Man, could I use one of these guys today. Usually, with the exception of Christmas Day, this Saturday of Labor Day weekend is the most exciting of the year. College football is back. Only this year, I’m in need of a mind wipe. It’s really hard to get pumped up for the band and the traditions with the pall of this past offseason hanging overhead.
I want to hear fight songs and see cheerleaders, but that can’t seem to break through the tattoos, the “bag men”, and FBI investigations. I should be thinking about Lee Corso and Lou Holtz, but they can’t get past Nevin Shapiro and Eddie Rife.
In a couple of hours in Columbus, the band will make its ramp entrance, the drum major will arch his back and touch his plume to the turf, and the strains of “Buckeye Battle Cry” will reverberate through the ancient Horseshoe.
All over the nation, the tailgaters have returned to their parking lot posts and campuses are electric with the return of this great game. And somewhere, some walk-on player who dreamed his entire life of running onto the field wearing those colors is trying desperately to calm the butterflies that probably seem like dragons in his stomach.
That’s what I want to have on my mind, but the dirty “business” of the game keeps crowding that out. So while I’ll still enjoy the bands and the pomp and pageantry that returns each Fall just ahead of the turning leaves, it’s changed for me.
Christmas Day is still magical, but not nearly what it was before I became aware of all the crass commercialism associated with it. The same has happened with me and college football. It’s still something I look forward to, but not with the same youthful exuberance I once had.
Can somebody call Will and Tommy Lee and see if they can bring one of those things over?