Cool air + Friday night = bliss
Kismet or serendipity, take your pick. Autumn and cool weather have arrived in tandem as our high school lads in the larger classifications begin their quest to make the state football tournament tonight.
All across the state questions will be asked, and some answered, as we put away sweet old rivalries — aka, the preseason — and dive into divisional games, many of which are based these days not on the ancient hatreds but on the algorithms of enrollment figures with a necessary but often subtle nod to geography.
Can Brandon be that good? Or are Clinton and Northwest Rankin that bad? What of Madison Central and South Panola, two titans in apparent decline, scarred by staggering early losses?
What of Olive Branch? Are the Conquistadors the colossus of the North now that the sun seems finally to be setting on South Panola?
What of mighty Meridian? Petal?
Oak Grove? Would you bet a Coke and a hotdog against a team whose offensive coordinator is a three-time NFL MVP?
Regardless, fans will park their cars beneath the magnetic glow of stadium lights all across our state tonight, drawn to the light, to hope, to the idea that the opening of division play can be the start of a magical run.
Lather yourselves in bug spray, my friends, and may you go unbeaten, unbowed and unbitten.