The first Saturday of September is for many (myself and my family included) one of the most anticipated days of the year. This Saturday marks the official beginning of a new college football season. There are teams and fans all across the United States, but nowhere is college football more revered, more special than in the south. This area is home to more competitive teams than any other area in the country - Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, Clemson. If you aren't a fan of at least one of these something is seriously wrong with you. Chances are you were born missing a gene, because a true love for the game isn't learned, it's something you are born with.
Thankfully between cable, satellite dishes, and pay-per-view you can find almost any game you'd like to watch somewhere on television. Watching a game on TV, especially with a group of family and friends, is fun and exciting. But there's nothing like actually being at a game. The atmosphere is electric - you can feel it long before you ever even enter the stadium. Hours before game time fans equipped with their campers, tents, grills, chairs, and coolers line the streets and fill the parking lots. There's music, talking, decorating, and socializing going on everywhere. The smell of the various foods being cooked on the grills is enough to make your mouth water even if you've just finished a full meal of your own. Tailgating is as much a part of the experience as watching the game itself, and nobody knows how to tailgate better than southern fans!
If it's possible the intensity and excitement increases once you enter the stadium. There are people everywhere, walking in all directions, yelling at each other, cheering, chanting, and waving pom-poms. It takes a while to work your way through the crowd and find your seats. Once you find them though, it really doesn't matter where your seats are, because when the game begins you only sit down during timeouts and halftime. So if you don't enjoy standing then you probably shouldn't bother to go to a game!
I've been going to college football games off and on for many years. I've watched a lot of different teams, but the feeling is the same no matter who's playing. I enjoy the experience now just as much as I did when I was younger. My love of football was passed down to me through my grandfather and my father - my mother may have even contributed a little too. Now I've passed the love of the game on to my son, and I'm sure he will in turn pass it on to his children. It's a family tradition - one I'm happy and proud to have as a part of my life. Yes, there's definitely something to be said about college football in the south!