It’s an irreplaceable energy on a college campus.
It’s knowing that’d you’d choose a college town in the southeast on a fall Saturday over Paris, New York, or Malibu.
It’s realizing that while it’s hotter than hell, summer is over. We’re playing ball.
It’s being 20 and knowing the syllabi are optional and that using your textbook money for a 30 hour roundtrip road trip with your friends is most definitely not optional.
It’s being older, seeing those 20 year olds, and laughing inside because those kids have no damn clue just how good they have it.
It’s that amazing kinship when you’re across enemy lines, on the road, and the stranger in the Ag shirt buys you beer. You’re suddenly old amigos.
It’s having inexplicable tradition take to the road, plant its flag on the steps of the opposition’s capitol at midnight, and yelling your ass off.
It’s understanding that, well yeah, you’d be confused and a little mad too if the guests visiting your home suddenly became a very loud, hell-bent militia on your doorstep in the middle of the night.
It’s hearing everyone’s predictions. Digesting all the stat simulations. Watching blowhard after blowhard tell you just what’s going to happen despite plenty of recent history suggesting the contrary.
It’s hitting that sweaty, sluggish August delusion that maybe – just maybe – that true freshman blue chip on defense is the next Lawrence Taylor and with a couple bounces, we could all be in Atlanta in three months.
It’s 2013 Auburn.
It’s 2012 when an undersized, unknown freshman voids every prediction and shuts up every blowhard on his way to becoming one of the sport’s greatest ever.
It’s listening to the painfully verbose Gary Danielson trip over his words in stunned, chopped pauses as No. 1 goes down in Tuscaloosa.
It’s remembering what you were like in college, shuddering at your past ways, and realizing that predicting anything college aged men will do is a waste of mental energy.
It’s finally turning our attention away from all the scandals, arrests, lawsuits, compensation (or lack thereof), and teeing up a football.
It’s watching those young, raw underdogs in icy white uniforms follow a coach with a supremely unique, authentic, quiet confidence out of the tunnel into the most hostile of environments.
It’s conceding that none of us know anything really. There are no experts. Anything might happen tonight and having it any other way would be tedious.
This is Game Day. I hope you love it.