5 things you should ask yourself before tonight's kickoff

Well guys, it’s that time again; the time I have been bracing myself for over the past year. You guys really wouldn’t let me forget about it even if I tried (if you were the insufferable guy who started on January 7th posting “245 days ‘til College Football Season!!!” I’m looking at you). I’ve done pieces before about mentally prepping for the start of football season, but they were all pretty gloom-and-doom-like and I even kind of compared it to the start of the Great Depression with the whole “Black Thursday” reference (oops?). So I figured I’d take a more constructive approach this year and instead of chastising y’all for your football season antics, I would simply create a short self-evaluation, just to help keep everyone in check. (Also, I still kind of ended up chastising y’all in this I think. Sorry.) I know you're excited, but everyone needs to just calm down for a second and get ahold of yourselves. Yes, football season is here, but that’s no reason to lose your minds. So please take a moment to ask yourself these five important questions before the start of football season tonight.

1.   Am I going to be constantly obnoxious through all forms of social media, as well as obnoxious in person through most of my everyday interactions?   

First of all, yes. The answer is yes, you will be, to all of the above. There is no way around this, and I’ve come to accept it: if you are an SEC football fan living in the south, your endless Facebook and Twitter updates are going to be as omnipresent and annoying as Miley Cyrus’ extra-terrestrial tongue (that thing is everywhere I turn lately. I CANNOT ESCAPE IT.) Conversations with you over the next four months will undoubtedly be more annoying than an Anne Hathaway acceptance speech. (If you need more proof of Anne Hathaway’s unbearableness, her dog’s name is Esmerelda. Of course Anne Hathaway’s dog is named Esmerelda. ESMERELDA. I can’t.)

If your team is winning, congratulations, but no one cares. Call your mom and tell her, write it down in your diary, but don’t pollute my newsfeed with a million “Hell yeah!!!!” posts after each play. Facebook doesn’t have room for your nonsense; we need to save our valuable newsfeed space for more photos of everyone’s babies just laying there on a blanket, looking like a baby. And if your team loses and you feel sad, please refrain from a social media outburst. There are better uses for the goldmine that is Facebook other than cursing your team’s competitors; put your resources to better use, people! Do what I do when I’m distraught and go look at Facebook pictures of your old high school classmates and count how many of them turned really fat over the last 10 years. Soothing, instant gratification.

2.  Am I going to ignore the opposite sex for a full four months?

Single guys, I am trying to help you out here. I know that because you’re a male, you can only really focus on one thing at a time in any situation. I know this because I have watched my then-boyfriend start and then ignore a small kitchen fire and not notice it until I had to point it out to him. No, it wasn’t because he is actually legally blind and unfortunately struggles with sensing visual emergencies, it was because a few men were on a TV screen running around grunting and chasing a ball. That is why he almost let the house burn down. (Okay, maybe it was just the corner of a dishrag that caught the flame of a scented kitchen candle, but you can trust that I still screamed like it was a hand grenade doused in gasoline and engulfed in flames. It’s okay, I’m allowed to be dramatic, I’m a woman. Single guys, write that down.) Anyways, guys, since I know you will mentally check out from all things non-football starting this weekend, here is my biggest piece of advice to you: don’t ignore the opposite sex. You will regret this. I know every weekend for the next four months is going to be one big perpetual celebration of your guy friends and beer and raw meat and beefcakes tackling fellow beefcakes, but make some time to socialize with a female every now and then. You need us. You need us more than you need meatheads in spandex. You may not see that now, but remember your judgment is clouded currently. So just trust me.

3.   If in a relationship, am I going to completely disregard any and all weekend plans with my wife/girlfriend?  

As important as it is for single guys to pay attention to women during this time, it might be even more essential for guys with wives or girlfriends. Please take a moment to think through your relationship. Do you have some sort of anniversary during the fall? ANY anniversary—engagement anniversary? First date? First kiss? First real conversation you guys had with each other sober? Make sure you think hard; women never forget ANYTHING.

If you have any special occasion on the horizon, be sure to plan in advance. You should be ready and willing to sacrifice one measly night of sports watching for the amazing woman in your life. Is that so much to ask? And it doesn’t count if you take her to a restaurant with TVs just so you can position yourself at the table to where you can easily see the screen throughout the entire course of your dinner while explaining to her that you chose that seat because it gave you the best view of her beautiful face and that the setting sunlight reflected off of her blonde hair just perfectly, making her look like an angelic angel sent straight from Heaven. Do I sound like I’m speaking from experience here? LOLOL! (Note: laughing to keep from crying.)

4.   If my friend has a wedding during the next four months and asks me to join him in a beautiful celebration of his love, am I going to murder the groom in cold blood?

Some—scratch that—most of you might say that if a friend schedules his wedding on a Football Saturday, then he deserves to die. Am I right? How well do I know you sick people? I’ve learned that it is a well-known fact in the south that celebrating one’s love during the fall is like asking everyone to celebrate Jesus’ birthday at a Hanukkah festival. (Do people have Hanukkah festivals? Is that a thing? Let me know. I’d like to attend. Sounds fun.) The reaction is always the same upon hearing the news: everyone’s eyes get really big and the room kind of falls eerily silent. There is some distant moaning, maybe a few stifled screams even, and then the real grief process begins to set in. If you need a very raw, real reminder of the emotional scarring fall weddings inflict on men in the southclick here.

If you have a friend who demands you come to his wedding on a Football Saturday, the best thing to do is (in this order): remember to not physically harm him in any way that could get you arrested, and then immediately get new friends.

5.   On a Football Saturday, am I going to lose all sense of sanity, rationality, stability, soundness, reasonableness, lucidity and all around concept of how to behave in general?

The answer to this one is up to you. You have the power to control yourself when your favorite team comes up on that screen. People who use cowbells are the only exception to this rule, as they will no doubt lose all sense of control. Basically, if you have a cowbell in your possession while watching a football game, then just disregard this one altogether because there is no hope for you (or for my ear drums). So just carry on, cowbell ringers.

As for the rest of you, the choice is yours if you’d like to act like a complete idiot this season. Contemplating buying that pee-yellow wig and horned Viking cap you’ve had your eye on?

Simply put it back on the shelf and walk away. 

Tempted to traipse around the streets naked on game day wearing only poorly executed body paint?

Put your tank top back on and just relax (although Clay might argue with me on this one).

Thinking of creating a kitschy alias for yourself and then making any life choices this guy has made?

Call your therapist and talk it out.

See? The power is in your hands! Just decide to be normal for the next four months! I will be checking in regularly with y’all to make sure everyone is behaving themselves.

Written by
Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.