For many of us, football is fall.

Technically it wont be here until September 22. But for those of us who spent the last two weekends listening to pads crack and the clap of a perfectly thrown spiral smacking into outstretched hands, fall has arrived.

Temperatures may not reflect this, and the leaves may still be green but once football starts, good luck convincing us that it isn’t the season of tailgates, grilling and post-game bonfires that burn until the sun comes up.

Whether you are a geographic transplant (probably prefer the NFL) or you were born within the footprint of the SEC and bleed the colors of the team you grew up watching (no matter what the doctor says, if you cut me I swear its orange and white) the shift in weather and the smell in the air is undeniable. For the next five months our weekends are planned out, advance apologies to any significant others, but the shortest sports season of the year is upon us and we have a very limited amount of time to absorb as much as possible.

Fall has always been about new beginnings for me. It’s the start of a new school year, with new classes and new people. This applies to fandom as well. Everybody thinks his or her team is going all the way at the beginning of the season. We go all summer hearing about how our team has addressed the previous years issues and are going to be exponentially better in the areas they struggled.

For a select few the dreams come true and the long wait of spring and summer is worth every second. The majority though, are forced to accept the inevitable, there are the cream of the crop then there are all the other teams.

If you’re in the lucky company of those whose teams deliver on the promise remember that you are the minority. No one is telling you not to wear your team gear or beam with happiness every Monday when you return to school after your teams weekend success but keep it respectable, not everyone had the weekend you did.

Football unlike any other sport can be cyclical, you may be on top now but you could fall off just as quickly as you reached the peak. So the next time your team lays waste to your friends childhood team by all means make sure he or she knows it happened but remember, one day you could be on the receiving end. Basically, don’t be “that” guy. It’s not worth the momentary joy of ridiculing your friend or co-worker to end up as the guy no one tells where the games being watched at or the recipient of the ignore button when you’re calling everybody on game day.

-Aaron

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