettering on their favorite message board. But in the end, most expectations and gaudy guarantees fall by the wayside.
Right now, every fanbase in the country thinks their team is going to be “great” next year.
But that is the beauty of college football. Who doesn’t love all the fanfare and pageantry of college football?
Look around the country; most football programs do not sell out their annual spring game. But for the ones that do, it is a nice gameday teaser while the leaves are still green and the temperatures are rising.
After all, spring is the time to evaluate depth charts, player progression and new incoming talent. That is where all the hype and optimism stems from.
Really, it doesn’t matter if you are a conference doormat or a flagship program; the thought of something “new” is always encouraging.
Think back to Christmas morning: Everyone is unwrapping new uncharted goodies and waiting to test out any new electronics. Spring practice is very similar.
Those first practices are the early stages of unveiling what a useful gift fans might eventually receive when the season gets underway. Unfortunately, as we all know, many gifts and presents on Christmas are returned, exchanged or even tossed aside only to never see the light of day.
Many fans will experience that same feeling once the score counts. No one wants to be left wondering “what could have been” or “what’s wrong with our team,” but that is the nature of sports.
However, coaches coach, players play and fans, well, they expect. Perhaps others might cheer, but that is only if their expectations are either met or exceeded. If their team is on the other side of the fence and losing, fans will boo and jeer until a change is made.
Most of us have been on both sides and experienced all the emotions in between.
The beauty of spring football is that every practice, every repetition, every drill, is building towards the ultimate bottom line. Fans should feel that their team “won the day” after the end of each practice. After all, their conference rivals were not lining up across from them each play looking for glory.
There is plenty of contact and competition that takes place during the spring. Fans can only hope their team's top talent stays healthy enough to compete during the fall.
Certainly, that is what really counts, as everyone wants to unwrap the biggest present when it matters most. But for now, let the fans gauge expectations and the future prospectus of their program.
In the end, it is spring football, and the expectations and predictions of devoted fans are entirely a crapshoot.
Perhaps that is why this “dead period” for fans is so much fun.