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“It’s like you can smell it in the air…”

August 6, 2009

I believe in the South we have 3 seasons: fishin’ season, huntin’ season and football season (not necessarily in that order).  The greatest of all of these is upon us… that being football season, which is now less than a month away.
Why is it the greatest, you ask? Well, it’s simple really. While a southern boy loves to hunt and fish, football offers the distinct pleasure of providing some sense of justice at the end of the season in avenging our loss in the war of Northern aggression (aka the Civil War). Play well against our fine Southern rivals and at the end of the year we’ll get a shot at one of those Yankee teams from up North. It’s a shame we didn’t settle that great dispute on the gridiron, for if we did, we’d surely be living today in the Confederate States of America, and this whole debate over whether it’s “correct” to fly the stars and bars wouldn’t even be an issue. But we didn’t settle it on the gridiron, we settled it on the battlefield, and sadly lost because our foes were soul-less monsters with no decency.  But I digress…

My good friend Jonathan once noted long ago that for him, he didn’t need a calendar to know when football season was close. He said there was always one morning when he would walk outside and he could smell football in the air… even hear the sound of the Redcoat drumline echoing in the air. Now, as far as I know, Jon has never done drugs a day in his life, so I thought he might be on to something. I made a point of getting up before noon after that to see if I could experience this sensation.

Sure enough, one morning in August when I won the fight with the bed, I walked out my door and there it was: that crisp air that carries with it the scent of approaching autumn, still distant beyond the sweltering days of a Georgia summer, but approaching nonetheless. And during a time of year when the heat is driving your power bill up and the Braves are falling out of the division race, that scent is a welcome thing. It brings back memories of past seasons of glorious victories, beautiful southern girls in their red and black dresses, and tall cups filled with coca-cola and gratuitous amounts of rum. And more importantly, with that cool morning air comes the promise of a new season. I look forward to that promise every year, and this morning I received it. I know now that it’s the dawn of a new season between the hedges, and it won’t be long before the stirring notes of the battle hymn reach my ears and tell me that the long wait is finally over… football is back.

What about you? Can you smell it in the air?

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