Football season is here, and football is very good

Published 6:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2018

Well, folks, we’ve made it. We’ve crossed the summer sports desert in one piece and made it to the start of another year. Congratulations.

Preseason football practice started this week for Porter’s Chapel Academy and St. Aloysius, and will begin Monday at Warren Central and Vicksburg High. NFL training camps have or are about to open. College football teams have been holding their conference media days for the past couple of weeks. The first “real” game, such as it is, is only a week away with the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame game between the Bears and Ravens.

This part of football season is the sports equivalent of waking up in the morning, wiping the sleep out of your eyes and grabbing a cup of coffee. Sure, the day hasn’t really started yet but it’s a necessary routine to get things going.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

It’s also incredibly refreshing.

Basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey and all of the other sports on the spectrum are fun and have their niches, but none of them resonate with the general public the way football does. For all its faults, especially the higher up the skill ladder you go, football is still a unifying force in our culture.

Football games are events in communities big and small all across America. Super Bowl Sunday is practically a national holiday. Only a heartless monster schedules a wedding in the South on a Saturday between September and December. Almost everyone at least checks the score of their high school alma mater’s game on Friday night.

Football is a festival, a party, a reason to gather. It’s a conversation starter among friends and strangers alike. A universal language anyone can speak to some degree. We might not agree on a lot politically these days, but even the most heated football debates tend to stay friendly.

Even though it starts late in the calendar year, it seems appropriate that football is viewed as the start of the sports year. It’s the most popular sport in our country, the most important sport, the one that matters most. Other sports have their fans, but almost everyone is a football fan on some level. For proof, look no further than the way people get behind Ole Miss, Mississippi State or the Saints when things are going well. There are so many flags flying for those teams that an alien landing here would think those were our national flags instead of the Stars and Stripes.

Football is a good thing. A great thing. And I’m darn glad it’s here.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest