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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Nothing Could Be Finer

The farther removed football fans get from the end of last season, the more we lust ravenously for that magical moment when we know the season is with us once again. I'm making plans - less than final, but more than tentative - to break the fast in the best way possible: With a live game. Not just my team's first game, or the first game nearby, but the very first game of the 2013 season.

I remember looking at schedules around the same time I was stating a desire to engage in more Random Acts of Football this coming year. I looked at schools within reasonable ravel time from me, and I remember having seen UNC at South Carolina playing on opening weekend. I hadn't forgotten about it - I even made it a point to make sure I had attire representing the state (but not the University) of North Carolina, since if I go, all things being equal, I'd root for the state in which I reside and the university system in which I work. Still, it also wasn't at the forefront of my radar either, until earlier this week, when I read an article by Mark Schlabach commemorating the 100 days till football mark. It was here that he noted that the summer of our discontent would meet its end at Williams Brice Stadium.

I don't know if this was a change in date or if I simply, when perusing schedules back in November, didn't put two and two together that August 29 is indeed the inaugural Thursday, but I was reemboldened in my belief that this game makes perfect sense for so many reasons, and that, Lord and schedule willing, I will be there. Here's why:

  • It is THE first game.
  • It's likely a Band on the Road game - it's just a 200 mile trip for the Marching Tar Heels. 
  • I've lived in the south for 8-14 years, depending on your metric, and cared deeply about college football for at least 10 of those. And yet, I've never been to a storied SEC FOOTBALL game, much less a home one. Why not get my start with the ol' ball coach and JaDeveon Clowney?
  • My normal football game roll dog, James, is on the way to Columbia, and he also may be down.
  • I work in campus programming, and this should be poised to fall just as our Welcome Week is wrapping up. Just what the doctor ordered.
  • And finally, I've heard some folks lament going to a game opening weekend because they could be binging on action from the comfort of their own couch. A Thursday game means I can still get the Saturday binge going - best of both worlds!
Interesting symmetry note: Last year, I saw the state's two land grant HBCUs play one another as SC State played at NC A&T. Once I go to this game, I may have to attend Clemson and NC State's Textile Bowl to complete the series.
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