If at any point you try to savor the college football season, it’s already too late. That’s not to say your next click should be to watch Gus Malzahn’s first press conference (I haven’t) or to watch Sean White or Jarrett Stidham run the pace drill (I watched both from various angles). Neither would help.
Even starting this week is too late; just as deciding to be great this week would be too late for our players. They began shaping this season’s fate the moment they walked out of the Super Dome. Every decision since plays into whether they’ll win the battles—on the field, and in their own minds—in 2017.
Fans don’t have it that easy. You can’t consciously choose to truly savor something that lasts three months but somehow passes quicker than the Olympics (which allegedly lasts just two weeks). As with the players, it’s determined the year before; but not by the decisions you make.
Whether you can appreciate this season despite its ephemeral nature is a choice made in your gut. This ain’t no thinkin’ thang. If somewhere last season—and it just as easily could’ve been in blowing out Arkansas or shamefully botching Athens—your subconscious understood the illusion of football season, then this year you will see through it. What illusion?
You know what it’s like to be lost in a game—when in the moment nothing else seems to matter. Nothing else does. If it did, far fewer people would be football fans. But, that moment plays a trick on your mind. It tells you that what you’re experiencing is normal; common. It’s not.
Really, you’ll be lucky to meet that moment ten times in a 365-day year. It doesn’t happen against ULM—not even when we beat them in overtime.
How can you know whether you’re ready to savor this football season? You can’t. Not now. You’ll know by Halloween. If by then you don’t know where the season went, you missed it. You won’t be alone. I’ve done it many seasons.
Am I ready this year? I’ll let you know after we watch a video of Gus Malzahn talking about Jarrett Stidham getting better every week of September and October.