It’s June. Mountain West football exists only in the abstract, the ether of the off-season.
The 2017 college football season ended five months ago, and we’ve got a little less than three months before the 2018 season starts. These are dark times.
Like Santa Claus in October, however, football season will make its presence known soon enough. It’ll show up with its horrible beard and giant red pants, and you’ll forget why summer ever existed in the first place.
I love college football, and I’m not unique. Millions of people all over the country (and all over the globe) find themselves addicted to this ridiculous sport. And I don’t use the word “addicted” lightly. Like junkies, we return to a destructive (and not just self-destructive) habit over and again, despite the damage caused. The depth of our dependency is best illustrated by what we do in the off-season.
To wit: on May 31, JR Smith forgot the score of an NBA Finals game that he was competing in, and I got visibly upset. I shook my fist. Why? Why would it matter to me whether a very tall man could remember to put an orange ball though an orange hoop?
Because there was no football on.
The most engrossing story to me of the last four months is how Johnny Manziel is doing in the CFL preseason. I don’t have any particular reason to root for or against the man. But he’s a football player, dammit, and he’s putting on pads and a helmet and trying to score touchdowns, which, despite my better judgement, makes him interesting. I get to watch and joke about pantomiming snorting cocaine as a sack-dance. Also, there’s no real football to talk about, so Manziel and his Tiger-Cats will have to do.
But football – the American kind with cheerleaders and overpaid coaches and fans who show up drunk and then complain that the players aren’t trying hard enough – is coming. The touchdowns, the sacks, the replays, the concussions – I’m jittery just thinking about it.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably like me. You probably have a game-day ritual. You probably will watch two losing teams play a meaningless game in the snow and love every second of it. And you probably love this game in a way that can only be explained by the hours upon hours of it you consume every weekend in the fall.
Specifically, you love the college version of the game, and even more narrowly, the Mountain West Conference. Maybe you attended one of the MWC’s esteemed institutions and earned a BA in Trucking or Bovine Studies. Perhaps you grew up in Wyoming or New Mexico – places with no professional sports that adopt the identity of their local university and its athletics teams. Maybe still you went to BYU from ages 26-30 and have conference envy.
Whatever your reasons, I want to tell you what you can expect from this blog this summer. I want to get you ready for this football season by previewing each MWC team, one post at a time. Being that I have no inside information, these posts will consist mostly of conjecture, ranting, and snark. Finally, I make just one guarantee: all predictions wrong or your money back.
Starting with Air Force, I am going to write/release these previews in an egalitarian, American way. What? No. Not by which team has the most white guys. Alphabetically. Come on now.
Watch this space.