While college football started with a bang on Thursday night, most teams will start their seasons today.
I’m not really that excited. I’ve got friends who went to Oregon, USC, Cal, UCLA, etc. They’re stoked. But pretty much every year since I was a kid, I’ve felt fairly ambivalent to the start of college football season.
I went to San Diego State, a school that perennially finishes at or near the bottom of the Mountain
West Conference. I am pretty sure they are the largest Division 1-A (Or FCS or whatever the hell they call it now) school to have never won a bowl game. In the offseason, they fired maligned head coach Chuck Long after 3 losing seasons, one of which included a loss to D 1-AA (Or FBS or whatever the hell they call it now) Cal Poly. Top baseball draft pick Stephen Strasburg has given the school some athletic credence… just not for football.
SDSU opens against UCLA. Most likely, it won’t be pretty.
So I envy my BCS-school attending friends. Texas fans can see a burnt orange cap and offer up a “Hook ’em Horns.” (THE) Ohio State fans can see each other and share a quick one-liner about how badly Michigan sucks. SDSU has no rival. It has no real… passion.
There really are no expectations to being an SDSU fan. New head coach Brady Hoke could lead the Aztecs to a .500 record and be unanimously voted mayor.
I don’t really feel much of a connection with SDSU sports, since I spent all of my time there as a journalist.
Basically… I want to follow a team this year.
I know how fun it is to be a fan of a team that actually has a shot to win at all. When I was a kid, I was
an avid Montana Grizzlies fan. We lived not too far from Missoula then, and we went to pretty much every game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
In 1995, led by that guy on the right, Dave Dickenson, led the Grizzlies to the 1-AA title over Marshall. That year was incredible. I miss the passion of being a fan of a college team, feeling so connected. But it’s something to which I know I can never really return.
I’d like to at least follow a team, though. To care if a team wins or loses or if a star player has a good game. I might do that with SDSU, but it won’t feel the same.