If you're like me, you're eagerly anticipating the return of football in your life. While I appreciate football in nearly all it's forms (Sorry, Canada), no version of the sport is as near or dear to me as College Football. Yes, I know it's an exercise in the traveshamockery of amateur athletics and that it's rife with corruption, hypocrisy and can feel outright sleazy at times but I don't really care. Okay, I care. Just not enough to turn against the sport. Fall Saturdays have long been my favorite aspect of the greater sporting calendar. What can I say? I'm a product of my environment. I came of age as a sports fan (junior high/high school) at a time when my home state boasted three of the sport's most dominant and entertaining CFB programs. Whether you loved or hated them, it's tough to say that Miami, Florida and FSU weren't among the nation's most highly entertaining and talented programs during the 1990s. On top of that, my two older sisters attended FSU so I spent 4-5 Saturdays each fall watching games at Doak Campbell Stadium. As if that weren't enough, I then chose to attend the University of Florida. I never had a chance. If you love sports like I (and most of us at G:TB) do, the atmosphere I grew up in virtually guaranteed that I'd love College Football.
Why am I saying all of this? Well, because while College Football is getting close (and holy shit look at the slate of games on Labor Day weekend), it's still a few weeks away and, damn it, I can't wait anymore. I need my fix. So, being the generous fellow that I am I figured I'd share how I'm getting that fix while I await the return (one last time) of my beloved Uncle Verne.
I'll start with the Showtime reality series that followed Notre Dame last year. Full disclosure: I watched this show in real time as last season progressed. I'm not opposed to watching it again though. And if you haven't watched, I highly encourage you to do so. Despite being of Irish descent and raised Catholic, I do not like Notre Dame. In fact, I actively dislike Notre Dame. But even with that going against it, I loved this show. They gave you an inside look at the week to week lives of Fighting Irish players and coaches. And the game/sideline footage was as good as you'll see on any football docu-series. Each episode is only a half hour. You can blow through it in an afternoon if you've got that kind of time. It's so well done that I even found myself (kind of) rooting for some of the Notre Dame players by season's end. By the way, Showtime is bringing the series back this season and they're following FSU this time around. No chance they'll get me to root for FSU players though.
Second on my hit list for you is the new Netflix series "Last Chance U". Netflix dropped this on us about three weeks ago and it does not disappoint. The series follows the 2015 season of Eastern Mississippi Community College which, if you don't know, is currently the most dominant JUCO football program in America. Boasting recent graduates like Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly and Alabama DT Jarran Reed among many others. Set in rural (to say the least) Scooba, MS this series follows the on and off field struggles of a group of young football players who ended up in the middle of nowhere due to either academic indifference and/or general knuckleheadedness, among other things. I won't spoil the show for you but I will implore you to watch it. It's only 6 hours total and it's incredibly watchable. My wife not only doesn't care for sports, she dislikes most if not all sports (I swear we have some things in common) and even she couldn't help but get sucked in to "Last Chance U" as she sat on the couch while I watched episode after episode. Oh yeah, they also use a dope Copywrite song for one of the training/practice montages.
So now you've got something to watch over the next week or so besides boring baseball or a million Olympic sports that you don't even really like. You're welcome.