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Hartselle Enquirer

The countdown to the king of sports has begun

By Staff
Charles Prince, Sports Editor
Summer is the time of All-Stars in Dixie Youth baseball and softball, but it's also a time of waiting and counting down, waiting for the South's favorite sport to take the spotlight. Football is the king of sports in the South and the countdown begins during the hot days of summer.
Many people talk and think about football year-round. Even when it's not in season, it's still a popular topic. I noticed just this past week that the countdown to the season has started for many people in the area.
While doing some work on the Enquirer football tabloid that will be out in August, I talked with several coaches about schedules and rosters for the fall. You could just hear the excitement in their voices. They just couldn't wait to get on the practice field and get their teams ready for the season. One coach even told me that he has the days remaining until practice starts written down on his calendar and would change the number with each passing day.
Fall drills will open Aug 2 for all high school teams in Alabama. Even some of the players are counting down the days. While attending an off season workout recently, I had a Hartselle High football player tell me he couldn't wait for Aug 2. It seems he was wishing his summer vacation from school away, but that's how much the game means to its players in the South. Many times players dread the beginning of practice, not around here. Football has such great appeal that even the players look forward to fall drills.
High school is not the only brand of football that southern folks are crazy about. College football dominates the landscape down South like no other college sport does anywhere. More sold-out stadiums are seen south of the Mason-Dixon line than any place else in the country.
College football's summer build up includes the preview magazines that go on sale in June and remain on the newsstand until after the season kicks off.
The books list the schedules so fans can count the days until their team's first game. In fact, there are web sites that list the number of days, hours and minutes until a school's first game.
Nowadays, the radio call-in shows are beginning to talk about the college season even though it's still nine weeks away.
Later this month, SEC media days will fuel the talk even more as coaches from all 12 conference schools meet the press and access their teams' upcoming season.
Yes, the game of football stays on the minds of fans even during summer.
Football season is almost here, so go ahead and start counting down the days until your favorite team plays.

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