SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: I'm a football junkie

Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM.

I'll admit it, I'm a football junkie.

I love high school football on Friday night, college football on Saturday and pro football on Sunday and Monday.

Yes, a big part of my job is covering high school football. I don't think I could stay away from high school stadiums on Friday nights in the fall even if I wasn't required to cover games.

There is something magical about the high school game that takes me back to a simpler time. Back when communities flocked to local stadiums to support their team, and kids wanted to attend Home Town High School even when the going was rough and Rival High was on top.

If you lived in a small town, or even a big city, and the stadium was close enough to your home, it wasn't uncommon to walk to the game.

At times, I can close my eyes and drift back to my high school days at old Mercer Smith Stadium in Gulf Breeze. The memories of those days still spark a heightened awareness of all my five senses.

I can see my Dolphin team take the field amid strains of the school fight song. I can feel a rush of the cool breeze blowing off Santa Rosa Sound, just a few hundred yards away. And the scent in the air of burgers and hotdogs on the grill cooking behind the concession stand is so enticing I can almost taste them as I stand on the sidelines with my teammates. 

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