Pugh’s Views: Hurry Up Already!

I’m already bored.  I thought I could get by somehow. It’s February  21st and I’m already in need of a fix for some High School Football. It’s  well documented amongst my friends how completely insane I have  become over this sport. I kept my season tickets to the Jacksonville  Jaguars AFTER moving across the street (literally) from Raymond  James Stadium.  I’ve attended over 30 years of Florida State Football  with my family and friends and seldom have missed the ‘Friday Night Lights’ institution that is DeLand High at Spec Martin Stadium.  Nowadays  it’s  anywhere in Hillsborough and Pinellas County on any  given Friday.

I’ve always been insanely jealous (I can admit it…it’s therapeutic) of  those that went to bigger schools with teams that competed on a  really high level in athletics.  I’m not ashamed of my school, it’s just  business. You see I’m a Stetson Grad, and we don’t exactly have a football  team (at the moment anyway), and the last time we did, we were  actually good.  The only problem is Dick Clark wasn’t even on the air  yet; that means it’s been longer since I’ve written a good column that  I’ve been able to enjoy something worthy of unbridled enthusiasm regarding the Hatters on ANY athletic surface. I digress.  What I am trying to say without ending up on some shrink’s couch before the end of the paragraph is that I really miss football of any kind, but high school probably the most.  It’s not normal to be this attached to something other than, well, nothing. (Don’t tell my wife, she thinks she’s #1…we’ll let her keep telling herself that.)

Spring season last year was easy to handle since I was in the never ending process of moving from the Jacksonville Area to Tampa Bay.  National Signing Day was something that I did not participate in, and the 7-on-7 Season coupled with Combine-apalooza was more than enough to go along with getting familiar with schools from around the area. This year, not so much. It’s not enough to sit and look at the newly minted districts and play the ‘what if?’ game. It’s not enough to  try and project who is going where (whether sans ulterior motive or not) and which underclassman steps up to become the next face or faces of the prep landscape here in the Bay.  I wish we could skip it all. Let’s line ’em up.

My Friday nights are simply unfulfilled now.  I tried going out to International Plaza and people watching.  I tried consuming good food and many adult beverages while overlooking a picturesque sunset on the water. I tried. I really did. Alas, nothing. I need for this Chamber of Commerce weather we’re having to go away. I’m waiting for 50 Degrees, wind and maybe some rain. (Only before kickoff though, need my electronic devices operable) I’m waiting for the Marching Bands to crank up “All I Do Is Win” for the 1,456,780,00th time.  I’m waiting for the nurse to come give me my shot and take me out of this jacket. Oh well. Let’s go play some touch football and get into loud arguments over beers about why a team will dominate their district because they just won the Sling-N-Shoot. That’s fun too. I love football.