How was that for a legitimate opening night of college football?
Let's start with a disclaimer: *I was not forced to write this because I work for Fox News Corp.
Talk about a way to start the season. Thank you to Fox, ESPN, the conferences, the schools and the fans for giving us a great Thursday night before Labor Day weekend for college football. The stands were packed. It was warm. No rain.
Fans were fired up like it was the middle of the season. College football on network television. The pregame shows. The big star broadcasters. Great action. Excellent games.
Just stop and think of how many patio TVs across this incredible country were playing college football last night. My kids were completely out of whack thinking it was the weekend because the patio TV was on and fans were going nuts at these games.
That was just an all-around solid night for the sport and exactly the type of night we needed to get the season firing on all cylinders heading into a huge Saturday with Oregon-Georgia and Notre Dame-Ohio State. And don't sleep on Utah-Florida from the Swamp.
I'm fired up. Hopefully you're fired up. Let's have a big, fun holiday weekend.
Are you a fan of conference matchups to get the year started?
The B1G had a long history of playing the directional schools on Labor Day weekend while the SEC would play Florida State or teams like Boise State in Atlanta and it would turn into an SEC showcase where ESPN would slobber on the SEC while the Big Ten was twiddling their thumbs beating Kent State by 50.
Think about the fans for a game like last night. They had incredible weather conditions. They get to travel on a holiday weekend. Give me that type of setup 10 out of 10 times. Wearing a hoodie in mid-October is great and all, but last night was awesome. Now the B1G gets primetime Saturday night with Ohio State while Alabama is off playing Utah State and Georgia plays the Saturday afternoon game while most of America is vacationing and not really dialed into football while the sun is up.
Again, great job by Fox and the B1G to make this happen.
• Grain Infuser sent me this shot last night from Neyland:
How do I know this grazing board thing is out of control?
• Wyn in Colorado emails:
Thought I’d share a class that my HOA is putting on later this month. Seems like it would’ve been better offered before football season started.
Screencaps strikes again
• Gerard W. writes:
Screen caps works in mysterious ways. This morning I was trying to decide if I should freeze the Dove I had just shot and cleaned or leave them in a brine for some time this weekend. Decided to think on it while checking out what was up in screencaps. Brendan's recipe made that decision easy. Over the years we've made plenty of jalapeño poppers and bacon wrapped dove. Never had we combined the 2. They were fabulous!! The best part was they cooked on the Traeger while I mowed. Thanks Brendan and Joe!!!
Care to make a Bengals prediction?
• Mark D. writes:
How’s our Bengals gonna do this year? I’ll say a wild card team. Lose in the first round. So many good teams in the AFC. I hope they pleasantly surprised me again cause lord knows my lions won’t be doing crap.
While the Bengals have a fairly hard schedule (projected win total is 9.6), I like to take a look at the rest of the division and I have to like the chaos in Cleveland, the quarterback situation that is bound to implode in Pittsburgh and I'll take my chances with the Ravens having to travel to Cincinnati in January for the final game of the season.
Because of home-field in that game, I'll predict the Bengals win the AFC North, get a home game in the Wild Card round -- maybe a matchup against the Broncos? -- and make it to the divisional round. Mark's right, the AFC is an absolute dogfight. However, when you have Evan McPherson, a quarterback with magic running through his veins and a stacked wide receiver crew, I'll take my Bengals, especially if they find a way to get a divisional round home game, to make another run.
I'm asking the football gods to give me a Burrow-Josh Allen playoff game. Please!
Military and student loans
• Rob N. in Panama City, Florida writes:
You may have moved to another subject by now, but I'm going to try anyway.
I have read most of the responses to the Student Debt cancelation. While some are professionals, tradesman or parents, I don't recall any from a military Veteran.
When I enlisted in the Army Infantry in 1990, the idea of the GI Bill was a compelling reason for me (and many of my peers without the means (grades or maturity) to attend college. At the time it was called the Montgomery GI Bill. Without delving into the arcane rules of administration, choosing the GI Bill was an option and cost $100 per month for the first year of enlistment (a not insignificant amount when starting pay was about $800). Notably, it was far from a blank check to attend college, there were caps on the amount and time.
Currently, the entire US military is struggling to meet recruiting goals, but it is particularly severe in the Army, by far the largest branch. The reasons for this are due to multiple factors like obesity, drug use, very tight labor market. ebbing patriotism, Etc.
In order to for a kid enlisting today to have anything close to $10K "free money", he or she has to volunteer to put themselves in harms way and sacrifice life and limb. However the message is go to Oberlin, get a Gender Studies degree with an average starting annual salary of $35K and here's your check.
This policy is simply a slap in the face to decades of Veterans.
Let me stop right there and talk about Thursday's post featuring emails from readers on student loan forgiveness. The average time spent on that post per visitor hovered around three minutes throughout the day. That's a testament to the readers who emailed well-thought out responses and didn't resort to screaming talking points.
It's just more proof that we can have some fun around here while mixing in some deeper thoughts.
That said, it's football season. Fun is in, those deeper thoughts are reserved for very slow days, which there will be few.
31st Boise balloon festival sunrise launch
• Mike T. & Cindy T. in Eagle, Idaho strike again. These two should teach a course on how to do retirement.
• Doug B. writes:
Hey Joe, saw you taking some grief for going to a hair salon. I am confused and may be guilty as well, what would a Sports Clips or a Great Clips be? I was thinking a barber, but am I wrong? Just don't want to lose my man card over this.
I'd classify both as hair salons. At Great Clips, it's even in the company's web site title. I've never been to Sports Clips.
And with that, let's get the Labor Day Weekend started. My lawn is freshly mowed. The big ass tree limb that came down Wednesday night is cut up. The flowers are popping. Summer ain't over yet. Get out there and soak it up.