Ready for college football fix

Published 8:07 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The temperatures are high, the sun is bright, and the preseason work is already underway.

The opening kickoff of college football is weeks away, and I can’t wait.

I’ve been going through withdrawal over the past seven months, suffering from the loss of seeing teams slug it out on the gridiron. My sole salvation, as usual, has been the Canadian Football League, which I have faithfully watched on ESPN since the season began in July. I’ve enjoyed close games between Toronto and Ottawa, and the spirited battles between Calgary and Edmonton, and even caught the BC Lions on a double-header. I enjoyed every minute of “Johnny Football” humiliating himself in his CFL debut against his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (but then Montreal doesn’t have a good team to begin with).

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And my pulse has quickened as I watched LSU’s players report for preseason practice and the stories on the college football websites and blogs are becoming more relevant, especially the drama at Ohio State, where Urban Meyer’s job hangs in the balance over what he knew and told or knew and didn’t tell about his assistant coach’s actions.

But Urban and his problems are a sideshow to the main story, which is how well will the teams so earnestly practicing in the hot sun and the rain do once it gets real. The answer, as everyone knows, is written in the columns and blogs of the pundits, who daily hand out their knowledge (or lack of it) on how well teams will do — who will vie for the championship, who will make the major bowls, who will win their conference and who will flop. And by the end of the season, most of the prognostications will be wrong and many will be way off base.

There is one sports program I’ve missed over the years, and that was a syndicated radio program called “Leonard’s Losers,” that was popular in the 60s and 70. Each week Leonard Posthostes, “The World’s Greatest Prognosticator,” would open his bottle of “smart pills” and give the losers for that week’s slate of games. And Leonard was pretty good; he did better than the so-called experts on the networks. I miss Leonard.

But back to the expectation of the start of college football. I’m very glad the season’s beginning, because we need a diversion. We need a break from the many investigations and controversies in the news and we need something that we can turn to that is real and able to divert our attention to the college game, where we can sit and cheer for our favorite team and not worry about being called a “liberal” or a “conservative.” College football is a great leveler. It’s nonpolitical — until it comes time to hire or fire a coach — and while we may have our favorites, we all enjoy a good well-played game where the skill of the players and the strategy of the coaches is more important and the joy is in the watching.

John Surratt is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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