Thursday, August 04, 2005

It's Football Season - Let's Go Crazy

Note: this is why I like blogs, people like me can write stuff like this:

Yes it is finally August. During the past 2 months occasionally I will hear comments like "it’s getting close to football season" or on a cooler day something like "it’s starting to feel like football weather." I honestly try to not talk too much about football until August but now its football time. And I am a football fanatic, I feel like I lose my mind slightly each year when this time rolls around. I have 3 main teams I root for -- the LSU Tigers, Southern Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, and I also am partial to few others -- Michigan Wolverines, the defending Super Bowl Champs - LSU at Cape Cod (in honor of Kev, Ro, Jarvis, Randall, Marquise, Eric) and maybe also the Cleveland Browns, aka the Kellen Winslow Soldiers (that’s for you Tamara). My whole routine changes once August begins. At work I read LSU message boards all the time looking for a bit of gossip or inside info. While in the car instead of listening to NPR or some music I’ll listen to some fat white guys talk about LSU, the Saints, or even occasionally Southern (but only if the bands get in a fight at halftime, one of the whites guy on the team messes up, a player from LSU transfers there, the coach gets fired, or its Bayou Classic week). I start to plan my weekends around tailgating and watching football. I’ll stay outside all day in a thunderstorm to watch a game with 92,000+ other crazy people. I tailgate with some more crazy people who call ourselves the “Pirates of Death Valley”. I occasionally tailgate with some guys whose tailgating group is named after a bench in the stadium. But I love it. And that is just Saturday. On Sunday morning (if I’m not going to the Dome) at church even if the preacher is preaching good and everybody is shouting and getting happy sometimes I’ll check my watch about 11:45 and start to think, “Preacher, your doing good but let’s wrap this up, kickoff is at 12:05 and I want to catch at least half of the first quarter, your supposed to be preaching on the 10 commandments but you ain’t even crossed the Red Sea yet” (like none of you have done this in church). And I won’t even get into fantasy football and gambling other than to say I don’t gamble, I learned my lesson in elementary school when I bet my friend $5 Denver would beat Washington in the Super Bowl, that was 1987 I think, but some people out there can’t wait to bet on their teams or any team (including one of my friends which I won’t name, we went to the New Orleans Bowl last year to watch North Texas and Southern Miss, he kept cheering for each team on defense, apparently he bet (and won) on the over-under for total yards… go figure).

I was trying to think of something to compare the way I think of football season so being the music lover I am I figured I would find a song to use. This song immediately popped into my head, Let’s Go Crazy by Prince. If you listen to the words its pretty weird, but it’s a great dance song with a cool beat and rock and roll sound, but still carries a lot of funk.

August is like the opening of Let’s Go Crazy, you know the creepy first part of the song with the organ and Prince talking about weird stuff. You can’t really dance to that part so you and the girl you asked to dance just have to stand there and wait. See in August all you have is fall camp and crappy preseason games, you know it’s gonna get fun once the season starts, just need some real games to get you started.

Then the guitar part comes in your ready to get down. Now you can finally dance. Even if you’re not a good dancer you and this girl get out there and let it go. See now you finally have games, tailgating, football parties, life is good and even if your team sucks at this point in the season they still have a chance.

Now it’s getting to the middle of the song where the groove is really kicking in. You still have no clue what Prince is talking about but you’re dancing, singing, hopefully having a good time with this girl. Or you’re ready to run. It’s the middle of the season now, your still enjoying football season, and hopefully your team is playing well. If not at least you still have hope for a mid-season turnaround. Or it could be bad news like your star QB or RB just got hurt, or even worse Josh Booty has 2 guys wide, I mean wide open in the end zone but instead he tries to jump into the end zone from the 10 yard line with 10 seconds left and gets stopped against Alabama (no, I’m not still mad). Then it sucks.

Finally you reach the end of the song; you know the part where the rhythm slows and the songs turns all bluesy. By this point it is near the end of season, November/December for college, December/January for NFL. There are 3 possible scenarios at this point.

1) You’re tired, you can’t help but think the song is too long, you don’t really like the girl you’re dancing with, you just want the song to be over so you can move on to something else. By now your team is playing out the string after a bad season so you start watching more basketball or waiting for baseball season (i.e. pretty much all my years as a Saints fan...edit until 2006, Sean Payton is King).

2) The girl you’re dancing with is kinda cute, you’re having a relatively good time, you think there maybe potential, you don’t want to get your hopes up but your thinking maybe its something you can work on. See your team still has chance to make it a good year, they may need a few big wins or some other teams to lose a game or two but they’re still in it for now.
You don’t have a lot of hope but you’re a die hard fan and you have to still believe -- the ultimate tease team -- (i.e. the rest of my years as a Saints fan, for example 2002 – start the season 6-1, start December at 9-4 needing to win one game to get in the playoffs, win 2 or 3 and you have a home playoff game, your last 3 opponents combined records for that year, 15 wins, 33 loses, guess what happened (btw I didn’t Google this info, I vividly remember, and I can tell you the 3 teams and generally how they lost each game), or

3) you’re dancing with a really hot chick who you actually have a shot with, and you get to hold her close now that the songs slows down, you wish the song would never end, but when it does your sure the next song will be even better and the whole night can’t help but get better. See now your team is bowling (hopefully BCS) on New Year’s Day or you rolling through the playoff with an eye on the big game (i.e. LSU in 2003, I think a National Championship will do it).

My expectations this year, LSU a #3, Southern a good #2, the Saints – oh man I know it won’t happen, but I’m a die hard, #3 baby. Still don’t know what Prince is talking but – “are we gonna let de elevator bring us down, Oh no let’s go, go crazy”


The Underdog said...

Dude, I haven't read this yet, but it's way long. Guess that's why dudes like you write stuff like that. I'll comment soon.

The Underdog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Underdog said...

So is this a commentary on your thoughts of football season or your last 3 dates?

There is something special about this time of year. There is an electricity surging through the air. Not as much as there will be come September, but enough to jump start you heart.

I've been away from Baton Rouge now three years, yet I am still able to keep up with the team a bit. I am more open to the national scene now that I'm in Big 12 country. While I am a huge Saints fan, that is until they move of course, I have to say that I'm following the entire NFL a bit more now. Not just the saga of TO and Hines Ward, but the signing of Ty Law, the Ricky Williams mess, and the rookie holdouts. It's all very interesting.

But there is nothing like the magic of a Saturday during football season. I can remember watching 10 college games on 5 TVs hooked together by enough coax cable to run the screens in Best Buy. Watching the big plays, the crowds, hearing the fight songs, aint nothing like it.

I feel you on that Prince song, but I'd liken it to Michael Jackson's "Beat It." When you hear the first 3 beats, you know what's coming. Much like the teams play in the early going against the cupcakes. Then conference play starts with thaat awesome guitar riff. Then comes the power behind MJ and his dancing. Then, much like "Let's go crazy" you only hope you're not sick of the repetitive nature of the song by the time the season's done.

So why do you tease me with this talk of the Saints. Only a true Saints fan knows the pain of the past few seasons. By the way, was that losses to Tampa, Cincy and San Fran? Only the Saints fan knows the roller coaster that is an ESPY award winning play followed by the heartbreak of missing a chip shot. Unfortunately, I remember where I was and why i was there for that game. Ok, i actually need to make some progress today. Can't get myself down any longer.

headliner said...

Your close, Minnesota, remember the Saints had a big lead, but Minn came back, scored a TD to come within 1 point with under a min left, then went for 2 to win, rememeber everyone knew Culpepper would probably just keep it, except the Saints, he runs in the 2 pt conversion, Saints lose. Next was Cincy on the road, we turned Rudi Johnson into a star that week. They finished 2-14 that year I think. Then Carolina in the dome was the last game, they killed us, I think Lewis ran by a kickoff for a TD, to make it close, but again you know about being a Saints fan. Close ......