As we get closer and closer to the start of the 2018 season, I keep thinking to myself, “what truly makes a rivalry.” Is it the talent of the players or the competitiveness of the teams? Is it the amount of people in the stands or the passion of those fans?

It’s all these things, but more than anything, it’s about the community. That passion and those players go along with this sense of community. But when I think of these rivalries, the action on the field often takes a backseat.

I think of where the locals meet for breakfast the morning of the game. I think of how loud the pep rally will be that day. I think of kids coming with their parents to watch the game, the next generation to play in the rivalry.

This is what’s truly special about what we get to do. We get to experience this sense of community with you. We get to go eat breakfast with the locals and cover our ears from the noise at the pep rally, and, at the end of it all, we get to watch some amazing football on the field.