Welcome To The Offseason, Where Hope Springs Eternal

Practices have concluded, workouts have been attended and spring games have been played. Another spring has come and gone and all eyes are towards the summer.

Fans are left in a daze, watching countless baseball games and counting down the days in anxiousness, waiting for the sight of pigskin flying through the air again.

This is a time that shouldn’t be rushed, but one that should be relished and enjoyed.

There’s something special about the offseason to me. Obviously, nothing beats the actual season. But in all honesty, the time between now and kickoff comes in at a close second.

It’s the eternal optimism you feel. The dreams of the season to come and what it could be. Knowing your team is 0-0 and has just as good a chance as everyone else.

It’s going on vacation during the summer, seeing another donning your school colors, and knowing in just over three months, they’ll become your best friend on a cool fall Saturday.

It’s riding by the stadium and knowing that soon, very soon, 80,000+ screaming fans will pack its hallowed walls yet again.

It’s watching re-runs of our favorite old games on SEC Network and YouTube. It’s reliving moments of seasons past, both good and bad, and wondering what a new year might bring.

It’s trying to predict what player is set for a breakout year. It’s hinging on every piece of news you hear over the summer, hoping you don’t hear much at all.

It’s trash talking your rival, reliving the previous year’s big win with visions of another just around the corner. It’s trying to predict pre-season rankings and overall records with your friends. It’s enjoying “talking season”: player banter, promises of victories, and coaches telling of players giving “championship effort” in summer workouts.

It’s throwing the football with your friends and envisioning your team scoring the go ahead touchdown late to win it all. It’s uniform threads and finding ways to kill time in the off-season.

It’s feeling like the season is never going to get here before realizing fall practice is right around the corner. It’s SEC Media Days and hinging on every word coaches and players have to say.

It’s the excitement of year three of the Shane Beamer era. It’s feeling the energy and optimism the feeling the return of arguably the best QB/WR duo brings to the program. It’s the excitement of transfer portal additions, the promise of key returners and unprecedented successes on the recruiting trail.

It’s visions of Shane Beamer leading the boys out of the tunnel to “2001” and thinking “maybe, just maybe, these are the guys to do the unthinkable and take us all the way”.

Lastly, it’s the great memories with those you love the most. The friendships made that will last a lifetime. It’s thinking about the bond football builds and how the sport brings us all together.

It’s looking ahead to what you’ve built and never forgetting where you came from. It’s memories that will last a lifetime with the people you’ll never forget.

So when you find yourself in the days of summer, having a cold beverage, counting down how many days until football season finally arrives, take a moment and soak it all in.

Hope springs eternal in the off-season. There truly is nothing like it.

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