It is 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. The air is damp and thick, and there is a slight breeze - just strong enough to move the flags adorning some of the tailgates being set up. Smell that? That is the smell of charcoal igniting, and also the smell Maxwell House coffee roasting. Breathe it in, folks.
And with the help from that deep breath in, let out a loud “DUUUUUVVVAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!” — Now listen to the “echoes.” — Ah, yes. It is football time in Jacksonville.
The wait is over. The hype train is pulling into the station. At 1:00 p.m. this Sunday, the Jaguars will either add many more passengers to the hype-train, or will have a significant number disembark with their “I told you so” luggage.
But let us not forget, FOOTBALL SEASON is back in Jacksonville - for the next 17 weeks. (Well, at least 17 weeks.)
Whatever happens on Sunday, the overreaction to the Jaguars performance will be profound. While it is typical for fans of every NFL team to overreact to Week 1, the overreaction to the Jaguars performance this week — one way or another -- will be up there with the biggest overreactions from throughout the NFL (RGIII in Cleveland is the only instance where I can imagine a bigger overreaction scenario, regardless of which way the reaction swings). If the Jaguars play well and win: “Are February flights to Houston cheaper out of Jacksonville or Orlando?” If they lose: “See, we’re still awful. 6-10.”
Whatever happens on Sunday, the truth likely lies somewhere in between.
The Jaguars are young, but they are talented. The season will likely include a hodgepodge of a few bad games, a few good games, some narrow loses, and some unlikely victories. There will be Twitter meltdowns, meltdowns irl, and some head-scratching; but there will also be much high-fiving, and surely some hugging.
We are here for all of it because football is back!
As you get ready for Sunday, and the 2016 regular season, it is best to prepare for everything. Bring a poncho, but also some sunscreen. Be sure there is some water in the cooler along with the booze. Wear your flip-flops if you want, but maybe have some sneakers handy in case you get the urge to circle up. Have your sad-song playlist ready, but — as always -- do not forget the Champagne & Cookies, just in case.
So, how about it? Can you feel it yet? Can you smell the tailgate? Feel the high-fives? Hear the chants of “DUUUUUVVALLLLLLLL!!!”? Can you taste the Champagne & Cookies?!
Football is back, Duval. And we may actually be good at it this time. But even if we are not that good at football (again) it is still back.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it. #DTWD