The first week of August has arrived, which means it’s time to begin preparing for fall and all the wonderful things that come with it. Things like football and pumpkin spiced coffee.
I know, you thought you would never see those two things mentioned in the same sentence together — unless it’s a sentence describing why those words will never be seen together. But I assure you, in my world, there is absolutely no reason why the two shouldn’t be featured together.
I happen to love them both, but to reassure you I do love football more.
But I won’t back down from my statement, fall is great for football and pumpkin spice coffee. It could be, in all honesty, I just enjoy saying pumpkin spiced coffee because there was a time when I would have been run out of society for liking such a thing and openly admitting it.
There would had to have been some sort of “don’t ask don’t tell” protection for me in the 1950’s. Dudes like Yul Brenner and John Wayne would have taken me out back and whipped me with a leather strap for saying such things.
At any rate, although the temperatures don’t reflect it as of yet, let me assure high school football has begun practice and the college ranks are right behind them.
When this annual rite of passage occurs, at least in the South, all other life begins to settle in for a long, long nap and the rest of the world has to take a back seat on Friday nights and Saturdays. Don’t let the crazy broadcast schedule for the sports networks throw a monkey wrench in the works. I know there are games on other nights now to fill the marketing voids of the airways.
All in all, this first week of August is a ringing of the approaching fall — with it’s accompanying cooler days and nights, which I know will make most of you happy — and an entirely different approach to life in general as August rolls along and kickoff grows ever nearer.
Keep in mind, the mercury in the thermometer — do they use mercury in thermometers anymore? — isn’t the only change.
The front-runners for the highest office in the land have created a divide that will now be overshadowed by yet another divide, the span between opposite sides of a rivalry.
No matter which it is in the South, this will be the thing to drive even the ugly — albeit entertaining — train wreck that is our electoral system and race to the White House to the back-burner. In the South, we understand politics is a blood-sport with no accountability now but it still doesn’t measure up to one conversation between college football rivals.
Clemson-Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Auburn-Alabama, Florida-Georgia — a few of the rivalry match-ups that will make the two nominees taking shots at one another resemble a name-calling slap fight by second graders behind the elementary school,. Second graders actually fight more fair.
Those candidates for president may think they’ve seen tough times being lambasted in the press but I assure you they wouldn’t last five minutes in a war of insults between rivals in the South. The references to family lineage, worthlessness of educations, and insults about sisters alone are rougher than the one liners the national campaign is highlighting.
Think about it, if you want to see which is more important, some of those friends of yours that support your candidate and have been your ally will in a few weeks’ time become bitter enemies, all because of a rivalry.
And the opposite will be true. Those who you had a distaste for because of their political leanings will be like blood when it comes to the old pigskin, ready to stand back to back and take on the world.
August always signifies the coming end to summer, my most favorite time, and it is a bittersweet time for me with football being one of the reasons I trudge on with winter just around the corner.
I think it’s worth noting this particular election season how much football and even rivalries actually draw us together, even if it is because each week we as fans have a new enemy to bless with our shouts, yells, opinions and insults.
So, I guess you could say football, at least in the South, is one of the oddly American things that binds us together even as it drives a wedge between us. It would be nice if politics could do that but I’m not holding my breath.
Oh, and the pumpkin spiced coffee. I didn’t really want to talk about it as much as savor its nearing arrival. Oh, and the perverse pleasure of watching my male friends cringe when I order it.
Julie adores having to acknowledge the fact her boyfriend drinks coffee like a 12-year-old girl — she cringes at the thought.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.