Smell ya later, June.
The last irrelevant month of the college football year is over. That means you can stop playing Fortnite, watching “Flip or Flop” or doing whatever you’ve been doing to pass the time during the football drought season (Tarek and Christina doing post-divorce episodes is a new level of awkward).
The good news for you, SEC fan, is that for the rest of the way in 2018, there will be something football-related each month that you can look forward to.
In July, we’ll have SEC Media Days. In August, we’ll have fall camp and ACTUAL FOOTBALL. In September, we’ll have…oh you know the drill.
Why is 2018 different than any other year, you ask?
Well, it felt like 2017 was the first movie in a classic trilogy. You know, like when you saw the first “Rocky” and you couldn’t wait for more. Like Rocky, the 2017 college football season would’ve won the Academy Award for “Best Picture.” The year ended in the most dramatic fashion possible, but in the SEC, we immediately thought about what was next.
What was going to happen with the Tua Tagovailoa-Jalen Hurts situation? What would Kirby Smart do for an encore with that unprecedented recruiting class coming in? How was Jimbo Fisher going to shake up the balance of power in the SEC?
As thrilling as 2017 was, we were left with all of these cliffhangers about what was next. For the last 6 months, I found myself still wanting answers to those questions and more, but not getting any.
It’s almost like SEC Media Days is the when the trailer for 2018 is going to be released, and the premiere date for the sequel is this August.
Forgive the constant movie references. I’ll give you one guess how I passed the time this summer.
On a personal note, this year feels like the sequel for my time in the SEC. Last August was when I took on the role of senior national columnist here at SDS (I had been with the company for the previous 2 seasons writing for our Big Ten site, SaturdayTradition.com). It was the first time that I ever experienced the fall thrill ride that is the SEC.
That’s not to say the Big Ten lacked storylines or entertainment, but consuming all things SEC is a different ballgame.
I had never written about a train wreck like the one that unfolded at Tennessee. I had never covered a coach who caved under the pressure like Jim McElwain. I had never written columns about intra-conference foes squaring off in the ultimate master vs. apprentice national championship matchup.
My goodness, the 2017 season was something. I, like you, missed that entertainment all summer. There really is nothing like it.
I’ve already romanticized how great 2017 was that I’m not sure how the sequel can live up to it. Most sequels don’t. The buildup to the sequel is often more entertaining than the sequel itself.
OK, that’s where I’ll stop the movie references. There’s simply no way that an offseason of debating Alabama’s passing of the torch to Georgia or what’s next in the Hurts-Tagovailoa saga is going to be better than actual football.
I’d rather listen to the “SEC on CBS” jingle on repeat than watch one more random movie I settled on after 30 minutes of searching through Netflix.
It’s gotten to that point. The college football offseason is a long one, but finally, we’ve reached a bit of a milestone. In a few short weeks, we’ll be in Atlanta to talk to actual players and coaches about actual fall football. No more recruiting talk, no more spring football and no more debating new rules (well, besides the media member who decides to ask EVERY player and coach about new rule X).
Soon, we’ll be breaking down position battles at fall camp and writing stories about season-opening matchups that aren’t preceded with “way-too-early” in the headline. It’s a beautiful thing.
I hope that when you flipped your calendar this morning, you got a little excited. No, I’m not just talking about realizing that you get a day off from work this week, though that’s pretty cool of you, America. I’m talking about the realization that every month for the rest of 2018 is filled with some sort of real football event.
Before you know it, you’ll be waking up on Saturday and putting your tailgate together. Perhaps in a couple months you’ll be like me, sitting on your couch smiling when Big and Rich comes on College GameDay because you know that you have 15 hours of college football to consume.
The offseason is nearly over. Cheers to you, SEC fan. You made it up the mountain that is summer.
It’s all downhill from here.