It really began late last week, but the college football season is upon us, as is high school football and the NFL.
In our area the local tv stations all send out multiple crews to the highlight high school football games of the week, as well as to other less-hyped matchups, all in the endless quest for higher ratings, so they can charge more money for commercials, and make a larger profit.
And that is as it should be.
The stations devote quite a bit of Friday night newscast time to highlight these games, complete with the tv personality usually doing or saying something stupid on camera in front of a large mass of cheering teenagers pushing and shoving for face time on camera, just so the local ypkel can show how "cool" he is, I suppose. They show the game clips with narration, while simultaneously scrolling all the scores across the bottom of the screen. I never know if I should look for my team's score or watch the highlights if they are not my school's. At least on the ESPN networks you know the info will be repeated ad nauseum, so it is easier to watch the action and pick up the stats and stuff during lulls in the action. The local stations also occasionally misspell the name of a school, although my favorite local typo occurred during an interview "highlight" with then- OSU football coach John Cooper, whom the station kindly informed us that he had a name change, at least for a few seconds, as we were treated to "OSU Football Coach John Copper"
Before the advent of scrolling scores, the local sports anchors would read them all as fast as they could, and occasionally a newbie would mispronounce a school's name as well. Wehrle High School (pronounced "whirly") always was good for a laugh as the newcomer would struggle with it.
Central Ohio is a seething mass of Ohio State football followers/fanatics, and the lead story on most Friday nights at 11:00 p.m., barring a MAJOR story butting in, is the OSU game the next day. And it is the lead story on Saturday night's newscasts as well. Highlights are shown at the top of the news and again in the sports recap.
Radio is also big on the Buckeyes, although not as much as in the 1960s, when 4 or 5 local stations would each broadcast the game, complete with their own broadcast crew. Nowadays, one station has exclusive radio rights, but their main competitor bills itself as "The Best Buckeye Coverage", doing multiple call-in shows as well as pre-and-post game.
If you are living here and are not a Buckeye fan, life can be miserable, as "that's all you hear!"
My entire family is big on the football Buckeyes; I told Wonderful Daughter that I agreed to let her marry Eric the Tall because he was a big Buckeye fan, and it was a bonus that he was also a Steelers fan. Wonderful Daughter and her husband are raising their children properly, outfitting them in Buckeye gear on game days. Nothing says "OSU FAN" quite like a toddler and a small boy looking their OSU best and cheering on the team! Beloved Wife declares college football to be her favorite, and watches many games with me even when they do not involve the Buckeyes. Handsome Son is doing yeoman's work converting his fiancee, Miss Texas, to Buckeyedom, as well as ensuring she now cheers for all our mutual favorite teams. Robert T and his Beloved have hosted game night parties at Lake Saratoga, but we seem to lose those games when they host, so they may have to reconsider that option. Graybeard and The Stache are fans, but are more on the pessimistic side than the rest of us. My Mother In Law pulls out the section of the paper with the teams' rosters and follows the game on the tube with that in hand.
The NFL also exerts an influence on us, but to a lesser extent. My household is Steelers country, although Beloved Wife still has a degree of Cowboys follower in her. Wonderful Daughter's family is also a Steelers haven, thanks to her husband, and the afore-mentioned Miss Texas is being indoctrinated into Steelerdom by Handsome Son.
Robert T is somehow a Vikings fan without having been to Minnesota, and his neighbor, Mrs Doogles, is a Cowboys fan, but we suspect it really is more of a Tony Romo longing than an actual liking of the team.
Mrs North of 50 is kind enough to ask if the Steelers game will be shown locally each week, so we can plan our day's activities.
I love that woman!
Are you ready for some football now?