Aggie fans shouldn’t be required to go to work or school this Friday. We should be able to spend the day with our closest friends and families. Like any major holiday, we should laugh and share stories, have big barbecues and call our grandmothers.
To me, it is a holiday.
Really, though. Every year I look forward to the first Utah State football game more than I look forward to Christmas, Halloween, Independence Day or my own birthday. I already know the first thought that will come when I wake up.
Like New Year’s, that first gameday for each team is a fresh start, a clean slate. Every team is still undefeated. No matter how bad last season was there is hope it will be better this year.
I know Michigan State is ranked No. 11 and I’m aware what oddsmakers say Utah State’s chances are in East Lansing, but if you completely write off USU you haven’t watched enough college football. This sport is all about the little guy doing what he isn’t supposed to. It’s about the Appalachian States, the Rudy Reuttigers and those come-from-behind-how-did-they-pull-that-off games you never forget.
Utah State, last I saw, is a 20-something-point underdog Friday night, but the odds aren’t always correct. That’s why they still play the game.
I remember my roommate being laughed out of the room seven years ago when he said he thought the Aggies had a shot against the Auburn Tigers in SEC country. USU did lose the game, but it took a pair of touchdowns in the final 2:07 from the defending national champions for it to happen. In the end it was Auburn that was lucky to win.
The Spartans should win Friday night. They could win the Big Ten this year, but don’t let that keep you from being upbeat when you wake up Friday. The most memorable games are the ones where the team that wasn’t supposed to win, won.
Remember Chuckie Keeton’s overtime third-down scramble in 2012 that set up a go-ahead Kerwynn Williams touchdown run over the Utes? The Aggies weren’t supposed to win that game either, but I recall a long line of taillights stretching from Merlin Olsen Field to Sardine Canyon postgame. Each one, I remember thinking, representing shocked and dumbfounded Utah fans trying to wrap their heads around what just happened.
Upsets happen, and in this sport they happen a lot.
Don’t let what you think is a certain loss get in the way of celebrating the Aggies’ season opener the right way. It could be a loss, but if its not we’ll talk about it for years. Be optimistic, wear your Aggie blue and eat way too many nachos.
There’s reason to celebrate. Football is back.