Let the football season begin

Published 12:38 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2019

It starts two weeks from Saturday.

College football begins a new season Aug. 24 with Miami taking on Florida and Arizona and Hawaii facing off. The gridiron doldrums are melting away.

It’s been a long dry spell since Clemson beat Alabama for the national championship, and I’m not ashamed to say I pulled for Clemson. If that sounds like I deserted the SEC, maybe so, but I love to see Nick Saban humbled, as I would guess a lot of people do.

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But back to life with-out college football.

As it has done for the past 24 years, my football season ends with the national championship game. I don’t watch the NFL; there are too many prima donnas and the professional game has lost its luster for me. Besides, the college game is more exciting whether it’s Division III or the FBS. There’s more action, a lot of color and pageantry.

During my “vacation,” I busied myself with reading, music, movies, and when June came around, Canadian football, which is a very good way to get ready for the collegiate season. The CFL, like college football, is a much more lively game and the rules, which are so different from the game we play south of the border, makes it all the more interesting.

Of course, there are some things about college football I don’t like, such as preseason polls, which are based on what a team did the year before and what it’s expected to do in the coming season.

It gets to the point of ridiculous. There is no way to tell how well a team will do during a specific season. Injuries to key players or, as so often happens now, key players being booted off the team can have a great effect on how a top team performs. By the same token, a team ranked near the bottom could have one or two players who turn the team around and help bring a winning season.

Dancing after touchdowns, or interceptions, or sacks —- celebration is fine, but when some back or receiver scores a touchdown, I’d like to see him act like he’s been in the end zone before. The same with interceptions and sacks.

Announcers who center on some player like he’s the next superstar.

Players who shoot their mouths off about their opponent. I’ve seen that backfire too many times. Some 18-, 19- or 20-year-old student spouts off what he’s going to do to his opponent and then he, or his team, get embarrassed. Shooting one’s mouth off is childish; besides, it’s poor sportsmanship.

Now that I’m over my gripes, I’m ready for the season to begin. The laptop is ready, the smartphone is ready and my Kindle is charged and ready. The root beer is ready and my purple shirts are in place in the closet and ready for LSU’s first game Aug. 31 against Georgia Southern.

Let the season begin.

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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