Crowing, Barking, Roaring – Welcome back, college football. We’ve missed you.

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We’ve made it. We have endured the sadness that sets in as the whistle blows to end the the championship game. This is the door step of another college football season, with all the pre-season uncertainty, the big talk, heavy promises, and curated talking points. We are back again.

It’s the time of year when strangers wearing the same colors are, for at least four quarters, family. Tailgate fare – dips, chicken fingers,pigs-in-a-blanket – are acceptable food no matter what time of day. Voices are hoarse and noses are sunburned. Tailgate rigs rival brick and mortar homes.

There is something to be said for the atmosphere around college football in particular. We love the buzz as much as we love the X’s and O’s. And in the South, buzz it does. It is here grown men and women ring cowbells, crow like roosters, roar like tigers and bark like dogs. And if reality isn’t suspended enough, that grown man barking like a dog on Saturday is very likely the person cleaning teeth on Tuesday or doing taxes on Thursday. The buzz is as intoxicating as the alcohol in koozy-coated beer bottles.

Give us the underdog. Give us the fourth quarter comeback. Give us the back-of-the-end zone-catch. Give us the just eeked through filed goal. Let us bite our nails. Let us pace the floor and cover our faces. Give us the tight games over the blow outs any day.

Deep down, we like the uncertainty of it all. We like going into a match up we think we understand and in three hours proven right or wrong and we, as a general rule, love to be right. There is plenty of room for all manner of postulation and theories. We can be coach, fan, and athletic director all rolled up in our amateur selfs. We love wearing all the hats.

So let’s spend the next five months eating, hoping, coaching, cheering, pacing and pleading. Let’s spend the next five months loving every minute.

And Go Gamecocks. Forever to thee.

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