I’ve been itchy lately. It’s too humid these days for it to be dry skin, and I don’t believe I’ve run afoul of any poison ivy lately, since my days of running barefoot in the woods have mostly passed me by. It’s a deeper itch, not one that mere fingernails can reach; one situated somewhere between my heart and my soul.
Maybe it’s less of an itch, come to think of it. Maybe it’s more of a deep-seated longing; the protracted realization that something has been missing; the moment right after you stand up and realize your leg has fallen asleep. Maybe I accidentally skipped lunch today, but regardless, as I sat down to write this evening, I began to feel those familiar pangs.
I always get excited as seasons change. I’ve written about that fact before on this site, but it bears repeating now because I’m coming to realize that it isn’t just the seasons in the natural world that thrill me; I love to look forward to the changing of athletic seasons as well. There’s something so promising about the days before the beginning of the season; those heady days in which the more optimistic among us look at the schedule and begin to chart out the path that will lead to a trophy, or a banner in the rafters. The fact that those hopes will be dashed (sometimes more than once) over the course of the coming months does little to dissuade the mice and men among us from those plans that Robert Burns once wrote about.
It’s well-documented that football is my favorite sport to watch and to write about. I love sports in general, obviously, but football is my wheelhouse. If the offseason is a desert, we are working our way towards the oasis that is September 3rd. We’re under 50 days from Tar Heel football kicking off the season, and the anticipation is beginning to build. You can do almost anything for seven weeks; for the more recent graduates - that’s only half a semester. Through seven weeks in most of my classes in school, I hadn’t even had to begin worrying about make-up work yet. To belabor the point even more, if the offseason is a brutal semester, we’ve just aced our midterms and are cruising toward the break.
I have hyped myself up just writing this post; I’m so excited to see the newest version of the team I have loved for the 27 years I’ve been on this earth. Summer will drag on, but the season will change before the weather does, and this change may just be the one I most enjoy.