THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL ANTICIPATION

Someone, somewhere, has been counting down since mid January to the start of a new college football season. Many people probably. At any given point in a calendar year you can do a quick Internet search to see exactly how many days are left until American football returns. Much the same way you can also easily find out how many days are left until a particular holiday season … or any random date for that matter. Whatever your heart desires, there is something online that will give you a countdown for it. 

While I enjoy the college football season more than the average person, I find it ironic that the same people who shamelessly countdown to kickoff day are the same ones who generally like to judge others for knowing, say, the exact number of days left until Christmas. If you can keep a daily countdown for football, I can keep a daily countdown until my favorite holiday. That would be 114 days for all you fellow merry reindeer. But today is the start of one of college sports most exciting weekends. Labor Day.

You love March Madness, I love March Madness, we all love March Madness. No denying that. Not as exciting for the College Football Playoff because, let’s be honest, only having four teams compete is garbage. Mostly because the polls are political and I have yet to see a playoff where the four chosen teams were truly the four who should have been in there. I clearly would like a word with the committee, as would a lot of Texas A&M and Oklahoma fans, I’m sure. You’re telling me a team, nay, TWO teams with two losses on losing streaks make it over another TWO teams with only one loss and on 8 game win streaks?! From stronger conferences?! Collusion.

My favorite part of the anticipation is the calm before the storm. That is this week. All of the experts have spent literally months predicting different scenarios and arguing for their alma maters. Sometimes they just talk – actually most of it is them just blowing smoke. After all of that settles, though, the only thing left to do is wait for tonight. There is nothing else to be said. We’ve waited 7.5 months and it’s finally here. And can we talk about how great it is to have the Thursday night kickoff now? Why wait until Saturday when you can start your long weekend with some football? Because no work gets done the Friday before an official long weekend anyways.

Sure, some of the D1 teams from smaller conferences kicked off this past weekend, but, does that count? Until we get a top 25 ranked team in the lineup, it might as well be pre-season. If you weren’t busy, you probably tuned in for a bit. If you were busy, don’t worry. You’ve got the big boys coming in soon with another deadly lineup of top team matchups every week to get any sports fan pumped up. Despite their shortcomings in the playoff debacle, the college football scheduling committee knows how to keep fans entertained for over four months. 

Clearly I’m not passionate about the season starting at all. Football is one of the many reasons that fall is the best season of the year. Tailgates being a close second, but what’s a tailgate without a game to attend? Saturdays, and Sundays if you roll with the pros as well, are booked from now through the end of the year. When someone asks if you can hangout, they better put in a Calendly invite for a workday because I’m going to be busy watching a bunch of unfortunate guys get absolutely raked.

There is no better entertainment in sports than seeing a good, hard, tackle. Or a hail mary play. Or a ridiculous, should have never happened, but it did, kickoff return for a touchdown. Or a last minute impossible pick six for the win. Or your team putting an absolute beatdown on a rival. Or your team, hopefully, hoisting the trophy come January. So many ups. So many potential downs, as well, but the season hasn’t started yet. So there is nothing but hope. T minus 10.5 hours to kickoff.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THE MYSTERIOUS ZAMBONI AND IT’S MAGICAL HEALING POWERS

Well it’s chuck the puck season and that is exciting. I love the irony of watching a winter sport in June. You start your adventure in the summer, enter the arena where suddenly it’s winter, then leave and immediately start sweating because your layers are way too much for the humidity of the late evening air. It’s like time traveling, but without leaving the present in any form. The only real downfall is the attire portion. How do you plan for it? Short answer: you don’t.

Hockey is a great sport. I recently got very into it and my only regret is that I didn’t give it enough love during my youth. It’s all the best parts of football, soccer, and lacrosse and then on ice. Fights, goals, strategy, big hits, fast pace, shots, penalties, referees constantly in the way, dope jerseys, sticks, skates, and, of course, alcohol. Well, not for the players, but for myself anyway. Why I spent my whole life counting down from February to September to see grown men destroy each other when all along I could have been getting a hit fix all the way through June, I’ll never know.

As a whole, hockey is much more exciting in person then on television. I think most sports are this way. Baseball, for sure, should only ever be watched in person where you can be distracted by more enticing elements like the food stands, the bouncy castles, the fast pitch games, and, of course, the fresh beer. But I digress. Hockey games are lit. Especially during playoff season. For starters, the advanced graphics that teams are now displaying on the ice is unreal. One of my favorite parts of technology. Because on ice, it just looks cooler than it ever will on a basketball court. Sorry, not sorry.

In person, you also get access to the crowds. If you have never had the pleasure of experiencing a sporting event at a packed stadium cheering alongside tens of thousands of your new best friends, you are missing out. I scream, you scream, we all scream the same thing! Usually a team chant or a consensus disapproval of the referee’s latest call. There are also t-shirt tosses and if you haven’t caught a t-shirt in your life, try harder. There is no greater feeling than overpaying for great seats and getting a free, probably $10 at most, t-shirt. It’s rewarding in a unique way.

Specifically in hockey, you also get the enjoyment of watching the Zamboni do its thing in between each period. Talk about magic on ice. You take something scratched, rough, and in need of love and polish it in the most efficient, systematic, and peaceful way possible. Quite the amazing contraption that I wish someone would scale down and produce for my hardwood floors at home.

Zambonis are the definition of ASMR in the sports world. No other event has as satisfying of a ritual. Zero argument here, it’s simply a fact. As fun as the game itself is to watch, I find it hard to tear myself out of my seat for a refill when the zambonis are out. They take the most curious circle path around the rink, but somehow it works. Gets me every single time. Is no one else as amused as I am? It’s on the same level as the MOVING WALKWAY magic in airports. Stop and smell the roses. Stop and watch the zamboni. Truly the little things that can change your whole mood.

Think about it for a second. Something often overlooked, or never even seen, while spectators fight each other to get refills on the food and drinks. Or while waiting in the interminably long bathroom lines. Why don’t we plan this better? I mean, we’re all best friends for the night, but not when it comes to lines. Regardless, I notice. And I love it. And I am here for it. And I will promote the ceremonial Zamboni presentation every game.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THINGS SPORT ANNOUNCERS SAY THAT LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE COULD ALSO SAY

Sports are a way of life. Not for all people, certainly, but for a lot of people. Because who doesn’t love getting overly invested in the performance of your favorite team and favorite players? Probably people who enjoy more stress-free ways of living or low blood pressure. It’s irritating when your team is not playing well, or worse: losing, or even worse: losing to your rival. In those moments you learn a lot about yourself as a person – where your priorities truly lie, how you handle stress, what you’re like under the pressure of trash talk, whether or not you’re a gracious loser, and how competitive you are regarding things that you have less than zero control over.

While sports have a lot of positives, there are some negative aspects that you have to deal with. Rioting, losing friendships, scandals, losing money, cheating, drugs, etc. And then, of course, you have the announcers. Sport announcers are there to say helpful things and aid in the viewing experience of the game. Supposedly. There is a most curious breakdown of things that can, and will, come out of an announcers mouth during the period of play. Ask any sports fan and they have announcers that they like, announcers that they tolerate, and then announcers they cannot stand.

Regardless of how you feel about the announcer, their dialogue can best be summarized as follows. Usually they throw some fun statistics in there and some inspiring story about the team, or a specific player. Constantly they will talk about what can best be described as sport conspiracy theories regarding playoffs based on the team’s performance to date. This includes, but is not limited to, previously played games, the current game being played, upcoming schedule of games, and what both a win and a loss mean going into the next day. It’s great to hear when they’re talking in favor of your team, and it’s the most obnoxious thing in the world when it’s against your team.

Some of the time they will interject with memories about their time participating in said sport, which usually feels more like a backdoor brag than anything. But then, the rest of the time is spent with them saying ridiculous things that anyone else in the whole freaking planet could also say. Sports fan, or not. And it just makes you stop and think about how they landed this cushy, well-paid, gig when you could also easily make broad statements about the nature of a sport. Statements such as:

  • What they’re trying to do here is win
  • If you ask me, they need to score more points
  • Coach does not look happy
  • If I played like that, I’d be sitting on the bench
  • That’s not good defense
  • To win, they’re going to need to beat the other team
  • I’m not sure what they’re thinking out there
  • Defense fell asleep on that play
  • They’ve dug themselves a big hole
  • Time is running out
  • I don’t agree with that call
  • I think that was a good call
  • From this angle, it’s hard to tell
  • I can’t see what’s happening down there
  • I think that a win would feel good
  • Offense wins games
  • Defense wins games
  • A loss is not going to be good here
  • They’re not going to be happy leaving the tournament early
  • They’ll only be satisfied holding the championship trophy

I could go on, but this feels like an inclusive enough list to make my point. Basically, sports announcers just find different ways to state the obvious. Or to say the wrong mascot for a team. People want to win. People don’t like to lose. Other people are often in charge of making decisions that you may, or may not, agree with. Failing to reach the end goal is never satisfying. And reaching a longtime dream is the best feeling in the world. None of that feels overly exclusive to sports – more of a life thing in general. All I’m saying is change the sport terms into everyday terms and you’ve got a recipe for inspirational sayings. Kind of feels like anyone could do it.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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