The other day I was asked what I would write about since the season has ended, as such.
I thought a minute and asked him, does it ever really end these days?
I see that teams are already back in the weight room and coaches are already out recruiting for 2023, even though the 2022 class is not official.
When I was younger, you would watch that last bowl game on New Year’s Day and go to bed knowing you had school the next day and Christmas vacation was over. The long winter and spring bled into summer. Back in the ’70s and ‘80s, you really didn’t know that there was a big signing day in February. You started reading the papers in August to figure out who was new on the team and what the local sportswriters were predicting for them.
You anticipated that first game in September and looked forward to either attending in person or knowing you were going to be listening to Larry Munson or Al Ciraldo on the radio. This of course surmising that you were either a Georgia or Georgia Tech fan.
Nowadays with social media and all the other marketing hype, we are already seeing players back at school in the weight room and coaches at recruiting stops. The current buzz is which players are in the transfer portal and which are going to stay, and don’t get me started on this portal, as I think it has created free agency like pro football. There is another signing day to come in February, and the contest of which team signed the players with the most stars.
Then come the spring games. When I was in college, the team’s spring game was either a glorified scrimmage or something unique. One year they had the second team players playing against ex-players that had already graduated — and not recent ones. There were some guys almost 40 years old out there playing. The stands had a few fans but mostly students pretending it was a tailgate, consuming beer on that Saturday in April.
Now the spring game is still a glorified scrimmage but at places like Georgia and Alabama, you get upwards of 60 to 70 thousand fans in the stands. ESPN televises them and no doubt collects more revenue.
There is now that quiet period between May and July where not much is going on except a few sports talk folks starting to prognosticate the upcoming season. But August rolls around with its conference media days and fall camp, and it is all back on again.
Unlike many other sports, such as the eight months of baseball, the 10 months of pro basketball, and pro football now stretching into February, college football used to have such a brief period of the sport that each moment could be savored, and you knew that those four months were the greatest four months of the year.
Some may like the current way it is done, but I can clearly say I don’t. But as I am told by my kids, I am pushing 60.
Richard Proctor, born in Newnan, recently moved back from Denver, Colorado, and is an avid college football fan as well as a published author.