I love college football. I grew up in the stands at high school football games every Friday night, August through November. I grew up in east Tennessee, with the giant orange monster an hours' drive away. I just love it for some reason. I can't really explain it. Maybe I have edited together too many highlight videos, but football looks as beautiful as a ballet to me. Especially when you reduce the speed to %50 and drop the score to Gladiator (or any movie score composed by Hans Zimmer, Trevor Rabin, James Newton Howard, Michael Kamen, or Mr. John Williams) underneath it.
I got my first "real" job after college at my alma mater, in the athletic department. Anyone who has worked in college athletics knows how completely UN-glamorous it really is. I used to say that the work week started on August 1st and ended sometime in May, with a quick lunch break to be taken in March , as basketball season ended. As much as we bitched about our jobs, we did love the teams (well, for the most part) that we worked with. And we became a family. Our little corner of the athletic department. We lived together for that 10-month-long work week. We hated each other at times, and we all had our moments where we were ready to crack. But we had so much fun somehow. I fell in love with and married my intern (that whole process took about 2 and 1/2 years - and that is us in the picture). My best friend and her husband, who also both worked in our little group, just welcomed their first, super-cute child into the world. I left that job in May of 2004, before I got married in July of that year. I cried from the end of basketball that year until well into December I think. It so easy to forget the times that I would work in my office until 4 am, go home and shower, and come back for a full 10 hour workday.
I didn't really intend for this post to turn into that trip down memory lane, but I couldn't help it. Today my team will head to the Big House to take on the Wolverines. We know that we are are really going up there for the paycheck, and if we are lucky we can earn just a little respect.
FYI to the crew from College Gameday on ESPN: at least have the professional courtesy to read your pronunciation guide. It is pronounced app-a-LATCH-un, not app-a-LAYTCH-un.