It seems like this football season is the most anticipated in the history of the University of Louisville. I might be wrong but I’m not. Even though Louisville was ranked 10th in the 2007 preseason rankings compared to 19th for this season, there are still higher expectations for this season. We have heard all the reasons for the expectations so I won’t break it down for you again. The day is finally upon us. It’s go time.
It may seem like today is the most important day of the year, it’s not. It’s simply the start of 6 times where we as Louisville fans come together and put aside any differences we may have for the betterment of the program. People of different religion, race, political parties, occupations and people from all different neighborhoods come together for one reason. To cheer the Louisville football team to victory.
It’s great that football can unite everyone for period of time but after the game everyone goes back to real life where we all have responsibilities. At that point we realize that football is just a game or an escape from reality. There is more to life than football. A win or loss does not change my priorities in life.
But today, for a few hours, it will seem like football is life. I will wake up early like it’s Christmas morning. Work will seem like it’s the longest work day EVER. The anticipation of kickoff will make my stomach tremble. I will be in the parking lot hours prior to kickoff celebrating the start of the season. I’ll be doing the Cards chant as I walk through the tunnel with a few hundred people of which I will probably only know 5 of them. I will hand many dollars to a guy I only see 6 days a year, but never after the 3rd quarter. I will give high fives in celebration to people I don’t know. I will stand for nearly 3 hours and not complain about it. I will scream till I lose my voice. I will endure anything Mother Nature will throw at me. I will rejoice with jubilation after every great moment and I will scowl in disgust after every negative moment. I will pour my heart out and make my feeling vulnerable trusting that my team will not hurt me. I will immerse myself in the whole experience.
I will also stand in front of my seat prior to kickoff. I will look around the entire stadium at all 55,000 people. I will glance at the Louisville skyline that sits quietly in the distance behind the scoreboard. I will take in all the sounds that accompany the stadium experience. Still standing, I will close my eyes and run some images through my head. I will visualize my wife, my children, my family, my friends, my house, my job, and everything I have been blessed with. I will thank God for all those things as well as my health and the chance to live another day. I am truly blessed and it’s never a bad time to be thankful for it.
Today football will seem like life when in fact it’s just a perfect opportunity to reflect on the most important aspects of your life. I ask all of you to take this chance to enjoy the start of the 2016 football season but also remember there is much more to life than football. Incorporating the school and sport you love with everything that your world revolves around can be a very fulfilling. It can take your game day experience to a whole new level.
As always, GO CARDS!
PS. I want to welcome the Bucket Hat King, LJ tha Fiasco, to the CSZ family.