There is one thing I have grown to dislike. I don’t know when exactly I began to dislike it. I can’t say with any certainty that there was anything in particular that caused my dislike.
It probably just happened that what I liked about it was less than what I didn’t. I probably just trudged though it one more time. I probably didn’t even know I didn’t like it and instead just did it out of habit. You know, because I used to like it.
I am talking about College Football previews.
I suppose they are like formulaic movies. There is probably a movie that you consider ‘this type of movie’ that you compare everything to. Maybe you measure all superhero movies against Batman. Maybe you measure all heist movies against Heat. Maybe you measure all romantic comedies against When Harry Met Sally. Maybe you measure all fighting movies against American Ninja. (me)
It happens. Sportily, it happens when people compare all good teams to The Good Team When I Was 13-17 Years Old. Basketbawful and Bill Simmons’ team is the Bird Celtics. My team is the Bulls. And the Cowboys. And the Braves/Yankees.
My Amaré is Kemp. My underachieving big man is Ewing. Not Dwight Howard.
My dynasty team is the Cowboys, and the evil empire was the ‘Niners. Not the Pats, and well, the Pats.
My poorly made point is that the same thing has happened to me in football. Like most of America, I came around to college football in the late ’90s. I started as a ‘Horns fan. I rode the Ricky Williams wave all the way until Vince Young won them the National Championship in 2006. So to me, my standard for running quarterback is VY/Pat White. My standard for running back is Ricky Williams/Reggie Bush. Receiver? Believe it or not: Peter Warrick.
Weird. I know.
Any way, I have read lots of season previews. Specifically college previews. In the pre-internet era there were limited options. I loved this time of year because the college football, pro football and college and pro basketball SI previews were coming. Awesome shit.
When I finally got access to the internet, around the time Texas was becoming a renewed power, I was an ESPN regular. That was back when Bill Simmons was interchangeable with Dan Shanoff, Ralph Wiley, Jason Whitlock, Jeff Caple etc. Shit, I even remember when I started to notice that I liked a couple of those dudes more than others (Simmons, Wiley, Whitlock). I was there.
Then I didn’t.
I first noticed it last year. I wasn’t reading Cowboy previews. I wasn’t reading college previews. I wasn’t up on all the transactions. I turned into my dad.
Let me explain. Before the Broncos-Falcons Super Bowl, I was excited, ready to watch 5 hours of hype before the game. (That seems short now, considering the TV-coverage is really the whole two weeks prior now). My dad? Not so much. He explained that he knew everything that they were going to say, and that he knew every storyline even though he didn’t know the specifics. He said, “I used to be like you. Going over the stats, and knowing what’s what. I just don’t care anymore.”
I was baffled. I couldn’t understand how he could just abandon being a fan. Now I can.
Those Super Bowl storylines are all the same. It’s actually comforting instead of sad. I like knowing that some things will always be the same. There will always be a veteran player who is finally fulfilling a dream. A young guy who overcame adversity. An old pro looking to finally get that ring. An old coach finally proving himself. A young coach who is changing the game. And so on.
I get it.
So maybe it is burnout, maybe it is that I have seen it all before. I know that this year there will be coaches on the hotseat, players trying to show last year was not a fluke, players trying to show last year was a fluke, teams on the rise, teams on the fall, senior-laden squads that are poised for a run, underclassmen-laden squads poised to get praised for their potential. Hyped stars that everyone thinks will finally step up because they showed promise at the end of last year (ex: Terrell Pryor, just like VY, just like Troy Smith and so on)
Same thing. Every year.
So I guess when I say I don’t like it, I mean I don’t like reading them. I don’t want them to stop. Or improve any– how can they? Without them, the young fan won’t get to be the wise-old fan. I can’t say those previews I read were any better. Well, I can’t say with any authority, anyway.
With that said, I will be doing a season preview of sorts. Not based on any reality whatsoever. No, instead it will be based off NCAA 11. Because why not.
Quick preview of the preview: I benched Tune for Teagarden because I needed someone that could escape pressure. The backup wasn’t better at passing, but he is faster and well, I needed someone to take pressure off of Dunbar.