Should We Be Excited That Week 1 of the 2013 College Football Season is One Week From Tonight?

NCAA Football 2012- Air Force at Army

NCAA Football 2012- Air Force at Army (Photo credit: West Point – The U.S. Military Academy)

A week from right now, life will be good again. College football will be here. Or will it?

From time to time, the players who play for our favorite schools embarrass us with their off-the-field antics, especially in the summer. They make dumb decisions, do stupid things, some even take it a step farther and do evil things, but we still love our school’s football team. As a fan of the Florida Gators, this off-season was especially trying. In fact, it has been a nightmare.

Perhaps the only school left surrounded by more embarrassment is Penn State. We saw one of our former players on the news for using the dreaded “n-word”. That’s about as bad as it gets. Unless of course another of your former players is a murderer. Yes, we had one of those too. And to top it off, it turns out he may be a serial murder. Oh, yay.

In a perfect world, you would like your school’s sports teams to win and be good citizens. Of course, we know that is not always going to be the case. When you have over 100 football players, some of them are going to be criminals. It’s just a matter of percentages. About 3% of Americans are felons, so it would stand to reason the average college football team would have three future inmates.

Considering that about 38% of inmates in America’s prisons are black males and about 70% of an SEC football team is also made up of black males, this number should in theory be even higher. But in reality, we can probably count the former players of our favorite school’s football team that are in prison on one hand. So maybe college football is a good thing? Maybe it is giving some people who might otherwise go the wrong way an alternative?

Some people, no matter how many chances they have, are just going to end up behind bars. There are some really twisted minds out there and some of them happen to be great athletes. It takes a special kind of evil to blow away a guy at point-blank range because he talked to the wrong people at a club. It really takes a sick, demented and perhaps incredibly stupid one to do it after signing a multi-million dollar deal to play in the NFL for one of its greatest franchises. “Hmm. let’s see…do I win a Super Bowl ring or two or spend my entire life in a six-by-eight cell because I wanna be the baddest guy on the block?” Should any school take responsibility for someone that stupid?

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez (Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall)

But still, even though I want Aaron Hernandez to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, and even though I would love to see him get the chair if that were an option, I am still disgusted and embarrassed that I used to cheer for this guy. And it makes me wonder what I am cheering for on this year’s team too. Is there a guy on this year’s team who is going to mug an old man? Or run a Ponzi Scheme and steal people’s life savings? Or shoot someone in the back because he gets bored?

In a normal year, I would be beside myself right now waiting for the kickoff of the college football season. But this horrible offseason has really put a damper on the excitement level. Maybe once the games start, it will kick in again. One can only hope.

James Folsom is a regular contributor to