That is, until National Letter Of Intent at the beginning of February, when I begin to speculate and plot as to how Ohio State's newly-signed talent fits into the existing depth chart. And then in April, when the Ohio State spring game takes place, and I am provided an easy opportunity to head to Columbus to tailgate with my cousin John and my friends Bob, Greg, and Jim, watching how any early enrollees or redshirt freshmen are fitting into the depth chart for the upcoming season. But I digress.
When I was dating my lovely wife Colleen, I tried to be as upfront as possible with her about my state of mind as it relates to college football. I never wanted any misunderstandings or confusion as to why I would say, "NO!" if Colleen were to say, "Let's go to ---". Colleen has always been supportive of my obsession, I mean, my passion. I find out when Ohio State is kicking off, and I adjust my Saturdays accordingly.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure...Colleen and our children do come first. With our children starting to have events that cut into Ohio State games, I attend our kids' events...but I do know how Ohio State is doing, thanks to my BlackBerry and the ever-powerful Internet that Al Gore invented years ago.
Again, I digress. My apologies.
What does this have to do with Ohio State and Illinois?
I was holding out hope that Ohio State and Illinois would be a noon kickoff on November 3rd. My thinking is Ohio State has had several afternoon and evening games recently (a 3:30pm kickoff at Michigan State, an 8pm kickoff versus Nebraska, an 8pm kickoff at Indiana, and a 5:30pm kickoff at Penn State), plus Illinois is not doing well this season(enter into this game with a 2-6 record). Surely, the network powers would want to showcase some other team besides Ohio State, right?
Actually, no. Ohio State is the best team in The Big Ten, and ESPN has concluded Ohio State should be showcased whenever possible. It really does not matter how poorly Ohio State's opponent may be at the moment; the spotlight is entirely on a 9-0 Ohio State team looking to be 10-0 after playing Illinois.
And where will I be at 5:30pm? Yes, you guessed it - at a wedding. Not mine - do you think I would be able to tolerate a fall wedding during college football season?!? We will be at a family member's wedding, who actually does not grasp the importance of college football season.
It is not just the second half of the Ohio State/Illinois game that I will miss. Oh no, that would be too easy.
How about #4 Oregon at #17 USC, which kicks off at 7pm on Fox? Or how about #1 Alabama going down to #5 LSU at 8pm on CBS?
This is a public service announcement for any young men who are thinking of getting married in the near future, or sometime in this lifetime. When you pop the question, just remember that picking a date is usually the domain of your fiancee. Here is where you need to step up to the plate.
Pick a date in the summer. June, July, early August, but nothing in the fall.
When your fiancee says, "I always dreamed of a fall wedding", you can accurately forewarn her of the dangers of such a decision. You can point back to this article as an example. You, and your fiancee, can thank me for helping you both out.
So on Saturday afternoon, when Ohio State and Illinois are battling during the second half, I will be in a church, with thoughts of Braxton Miller scoring touchdowns while a wedding ceremony is taking place in front of me. While at the reception, I am guessing the song "Brick House" will be played by the DJ, which will make Colleen want to dance with me on the dance floor, but I will be in front of the reception bar television, along with other young men, watching Alabama/LSU or Oregon/USC.
Remember how Tom Hanks once said, "There's no crying in baseball!"? Remember my words - Do not get married during college football season!