A friend of mine asked me, as I was putting this together, if I actually, honestly, like country music. See, he’s always known me as a rock guy. The truth is, I do love Led Zeppelin, but I really do love great country music. What I love about it is that when it’s done well, I can find a lot of myself in it, and I think that’s true for a lot of people. We always say that we could probably find a country song about just about everyone.
That’s one of the reasons this tradition of mixing Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys Of Fall” in different ways during high school football season is something I really enjoy. “I’m back in my helmet, cleats, and shoulder pads. Standing in the huddle, listening to the call…” I always, and I mean this literally, ALWAYS think of a specific moment when I hear that line. Like most teams, our plays were a series of coded abbreviations and numbers, and each number was a specific direction for a specific player. The coach would give the call to a player coming to the huddle, and he would relay it to the quarterback, who would then relay it to the rest of us. We had a special play where the wide receiver would reverse around the play and take a handoff going the opposite direction, and it had a complex series of numbers, and we never ran the thing, so it wasn’t specifically fresh in our minds. I’ll never forget our quarterback, play clock ticking down, desperately trying to remember the sequence of numbers, and then finally throwing in the towel. “Alright, Sam left, um… Ted… right? Eighty… ahh… or sixty? Ah… here we go guys, that f#*&ing reverse play, on two. Let’s go.” If I remember right, (and I guarantee I do) I laughed so hard that I heard the whole thing EXCEPT for “on two,” I went on one, which is a false start, so the play never even happened. That, in a nutshell, was essentially my entire football experience.
My point is that what I love about this music I get to play each day is that it means something. The really good songs matter, and I think this is one of those really good songs.
Thanks to everyone that called, texted, desperately shot video of an answering machine so grandpa and grandma could get in this mix, or otherwise contributed to putting this together for the 2018 McComb Panther Football team. Yes, I’m biased. Yes, I’m a homer, and no, I’m not even sorry.