By NED X. GRIFFEN
"I am a football addict, and I am not alone in this country. We are legion, and we must have football" — Hunter S. Thompson
It's here, and it's happening today. In places such as Kent, Ohio, Columbia, South Carolina, and Portland, Oregon, the American football season begins.
The start of the American football season is a day worthy of both reverence and status as a national holiday.
It marks the impending end of stupid summer with its overbearing heat and skin peeling.
It's a reminder that we'll soon be enjoying a crisp, cool autumn.
It means that from now until December, we'll be able to gorge ourselves on football five days a week, six if we're gifted with one of dem MAC Tuesday night games.
Teddy Roosevelt knew about football's greatness. The mas macho president fell in love with it and later saved it.
Roosevelt wrote, "In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard!"
Roosevelt boxed, practiced judo, and routinely made Great White Sharks tap out to the triangle choke, a skill that is needed for the impending Sharknado.
YOU want to be a manly man like Teddy, so you can start by celebrating the return of the American football.
(Not that there's anything wrong with Canadian football, mind you. GO SASKATCHEWAN)
For the sake of accuracy, Hawai'i began its football season three weeks ago. Alaska started the following week (go CHUGIAK FIGHTING KELSEY GRIFFINS).
(In Alaska, they play their state finals in snow. In Connecticut, teams with field turf postpone due to threat of showers.)
It doesn't feel like football season until college ball starts, though, which is what makes today so dang special.
Alas, we must wait 12 days until OUR football begins. Sure, there are scrimmages abound, and it's nice and all, but it ain't the real thing. It don't rate if it don't count for states.
You'll have some spare hours between now and the Sept. 11 kickoff, so we encourage YOU to spend your free time wisely by reading about sweet, glorious football instead of engaging in lesser pursuits (i.e. family, friends, and/or work).
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
Consider these your end-of-the-summer reading assignments:
• An incredibly lengthy, comprehensive, and exhausting list of team overviews that were recently published here. It's still worth perusing, though.
• Sean Patrick Starfish put together a very thorough review of the offseason, complete with pictures. And then he left Hearst Inc., traveled east, and joined JRC Amalgamated. He's the captain of its new high school website. HATS OFF.
• Pooch Diggity Dog at the aforementioned JRC Amalgamated has posted several team previews from various parts of the state. Sean has joined him on the blog, thus creating a crafty tag team worthy of battling the Midnight Express.
• Kountry Kyle Brennan has been a busy lad. He's published an NVL record book, and has been pounding out copy for both the NVL Blog and the Waterbury Republican-American.
• A MaxPreps.com featured about the state's talented senior class of running backs, led by Harold Cooper of Hillhouse, Ansonia's Arkeel Newsome, Marcus Outlow of NFA, and Ervin Philips of West Haven. In the interest of transparency, it was written by the Polecat's lead flunkie.
• Also at MaxPreps.com — the preseason Fab 5. Begin complaining. .... NOW.
Many other dudes are filing stories on a daily basis. We recommend you go to the Twitter and search them out at #cthsfb.
Lastly, it's always wise to keep up on your football studies as the game is constantly evolving. Judging from the asinine comments we've heard yelled from the stands, some folks need to do some research as they don't know a hot read from a Hot Pocket.
There are few better teachers of football than Chris Brown. A lawyer by day, he has made his Smart Football blog a must read and even earned himself a gig at Grantland. The dude knows his stuff and can explain it so that even a dingbat will understand it.
A few of Chris' goodies:
• Army, Navy and the flexbone offense.
• How will NFL teams defend the read option?
• What is the inverted veer/dash read?
• Why you can't just play "assignment football" against the flexbone/triple-option.
• Attacking coverages in the passing game.
• The history of the Air Raid offense.
This is awesome — Sean Payton couldn't stop the sixth-grade Springtown Orange Porcupines and their single wing offense.
Payton coached his son's pee-wee team and, despite being one of the sharper NFL coaches, couldn't figure out how to defend the single wing. The Porcupines thrashed the Liberty Christian Warriors in the championship game even after Payton sought the advice of Bill Parcells and Jon Gruden.
There are two morals to the story:
1. Even the best coaches lose big. Please remember that the next time you feel a manic urge to yell from the stands at your local coach after a loss.
2. That the single wing is glorious. There are a few teams in Connecticut that use GOD'S FATHER'S OFFENSE, among them the North Haven Indians.
That's all for now.
Vaya con dios….