Undoubtedly you've heard it and can even recall some of the lyrics, which include lines like: "It's the hap-happiest season of all. There'll be parties for hosting. And hearts will be glowing. It's the most wonderful time of the year."
The problem is, this song is played at the wrong time of the year. It's a Christmas song. And while, sure, that's a nice holiday and everything, any sports fan knows this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Screw the holidays. It's football season, people! The undisputed hap-happiest season of all.
Professional teams have the first pre-season game under their belts now. Collegiate players kick off in just a few short weeks. And high schoolers are likely finishing up their rigorous two-a-days, getting ready to shine under the Friday-night lights.
I have always been a fan of this game. I grew up in Nebraska, where we are famous for two things: inventing Kool-Aid, and Husker football.
To say football is king in my home state is the biggest understatement since Warren Buffet (a native Nebraskan) said, "I can buy dinner tonight."
Seriously. We voted a football coach into Congress. People are known to list their religious preference as "Cornhusker." And on game day, Memorial Stadium is the third largest city in the state.
We're a dedicated lot.
That loyalty lasted exactly 18 years for me. Then I committed pigskin treason by going to Texas A&M, a rival Big 12 school, for college. (But now they're in the SEC and Nebraska is in the Big 10, so I'm a girl without a conference.)
There were two things I learned about going to school in Texas: 1. Every resident in the state has been on the news at least four times describing what the tornado sounded like. 2. If Nebraskans are passionate about their football, Texans are Westboro Baptist Church zealot crazy about it.
As Texas Longhorns' legend Major Applewhite once said, "Football's so important in Texas. On the West Coast, it's social. On the East Coast, it's a culture. Here, it's a religion."
In Texas, high school football is just as important as the NFL. Little Johnny playing first string or the Cowboys' Tony Romo breaking his rib is equally front-page news. Sportswriters are assigned exclusively to cover high-school football games. This is the state where moms have been accused of plotting to murder teenage cheerleaders, hoping to free up a spot on the squad for their own daughter. There are, and I am not kidding, high school football stadiums that cost over $60 million and seat over 18,000 fans. As evidenced by both Rick Perry and George W. Bush, Texans are content to sacrifice their educational system so long as their team takes state.
And while I'm a long way from both Nebraska and Texas now, it's true what they say: "People think football is a matter of life and death. But I assure you, it's much more serious than that."
So no matter who you root for, enjoy this most wonderful season of all!
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Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, public-relations guru and globe-trotting thrill seeker. In a former life she worked in TV news, both as a reporter and sports anchor. She has bagged peaks on six continents, kayaked the Zambezi and Nile rivers, swam with great white sharks in South Africa and tracked mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She was once very nearly sold for 2,000 camels while traveling through Morocco.