As the calendar gets ready to flip over to September, these are exciting days in Alabama. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you — and you know that if you have to ask, you obviously don’t live in Alabama. Because … it’s Football Eve! Finally, after weeks — months? — of anticipation and planning and hard work and sweat and tears, football is here again. Tonight there are a few high school games, with the bulk of the high-school season openers on Friday night. The University of North Alabama, our hometown college that’s always a powerhouse, plays its first game on Saturday, and then next weekend we get down to business as Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and others show us what they’ve got. All across the state, everybody’s busy checking supplies of school T-shirts, pom-poms, shakers, grills, BBQ and coolers. And of course, just because the season’s starting doesn’t mean that practice time is over. There are still hours ahead of drills and run-throughs under the steamy summer sun as frustrated cries of “Left! Left! You’re supposed to turn left there!” and “Didn’t you see Clint there on the 50-yard line? How could you run over him?” ring out across the practice field. But it’s all worth it on Game Day, as the lights pop on and the crowds gather and the fans follow your every move — roaring approval and rising to their feet in wildly enthusiastic applause for a job well done.
Yup — I love marching band season. Why? What did you think I was talking about???