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The football gridiron beckons

Each year there are moments that mark the unstoppable changing of seasons: gentle showers coating new grass, soaring mercury on cloudless afternoons, tress laid bare from fallen leaves and eventually the creaking of packed snow underfoot. Notably, the departure of summer has always been a very bittersweet transition to me. I love summer. It's happy, warm and lively. As things shift into fall and, ultimately, winter it all just seems so drab and dreary in even the shallowest of latitudes. Except for one glimmering ray of metaphorically-penetrating sunshine: Sweet, merciful football season. So, to anyone else out there that isn't relishing the coming of the colder months, I say, "Rejoice!" The kickoffs of both NFL and NCAA football are freshly underway!

The ol' pigskin is certainly not a topic that we've skimped on here on the House Party blog. From delicious dishes and healthy food options to game day to apps to keep you connected to the action to ways to tailgate or even methods to cope with the departing of the season, we've had some in-depth pieces to keep the fan satiated. (We, obviously, don't care at all about the sport in this office.) There are so many reasons to be excited for the season, but we'll break-down just a couple for you:

football gridiron

NFL Football

Danielle To me there's the NFL or there's nothing. My university's best team was women's volleyball (and they were fantastic). We even lost our football games on Homecoming weekend. And we were Division III. It just didn't make for an atmosphere where I'd grow up to love or care about college football. But I've always had a love for the NY Giants. And luckily for me, I've seen four Super Bowl Championship wins (we don't talk about the one loss).

And while I'd like to forget last year, one thing you know as a Giant fan is every season is a roller coaster of emotions. Let's just say that every Sunday I'm screaming obscenities at the TV. Even when they're good, they're frustratingly bad. It's something I've come to accept. It's never easy. And I think that's what defines the true fan. Your team may disappoint, may drive you to pace, throw things or scream out loud, but for whatever reason you come back for more every week. It's truly sadism at it's finest. So whatever this year brings, I'll be right there hoping for the best, accepting the worst and sharing in the excitement and heartbreak.

(Aside from Brian: I hope...nay, I pray that Denver can get back to the big game to erase last year's awful end to the season.)

football gridiron

NCAA Football

Brian There's only one word that you need to pay attention to this year in college football and that word is "playoff." Yes, after years of the crazily-constructed BCS weighting system, the good ol' fashioned playoff that so many have been looking for from the NCAA is finally here. The College Football Playoff site does a pretty good job at explaining the new format in its FAQs, so be sure to check that out if your mind's still attached to the complicated and crazy old system.

As far as teams go, the odds-on favorite remains Florida St. after their victory last year skippered by their Heisman winning quarterback, Jameis Winston. The top ten is summarily rounded-out by nearly all analysts with some combination of Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Auburn, UCLA, Michigan State, South Carolina and Baylor. For more great articles on the upcoming NCAA football season, don't miss comprehensive coverage from the Bleacher Report. Of course, being a stalwart Notre Dame fan (based on family affiliation), I'm ready for anything from a National Championship game to another 25-year drought. Let's just hope it's the former!

What excites you most about football season?

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