Two days and a wakeup
The one thing so many men and women wait and yearn for all offseason. It’s kind of the thing that takes the place of Christmas when you were a child. Oh, Christmas is still special, but once mom and dads Santa secret is finally exposed for being the biggest lie your parents have ever told you by that age, there is a certain bit of magic that is lost. I shouldn’t say lost, because you get that magic back after several years, as it returns to spread its wonder upon Football in your life.
The early years of the football foundation in each of us
It starts up in your yard, the street, the vacant lot down the road, up at the school, almost anywhere there is at least 30 to 50 yards or more of room, to run, kick, punt, and throw a football. Many get into Pop Warner, or YMCA flag, or other community youth football programs. Some take the next step and play freshman, junior varsity, and varsity football in high school. Even fewer take that next leap into the college ranks, then a minuscule amount takes the giant leap to the NFL or other professional leagues. But no matter how far up the ladder you played or didn’t play at all. There is an energy in your midsection, something close to the butterflies we have all felt when your next in line to get into the roller coaster cars on a raging new coaster, can’t nail the description, but that’s close.
Subcultures and Rituals
There are subcultures formed around football. The fantasy football geeks. The ones that always wrap Sunday around barbecuing, or smoking, their favorite meats, or throwing a fish fry or crab boil. I’m not talking about the ones that throw a burger or steak on the grill at halftime. I’m talking about the guy that has started the process of the cookout days in advance. Getting their favorite wood for smoking, marinating the meat, or a rub if you prefer. Putting together their favorite sauce or glaze. The rituals are as varied as the people that are doing them. Some traditions surround specific games. I always boil a big Pot of Green Peanuts on my Propane cooker before the UF vs Tenn game, smoked ribs for the UGA game, and Prime Rib or Beef Tenderloin for the FSU game. I’m usually smoking a Boston Butt for the Bucs season opener. Certain Liquors for specific games are also honored, but I’m not going down that long blurry road.
From different locations, all one Bucs Life Nation
There are the ones that can purchase season tickets and their cookouts are held at 4201 North Dale Mabry Highway. Many have the same seats and parking every year and have developed friendships and camaraderie with those fans, they park and sit next to on game day. Some even show up for every home game and buy tickets from friends, over the internet, or from scalpers, but they are as loyal as the 50-yard line season ticket holders. Then, of course, all the many more that never miss a game on the trusty old Sylvania floor model, or 60-80 inch, wall mounted flat screen, mega home theater monstrosities and all screens in between. There are a million ways to conduct the rituals, and even more, differing views of how our team should be drafted; practiced and coached. Issues that tend to divide us at times, even cause us to come to words with our fellow fans. Many things that can divide us, but once that ball is kicked off on Sunday, for a few moments, we are all of one accord, all brothers, one big family, because we all love our Buccaneers, our team, our passion. Let Football commence!! Go Bucs!!