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BLESSED BE COLLEGE FOOTBALL

By: Casey Anderson

I sit, bleary eyed and unshaven, on a battered Coleman camp chair, a sausage popping and fizzing on a nearby flame.  The flask is passed in my direction, and one slow swallow wards off the tendrils of cold mist in the September morning.  My brethren and I exchange knowing glances and gestures of confidence, preparing ourselves mentally and physically for the day's impending battle.  We are prepared.  And, as the sun looms in the east, a thicket of purple and gold, a seething, roiling mass, turns reverently towards the hallowed ground to the south: Husky Stadium!

For some it might be the brilliant orange of Rocky Top, or the Wolverine maize and blue. Others may fly bright Nebraskan red or don the maroon of the Seminoles.  Whatever the colors, the meaning is universal. College football has returned!

Its return is like the coming of a messiah, and none too soon. Major League Baseball is in the midst of its death throes.  Basketball season is but a twinkle in the eye.  It is football, my friends, football that will save us all! 

Some might find their salvation in what has come to be known as the No Fun League.  Not so for us!  We are the college football faithful!  In the glory of Touchdown Jesus we bask!  We march to the warring drums of Army and Navy, we chant "On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin!"

And me, I say, "Heaven help the foes of Washington!" and raise my empty cup in a salute to my snarling Dawgs of Montlake, assured that the rising sun will bring with it sweet victory over the hated crimson and gray, the horrible green, or that forsaken powder blue! 

Nay Sayers might claim it is only your Californians against their Californians.  They say they never once saw that All-American lineman in political science class last quarter!  They say that the athletes who create millions in revenue for their schools never see a dime!  Sanctions! Violations!

Be steadfast.  Revel in the purity of kids playing the sport they love to play for their school.  Your school!  The tradition, the pomp and circumstance, the sound of the siren blaring that first time each season when those gold helmets burst from the tunnel behind the power of Lou Gellerman booming, "HELLO, DAWGFANS!"

Forget multi-million dollar contracts, signing bonuses, salary caps, players’ unions, luxury taxes, and retractable roofs.  Sing your alma mater!

Remember the bitter defeats.  Remember the great shootouts. Remember the Rose Bowl.  Remember how your heart broke when Jenkins flipped into the endzone.  Remember when Hurst exacted his vengeance with the most incredible spin move you've ever witnessed!  Jim Owens.  Bob Schloredt. Warren Moon.  Steve Emtman.  Beno, Nip, Tui, and now Reg-gie! 

It's August, and everyone is undefeated! 

This is the stuff of dreams, friends. When you pour out of the Coliseum, the Orange Bowl, or the Swamp, unable to recall how it happened but knowing that you just won the big game, scream at Corso and Herbstreit that you're number one, regardless of the Coaches’ Poll, the AP Poll, or the BCS!

Saturday afternoon I stumble out of Husky Stadium with a foggy memory and an empty "water" bottle.  I brazenly proclaim our greatness until my voice is reduced to a whispering rasp, still chanting "overrated" to my defeated foes.

Sunday is the day of rest.  I'll wake up just in time to catch the Husky replay at noon so that I can actually get a chance to see the game. Hallelujah, the football season is upon us!

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