It’s August. It’s warm. The air, like many an August day is still and heavy, even now in the morning hours. But, the players don’t seem to notice. At least they don’t seem to mind.
It’s the first day of practice. They feel light. Energized. Eager. It’s preseason and with it comes preseason hope, which makes those slight breezes that catch the stadium flags all that more refreshing.
Even though the first game day is still weeks away the excitement today is palpable. Several players came out to the field early, anxious to get the season underway. Others are just filtering in.
Balls fly through the air as the players start to loosen up. One player sprints down the sideline, trying to catch up to a long ball. Balls are zipped back and forth between players talking about the upcoming school year. They joke around, slapping shoulders.
From the top of the stands I can hear occasional shouts and break-out laughter. A set of camera people are gathered on the sidelines, near the water coolers that the training staff has set out.
It’s cool to watch to the balls fly through the air and see the players sprinting to and fro as they wait for the first practice to begin.
This isn’t a game day but fans are still on hand get a sneek peek at the upcoming season. They hang out in the stands with their coffees (me, with my Mountain Dew) and read a prospectus to try to learn the names and numbers.
The head coach and a couple assistants start to make their way from the office to the field. They stop for some small talk with a couple media guys and then join the players. More fist bumps and high fives as the team gathers together.
It always seems like a long wait for the start of a new season. This one particularly so. But now it is here.
The wait is over.
It’s August. It’s warm. And it’s the first day of practice.
You ready for some football !!