The start of football season is one of the best times of the year. There's hope and excitement in the air for a new start at something.
For the degenerate gamblers, it is the start of betting on America's favorite sport again.
For the students, it is the start of being given a reason for pre-gaming all day in the dorms or at your favorite bar.
For the family man, it is the start of giving the "the game is on honey, please don't bother me right now" excuse to be alone.
For bloggers, it is the start of the funniest and longest grind of the year.
But for all of us (sports fans), it is the start of the six-month period that the sports gods, on a weekly basis, remind all of us we know nothing at all--and we're all stupid for thinking we can predict things with any type of certainly.
See, in the age of computers and fancy statistics, which are said to help analyze sports better, we all think we know what the hell is going to happen. That's why we have (or listen to) annoying conversations at sports bars about what a football team will, could or should do in a certain situation. It is why there's a large majority of people participate in fantasy football--you actually feel like you're in control of something that is going on in the game.
Yet, when the first kickoff of the year sails into the air, and the ball is put in play, we honestly have no clue about what is going to happen. Sure, we have an idea of what team has more talent or stands the better chance of winning in a best-of-10 series. But, football games aren't played that way.
Football is a sport about: turnovers, injuries, poor kicking, starting quarterbacks throwing punches at a defender and getting kicked out of a game just before the end of the first half. It is also about starting quarterbacks putting his whole team's offense (running and throwing) on his shoulders--Terrel Hunt has done it before, John Robertson did it Friday in a "helluva effort," according to Scott Shafer.
Football is also about the crazy things as well: a punt returner making a couple good moves and scampering into the end zone; and a freaking fake field goal play that helps the home team score a touchdown in overtime to dodge one of the worse losses in the program's recent history.
Look, sports fans--check that--Syracuse fans will think what they want about last Friday's close call. That's what we do. We go from thinking this is a seven to eight win squad one day, to holy crap we may only win four games the next.
What we forget is we actually do not know anything. For some reason we always forget that. Syracuse football has been one of the most unpredictable aspects of being a Syracuse sports fan for years now.
What actually matters is: 1) Syracuse is 1-0; 2) Hunt learns his lesson after avoiding a possible suspension from the ACC and Shafer; 3) The offensive line can actually run block (because that will be a big deal moving forward); 4) We don't play John Robertson again (I am pretty sure that won't happen).
It is okay to be frustrated with last Friday's performance. It reminded me of a classic Syracuse-Rutgers crapfest that used to take place in the Big East Conference each season. Luckily, they won the crapfest and the Orange have a week to learn from it before they play again.
Heck, if we know one thing it is Shafer can rally troops and improve a team throughout a season. Now, will it happen? I have no idea, and don't think you do either.