The Glorious Return of Football


Image Courtesy of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Nathan Schivins, Writer

Football is back. Let me repeat that for folks who didn’t hear me. Football is truly back. 

People from all over the country have been waiting to announce this reality for what felt like years, but in actuality it was only several months. The most popular sport in America returned with a bang on August 27th, when college football kickstarted with Northwestern upsetting Nebraska in Dublin, Ireland. It left Northwestern fans jubilant, while Nebraska fans were stunned after another inexplicably close loss, after having gone 3-9 last year with all 9 losses decided by fewer than 10 points. But neutral college football fans everywhere were excited, because one of the most perplexing sports in the world left them…well, perplexed. 

In Week 1, #17 Pitt outlasted West Virginia 38-31 in the much-anticipated return of the Backyard Brawl. Penn State picked up a road win over Purdue 35-31. #3 Georgia absolutely manhandled #11 Oregon 49-3, and#2 Ohio State picked up a top-5 win over #5 Notre Dame in the Horseshoe.

In Week 2, #1 Alabama survived on a late field goal as they defeated Texas 20-19, #17 Pitt fell at Acrisure Stadium to #24 Tennessee 34-27 in overtime, and #20 Kentucky picked up a huge road win in the Swamp against Florida, 26-16. Week 2 was also the week of the upset, as 3 Sun Belt Conference teams: Marshall, Appalachian State, and Georgia Southern, picked up massive wins against #8 Notre Dame, #6 Texas A&M, and Nebraska, respectively. 

The NFL opened its season this past Thursday with the defending Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams taking on the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills. While the game was fairly lopsided, with the Bills pulling away for a 31-10 win, just under 74,000 people attended the game at Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles, and almost 16 million people tuned in. This past weekend, though the Steelers captured a huge 23-20 AFC North divisional overtime win on the road in Cincinnati, the team clearly has much to work on, especially offensive play calling. Other big games include the Giants outlasting the Titans 21-20 on a successful two-point conversion with a minute left, the Colts and Texans tying in Houston, the Vikings dominating the Packers 23-7, and the Buccaneers putting on a defensive clinic en route to a 19-3 win over Dallas. 

While the results on the field are incredibly important, as no one wants their team to start 0-1 or worse, what truly makes this sport special is the connections fans make with other fans and the traditions each fanbase holds dear to them. In college football, seeing the band playing your school’s fight song and soaking in the college atmosphere is an incredible thing to be a part of. In the NFL, going to a game and hearing how electric the atmosphere is on a crucial third down play or on a potential game-winning field goal sends goosebumps down the spines of everyone in attendance. 

Thank you, football, for returning with a bang. Now let’s make this season one fans never forget.