Published 12:00 am Friday, June 6, 2008

It’s probably the most exciting sport there is. It’s kind of like the Super Bowl, except more exciting.

It’s kind of like the Daytona 500, except faster. It’s kind of like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont all rolled into one.

It has made grown men lose their breath and strong women faint-hearted. It has dazzled crowds from the coast of Carolina to the cliffs of California, from the Texas panhandle to Eureka, Mont.

It has stopped traffic from Des Moines, Iowa, to Topeka, Kan. It’s simply one of the most exhilarating spectacular events that mankind has ever had the privilege of witnessing.

It’s purely and simply watching corn grow. And it’s amazing.

This event starts every April and lasts all the way to September. It goes on non-stop. Every night and every day. No timeouts. No TV breaks.

No penalties. They just go at it for six straight months.

But this is the best part. And you’re not going to believe this: It doesn’t cost a thing to watch it. (No, I’m not making this up).

Neither you nor your family needs a ticket to get in.

You don’t have to drive three hours and wait in line and watch it and then wait in line and drive three hours to get home.

You can just go right in and it’s all there to see.

And this might be the next best part. You get to choose your seat. You can watch from far away or up close. You can view it with the sun rising or the sun setting. From the east or from the west. You can climb up in a tree to observe from up high or lay right down on the ground at eye level. You can even walk right into it and touch it and feel it and smell it.

But I want to give you a little advice, seeing as I’ve been attending these events the last 30 years. I suggest you pick a day in mid-June. And then watch the sky. Keep one eye out for rain clouds and the other on that rain gauge you’ve got on the fence post.

And when that rain comes and shows 2 inches on the gauge and the weatherman says 90 degrees the next day, there’s your day to take off.

Call in sick and take the kids out of school.

Cut your cell phone off and put on some comfortable clothes. Dig in your shed and find those old lawn chairs. Cook you up some popcorn and grab your sunglasses.

Then all of you pile in that car and find you a corn field. About waist high and black green.

Then you and the family pull those chairs out, pass out the popcorn, put on the shades and just watch the show. I’m telling you, you’ve never seen anything like it.

I just hope you can stand all the excitement.

Rex alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His e-mail address is