Cue the Rocky music! Okay, not really. Maybe we’ll cue the fight song instead. It’s game week, ladies and gentlemen! All the work in camp, the summer workouts, the time in the gym (or lack of it in some cases) has all led to this. Starting spots have or will be decided this week, final game planning is happening all over the country and crazy college football fans are spending this week prepping their best tailgating recipes in anticipation of that perfect moment right before kickoff. All fans know that moment; the crowd is electric, the players are jumping up and down, coaches are nervously watching, hands on knees, some barking into headsets and then….it’s here! With college football season officially kicking off this weekend, this week almost feels celebratory. For us football families, it signals the end of camp which means we get our husbands for an hour or two more a week. My husband took our youngest to pre-school this morning and we may even get to have lunch together today! It’s an off day because classes also open today so no practice either. The last 2 weeks have been brutal but they have absolutely flown by. When you stop and consider how fast a football program comes together, it’s amazing. You bring 100 young men together, many of whom are away from home for the very first time, and you ask them to trust each other with their lives. That may sound extreme, but with everything we now know about concussions and spinal injuries, it’s not that farfetched. We ask these young men to trust a group of coaches they’ve never met and bond with other players they don’t know. Then we ask them to perform at an exceptionally high level both on the field and off. And we ask this of them in 3 weeks. It takes longer than that for me to remember to set the DVR for my favorite shows! So as we go forward this week and cheer for our favorites and against our biggest rivals, remember what it has taken to get there. That true freshman has less than a month of practice, so if he misses a tackle, give the kid a break. When you see a coach tear his headset off and start screaming, remember he probably has a wife and children who are at the mercy of what that 20 year old young man can do on the field. And most of all, have fun! Revel in it, soak it all in and yell like a teenager. Football is here, my friends! Happy Kickoff Week!!