Elevating college football to the appropriate level of importance in his small but powerful world, Bear Bryant once noted, “It’s kind of hard to rally around a math class.” And as if we needed reminding, the man operated at a time before outlandish concepts like “academic reform” and truth-in-scholarship limits.
Emotionally, however, not much has changed in the past several decades. For many, particularly in the South, the opening of college football season this week is like finally being given clearance to rip the gift wrap off of a box that has been sitting in the corner, seemingly taunting you, for eight months.
“If you grew up around here, the excitement is one of those things that you often think back to, like significant holidays,” said Bill Curry, the 69-year-old Georgia State coach, who is entering the final season (we assume) of his career.
“You remember where you were for certain