It is the third full day of the 2011 offseason and the 2012 preseason. It’s really the second for me, having spent most of Tuesday trying with increasing reluctance to get out of New Orleans. By quick shoddy math, I’ve been on the road 27 days out of the last 41. I got to see a host of familiar faces this season and postseason, and meet so many of you for the first time. I get asked a lot: How did you get into this? If you know me from back home, it usually comes out Why did you get into this? I usually want to talk about Larry, but don’t. It explains things, but it takes a while. From now until August, though, we’ve got nothing but time. Time and recruiting and police blotters and calendar-cussing, and precious little else.
I grew up in a football-loving family in a football-loving town. I was pulled out of school on more than one occasion to get a head start down to Tuscaloosa or Birmingham for the Third Saturday in October. The effects of this did not show up right away, because I was a drama geek from a very young age, and to attend football games and smile through black-painted lips was to plumb the depths of human indignity. Then I went and studied performing arts at a big football university, where we didn’t have shows on home game Saturdays because the audience wouldn’t have had a place to park. This insurmountable logistical problem meant departmental drones could have it both ways, six shows a week and belting out our own operatic harmonies to Rocky Top in the student section on what was supposed to be our day of rest. (I still do this. Just not in the press box.)