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46 Days to Football: Crazy Fandom and Getting on ESPN

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.01.54 AMMost weekdays from now until the Packers and Seahawks kick off on September 4th, The Big Lead will detail one reason we are excited for football season to begin. Including today, we’re 39 days away from NCAA and 46 from NFL.

One of the many things we love about football is the feeling of camaraderie in a crowd. Jumping around and hugging total strangers wearing the same colored shirt as you are when that interception return for touchdown happens. Standing in unison at the start of the opening kickoff, and feeling the big “whoosh” when the kicker lets it fly.

Oh, and one of the other things about being in a crowd, you can act like a total moron. We love fans, because, well, it’s good for business as well. We have featured all kinds of crazy dressed up fans and even had a end of year review of the best college football fan GIFs.

This isn’t just admiring from afar. Before I was an old fart who got to make fun of the crazy things the youngsters are doing these days, I was doing it myself. My freshman year at the University of Missouri, the Tigers hosted the Colorado Buffaloes in a Thursday night game. Not to date myself too much, but this was the first home game against Colorado after the “Fifth Down game” (and if you are too young to know what that is, look it up).

ESPN was coming to town to broadcast it, which was kind of a big deal at the time. It may seem crazy now with Missouri appearing in the Cotton Bowl and sending numerous players to the NFL over the last decade, but once upon a time, they were pretty brutal at football. It was a cold and rainy night, and we went shirtless with E-S-P-N painted on our chests, and set up on the first row.

Now this was before the age of the smartphone, or even the dumb cell phone. I still had a word processor in my first year of college (again, look it up, if you have no idea what that is), but no computer. I was told we were on TV, but I had no visual proof or evidence. So on a whim while beginning to write this, I did a YouTube search of that Colorado-Missouri game. Lo and behold, someone uploaded that random, exciting 6-0 affair from over twenty years ago just this month.

So here you go, another reason why we love football. Because crazy painted fans turn into fathers of four someday. Chris Fowler and I once appeared on television at the same time over twenty years ago. Travis, best man at my wedding, is the “E”; Adam, my roommate, is the “S”; Andy, who was a huge Packers fan and could enjoy a beer or 20 (probably synonymous traits) was the “P”; and  I am the “N”. Proof that everything exists somewhere on the internet.

Related: 49 Days to Football: Fourth Quarter Romo
Related: 50 Days to Football: Consuming Football from Dawn to Dusk

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