It is currently August 10th. The Badgers' home opener against Akron kicks off in just twenty days. The Badgers have cracked the preseason NCAA football polls, rating between 10th and the high teens. They return 9 starters on defense and 8 starters on offense, including an All-American tight end (Beckum), the university's fifth career scorer (Hill) who's apparently in the best shape of his life, and the Big Ten's interception leader (Shane Carter). We should all be getting psyched for another exhilarating year of University of Wisconsin football.It's true that the Favre saga has drained us mentally and emotionally. The Lance Smith debacle (he'll likely be sentenced to some jail time in about four days) has sapped some additional enthusiasm, and Bielema hasn't helped matters by closing most practices to the media.
But, come on now, people. 20 days 'till the first game! 20 days until we see David Gilreath return a punt. 20 days until the band plays busts out "Old Mother Leary" after a Badger touchdown (hopefully-- Akron is predicted to be at the bottom of the MAC). 20 days 'til we see John Clay make his collegiate debut. 20 days until we see Allan Evridge finally take a meaningful college snap. Ah, it's going to be beautiful. Dark days may come at Fresno State or against the Ohio A&M, but the beginning of every season is perfect. Don't tell me you can look at the picture above and not get excited. Summer may be grand, but autumn has a wonder all its own. Let's get fired up!