College Football Week - 2017 Intro
Let me be there in your morning
“Let me be there in your night
Let me change whatever’s wrong and make it right
Let me take you through college football that only we can share
All I ask you is let me be there”
On a slow Friday afternoon at work, some 22 years ago, my creative writing juices began to flow. If memory serves me correct, it was the Friday before Labor Day weekend. Sitting at my desk, I went to work on my PC. Inspired as I was, I wrote a brief, but substantial, commentary on seven college football games being played that weekend. Each game commentary was sprinkled with dose of humor – maybe more than a dose.
After completing my analysis, I emailed my seven-game commentary to 12 friends – mostly fellow workers – all of whom were college football fans. Not only college football fans, but more specifically, they were graduates and/or dedicated fans of Duke (Jay Shifflette), Florida (Lynn Yawn, Roger Shannon and Ralph Masker), Georgia (Susan Stewart Eaton and Leland Wells), Nebraska (Don Haddix, Gary Schwartzkopf, Rory Zink and Dave Brolhorst), Purdue (Kim Mallory), Texas (Eric Griggs) and West Virginia (me) – the seven teams whose games I analyzed.
Shortly thereafter, two rabid and in-your-face Washington & Lee grads Ann and Jamie Fuller came aboard.
Little did I realize what I was conceiving on that slow Friday afternoon. As a result of the prodding and encouragement from my 12 friends, I continued to write the weekly previews, analysis and commentary on the games of those seven teams for the remainder of the 1995 football season. Not only that season, but every football season since. What began 22 years ago continues today – but on a much larger scale.
The weekly commentaries grew from about a page and a half of text to several pages. It grew from those original seven teams to many more teams. It grew from commentary on seven football games to everything about college football – and then some. The email recipients also grew from the 12 plus two friends in 1995 to several hundred by 2009, along with the countless, unknown others that the email was forwarded, and forwarded and forwarded to. Since 2010, several thousand more readers came aboard when the weekly college football commentary went online via my blog – www.collegefootballweek.blogspot.com.
Along the way, what began in 1995, eventually took on the name “College Football Week.” My wife became Swamp Mama and Swamp Mama gave me the name Touchdown Tom. For 19 seasons, beginning in 1998, the Touchdown Tom commentary aired weekly on various radio shows with hosts Larry Brewer, Bill Mick and Mark Moses.
A week from today – August 14 – College Football Week will begin its 23rd season. Come aboard each week during the next five months for a thorough and in-depth but often fun-filled and sometimes irreverent look at the college football scene as viewed through the eyes of Touchdown Tom and his accomplices Swamp Mama, Rockledge Gator and Bootsie. CFW is simply everything college football and then some. You can follow it each week at www.collegefootballweek.blogspot.com.
So sit back with your cold pizza, chili dogs and beer and let me be there. Get ready for college football – CFW 2017.
August 7, 2017