Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Most Glorious Time of Year ...

... is just hours away.

By the way, I HATE Thursday night as the official kickoff of college football. The official kickoff should be on a Saturday. Save the Thursday games for later on in the year (or at least wait a week).

For a crash course on my views of the near-unimpeachable, quasi-immaculate greatness that is college football, and how to ensure the game achieves the perfection it is so close to attaining, be sure to see this post, among others linked below.

Annual College Football Kickoff Post

At last! That most glorious time of the year is finally upon us.

In addition to the Liturgical Calendar, I generally mark the seasons by which sport just happens to be played at that particular moment. By that measure, the autumnal quarter of the year must easily be judged the grandest of them all by virtue alone of the sumptious bacchanalia of pigskin served up across college campuses (campi?) every Saturday afternoon.

In a feast that is almost religious by nature, Every Saturday in Autumn, Americans in every walk of life go on pilgrimages to Saturday Shrines and Autumn's Cathedrals to participate in the Rites of Autumn:

Saturday afternoons in autumn. For more than a century they have stood as the showcase for what has become a true American ritual, a time reserved for one of the most richly colorful, spirited, and vibrantly exciting sports in all the world - college football.

Baseball has its summer, pro football its Sundays and Monday nights, basketball its winters indoors, but tradition and college football's passionate following have indisputably claimed that first day of each autumn weekend.

There are few spectacles in the sporting world to match the ceremony of an Army-Navy game, the color of a Rose Bowl pageant, the emotion when a chorus of thousands rings out with the Notre Dame fight song, the splendor of a tailgate party at a Texas-Oklahoma game, the beauty of the USC cheerleaders, or simply the great games that have been played and the extraordinary performances that have been given on college football fields over the years.

~ Richard Whittingham, Introduction to Rites of Autumn

College football has always been something very special, with its heritage, its pageantry, and especially with the intensity of competition found on all levels. It has a spirit to it that lives; it has tradition that is unshakable.

As a boy in Cincinnati I followed college football, especially Ohio State and Notre Dame. I had my heroes: Hopalong Cassady at Ohio State, Johnny Lujack and Johnny Lattner at Notre Dame, Pete Dawkins at Army, Joe Bellino at Navy. I dreamed of playing in college myself, and the dream came true.

~ Roger Staubach, Foreword to Rites of Autumn
And so, as we prepare for this evening's official college football kickoff, followed by this Saturday's fare of fall-flavored football festivities, I wish you and your school(s) of choice the best of luck (especially if your school is Ohio State, Notre Dame, UVA, or Baylor).

Enjoy the season.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
College Football Saved from Itself ... For Now

Time for the BCS to Follow Suit

Predictions for 2010 College Football Season [UPDATED]

The NASCARification of College Football

Yet Another "Fast" Team Gets a Taste of "Slow" Big 10 Defense [UPDATED]

Dispelling Some Myths

Buckeyes Win Rose Bowl

Big 10 Defeats LSU

College Football Coaches Tend to be Conservative

That Most Glorious Time of Year is Upon Us ...

God Bless Harvey Perlman

Just One Month to Go ...

Oklahoma and Ohio State: A Tale of Two BCS Records

Buckeyes Appear Set for BCS Title Game

College Football is the Greatest Game on Earth, and How I'd Make It Better

College Football Saturday - Week 2: What I Learned Today...

College Football Saturday: What I Learned Today...

Knute Rockne, Notre Dame, and the Eucharist

Annual College Football Kickoff Post

BS* ... errrr ...BCS Poll Comes Out - Ohio State # 1

Sports Illustrated: Who's Got the Best Fight Song?

Great College Football Weekend

College Fight Songs - Comments Requested

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