'Tis the season!

Yup you read that right, and no it's not even close to the end of December, but still there's a special something in the air, hopes are high and you can just sense the anticipation!! Here in the US, the football (American version) season is just about to begin.

In case you're not aware, football is the most popular sport in the US (sorta like cricket in India), and the football season runs from the end of August till February. The NFL (professional league) and the NCAA (collegiate league) go on almost simultaneously for most of this period. While the NFL has superior players and is a professional run organization, nothing comes close to the emotions and pageantry of college football. R, having attended Texas A&M University, a school thats proud of its football traditions is "maroon blooded" like the rest of his fellow aggies!

Well, when I talk of football traditions, you really need to experience it to understand it. There is a saying that football is a religion in Texas, and as R's aunt AS puts it the feeling as gameday comes College Station TX is similar to a thiruvizha in India. The night before the game is a big party in town. At midnight a huge crowd gathers at the stadium (Kyle Field) to practice yelling, to intimidate the visiting team! Then the next morning, people start gathering at the parking lots with their BBQ equipment and TVs hooked up to their RV's to catch the pre-game shows and other games being broadcast. Aggie fans take pride in treating the visitors hospitably and visiting fans are invited for a bite, a drink and good natured ribbing.

Now, at the beginning of the season, none of the teams have lost a game yet, and the anticipation is high. Most fans have finished laying their bets and giving their opinions of how their teams are going to fare. R has his own little bets with his cousins KS and NS (there NS, you get your mention even before the promised feb '08 deadline!). I know V & R are getting set to ride the emotional roller-coaster for the next few months and I'll keep you posted on the highs and lows till the end of the season!