Waking up one September morning, I grab my coffee to enjoy before the morning chaos with the kids begins. I see the morning sun begin to shine and decide to try my luck sitting on the back patio to see if the wet blanket of Atlanta humidity has departed for the year. I open the doors and get that first taste of cool, crisp air.
That first day of Autumn air goodness is memorable to me each year as the official start of the fall season. And for many of us living in the South, fall also brings one of the most popular times of the year – football season!
I grew up cheering on my home NFL teams (Go Falcons and Dolphins!), but it wasn’t until I attended the University of Georgia that I found the Southern cultural obsession with college football and I embraced it. Dressing in our red and black Saturday best, we would go to campus early to set up the tailgating spread and get ready for the game at Sanford Stadium. I didn’t know much about football at first but found the passion of the students and fans to be electrifying. It doesn’t matter if you knew the rules of the game or not.
As an adult, I’ve found football season to be a great time to get together with college friends we may not often see. We’re all grown with kids now, but that fall air gets us giddy as it did back then. We may not be tailgating on North Campus every game, but the camaraderie and excitement live on. Plus, everyone loves an excuse to get together, let the kids play, enjoy some tasty snacks, and cheer on our team.
At the end of the day, football season doesn’t “really” have to be about the sport. Whether you watch every play in a game and know each player’s stats or aren’t sure what an offside penalty is, take advantage of the social aspect of gameday. It is a busy season of life with kids, but family-friendly opportunities like football-watching parties are great. Or if you want a sitter for the night, you can check here to see where your favorite team’s game will be playing at a restaurant or bar. It’s a Southern tradition that gives us something to look forward to each year as the page turns on summer and the kids head back to school which makes football season, not just about the game after all.