It feels like autumn.
After a terrific (for our area) thunderstorm last night, the weather has been cool and windy, cloudy, the colors more vibrant, a welcome change from weeks of heat and dryness.
I even spotted some golden orange on the mountains this morning.
And it's football season.
Nothing—not even the yearly back-to-school craze—says "autumn" to me like the start of college football season.
Fresh uniforms. Green turf. Game colors. Outdoor arenas. Tailgate parties. Reporters in crisp suits and black head sets. Coaches whose mouths are ever moving and ever soundless. Ecstatic crowds of college students. The anticipation in the air as Lee Corso reaches under his desk to pull out whatever lucky mascot he has chosen. Home Depot orange everywhere. And the weather always cooler onscreen than it is where I live.
It all adds that special crispness to the air.
My brothers and I have gone around all day wearing our respective Big Ten t-shirts. Rivalry thrives here, for better or worse.
Technically, I don't really watch the games. Bits and parts. But I have brothers. And every Saturday, from now until the end of college and NFL season, three or four different tvs will be on all day, playing three or four different games, with boys gathered at all of them watching, leaning forward in their chairs, pumping fists, cheering players and cussing referees. And if I even mention "chick flick" I'll get boo'ed out of town.
Really, though, when you're cleaning house all day to the sound of screaming fans and the "Darth Vader" brass band theme in the background, it's hard not to catch the game bug.
So go Iowa! (And best of luck to all of the other teams, as long as it doesn't come at Iowa's expense :)