An ode to football season

Published 10:45 am Friday, September 6, 2013

The sweet smell of leaves about to turn to different shades of orange, the weather getting cooler and the sounds of shoulder pads colliding are all in the air.

Yes, it is football season, and I don’t know about you, but I missed it. While I enjoy the other sports, there is just something about football that puts it in a league of its own, as far as the feel and atmosphere of not just the games, but also in pre-game tailgating or even just watching the sport on TV.

Baseball is great for the heart of the summer, to grilling outdoors, talking with friends and kicking back to listen to the game on the radio, but it is hard to watch games that you don’t care about. College basketball, perhaps the only sport that could rival football as far as atmosphere, is just pure excitement come March, especially if you have a team in the hunt (and last year, the Rebels got in after a long absence).

But with football, I can sit back and watch as much of every game as possible —Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It doesn’t even have to be my team playing. There is just something about it, that from August all the way to February and the Super Bowl, which it is hard to get tired of it. The atmosphere just seems to build as the weather changes, as it goes from warm August, to snow on the ground in December, to the biggest game of the year, which is always a great watch, even if it is just for the commercials. And some years, the commercials are better than the game.

With high school football, I’m excited to cover my first game here, where I’ll see Southampton Academy take on Word of God in a rematch from this past year’s championship game for that league. I’m also looking forward to a good showing this football season for all of the Western Tidewater teams.

Having a Player of the Week is going to be a great addition to the newspaper as well.

In college football, I saw that Virginia Tech made Alabama look human. I do not anticipate that they will repeat as National Champions at this point, because based on how they looked, Alabama could realistically lose two SEC games, including perhaps week three when they travel to play Texas A&M. I’d like to see Ole Miss beat them, but I doubt it’ll happen this year. Speaking of Ole Miss, not having cable just yet, I drove all the way to North Suffolk to watch the first game after production of the newspaper was complete — and it was good to see the win.

As far as the NFL, this past weekend I joined millions of people around the world in setting up a fantasy team. I ended up with Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins as my primary runningback, and I’m excited about the Redskins’ season. I doubt I will make a game, but I’m looking forward to watching as many as possible on TV — especially this Monday night against the Eagles, with the start of the Chip Kelly era in the NFL.

Football season is just one of the many reasons that make fall my favorite time of the year.

CAIN MADDEN is the managing editor for The Tidewater News. He decided to spare you a huge statistical breakdown. He can be reached at