Well as my beard grows and the day shortens, the Season is still sneaking thru September. Yes, it's true, in anticipation of a successful Deer Hunt, I usually do grow a beard. It's not that I'm particularly superstitious, but every time I have harvested a deer, I also have sported some facial hair. The true reason for this is a combination of just plain lazy, combined with an element of disguise. You see, if I wear a beard then the deer won't recognize me. They still point and laugh, but they don't know it's me.
Another wonderful aspect of this fair and lovely month is the venerated tradition that is College Football. To my foreign readers I must say now that I use the term Football in the Stateside sense of the word, and not in your Footy meaning. I intend no disrespect for your Footy, and do enjoy watching a good match. But, as a red blooded Uhmerrycan, there is no rival to College Football! Oh sure, you can go on about the NFL, and the level of play in the Big Show... but I, and many tens of other loyal Northern Michiganders, frankly wouldn't give a spit for those over paid, whiny, petulant babies. That might be because, unlike Wisconsin and Minnesota, we really don't have much of a pro team to follow here in Michigan. Point of fact, it wasn't that many years ago when the Lions lost each and every game during the season. I prefer to think that it is because we Northern 'Ganders are a much more pure, and therefore honest folk. And so we eschew too much professional success of anything. I assure you that Gordon Gecko could never have been a Northerner!
But as the cider mills open their doors in the morning for warm apple cider, and fresh donuts, and as sure as the Monarch butterflies have already beat their tiny wings away, we live for College Football! These young men are not in it for the money to be made, and most of them won't be seen in the Pro's. No sir, these student athletes play for the pure passion of the sport! And yes, that's my own, rather naive outlook, but then this my blog, and those are my opinions.
Saturday is Game Day, and you dress in your finest school of choice colors. Including skivvies and socks. Women who normally will be seen in a Sunday morning classroom teaching our children about Moses, or the Golden Rule and the like, will don panties emblazoned with their favorite mascot, and warpaint that would surely frighten Sitting Bull. A few years the kids gave me a Big Ten t shirt as gift (probably Father's Day, since I no longer hafta wear a tie to work) and yes, we are a Big Ten family. Big Ten being one of several College Football leagues around the country, and of course we think the best. But this family is truly a Big Ten family, and we have connections to both teams in Michigan, as well as teams in Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. You could say that Saturdays in our family can get rather competitive! The bets usually will involve such massive amounts as loser buys winner dinner and the like. After all, it wouldn't do to actually be so crass as to bet money on a game!
So yes, prepping for the coming Deer Season (which typically includes moving a Game Camera around to see when and where the varmints could be had) and rooting for your fave College Football team, yes, those truly are what stirs the passions of us in the North. Why just looking at a picture of a fine buck a mere 25 yards away from your favorite blind has been known to make some otherwise taciturn folk weep with joy as this year, yes, this year he knows he'll finally bag the buck. And when the weekend rolls off another dreary Friday, then everyone cheers up as they just know in their of heart of hearts, that this week, oh yes this week, our team will be prevail against the Goliath of an opponent that we have no idea why we are playing? So we drink some beer, and snack on some munchies, and wear our school colors, and dream of deer, and then for a moment, just one small, bright moment of time, we are truly ecstatic in our hearts, and we forget to be dour, and we yell like we were really there in the stands... so for a brief time we are transported away, back to a gentler time, or just a different place. But time and a place where it doesn't matter that my beard is white (?!), and that you're overweight, and the car needs a repair, and so does the fence. For one afternoon, we all come together and share in our mutual victories and defeats, and that, my friends, is the true magic of College Football!