SURRATT: Time for the kickoff once again

Published 4:00 am Friday, July 22, 2022

The end of what students call “summer vacation” is near and the start of school, to the relief of parents, is just around the corner.

So is football season.

As I’ve written before, I am not now, nor have I ever been a New Orleans Saints fan and I don’t watch the NFL — period. I haven’t watched a Super Bowl since 1995 and I don’t intend to anytime soon.

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I do, however, watch the Canadian Football League and have been watching games between Ottawa and Hamilton and Saskatchewan and Toronto and Edmonton and British Columbia since mid-June. I watch the CFL in order to get ready for the college season, which begins Aug. 27 with the University of Nevada and New Mexico, and because I enjoy the way they play the game north of the border.

I like the big field, 12 players on a side, the multiple receivers in motion in the backfield before the snap, that teams have three downs instead of four to make a first and no fair catches, although the kick returner must be given a 5-yard cushion to catch the ball.

The CFL is fun but it can’t compare to the thrill and pageantry of a football game on a college campus. When I go to a game at LSU, I love to go early to catch the pregame sights, sounds and especially the aroma of crawfish, jambalaya and anything on the grill.

So let’s look at the coming season. My alma mater begins its season with a new coaching staff and a new offense and defense. The hiring of Brian Kelly from Notre Dame surprised me and the rest of the LSU Nation, and I believe it’s a good hire. We have a coach who knows how to win and understands the importance of discipline and hard work.

The expectations are high but I believe it will take him a couple of years to get his system established, get the players to buy in and bring LSU back to the elite. All the fans and “experts” need to do is shut up and let him do his job.

LSU is by no means the only team to get a new football coach, which will make the coming season interesting as we sit back and watch how teams adapt to the philosophies and ethics of their new mentors. It will also be interesting to see how players recruited through the transfer portal perform. Will their performance match their hype or will they turn out to be overrated.

The college teams are beginning to gather for their preseason practices and those high school recruits who didn’t graduate early will be coming in.

Let’s get the workouts done and tee it up. 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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