Kalani Simpson


By Kalani Simpson

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

The mags of summer
take the field


Take a deep breath.

It's going to be ... OK. We can all rest easy now that the first college football preview yearbooks have hit the newsstands.

Things are as they should be again. The birds' songs are a little sweeter now. The air a little fresher. That morning commute just a little faster.

Life just got a little better.

All because we can finally see those magazines on the shelves, sweep them up and hug them to our chests.

College football season is coming again.

It's a wonderful time of renewal, this summer before the storm. There are 117 Division I college football teams. And any one of 10 of them has a shot at this year's national championship. Truly, hope springs eternal.

I love these college football previews. I scoop them up. I buy them all. Every year they get my money. (Except for that one with the UCLA guy on the cover. Seven bucks?)

Currently, there are only a few varieties to choose from. It's still early. We'll have to wait for some of them. Until then, we take what we can. And we smile.

Now, there's the UCLA cover, which you have to take out a loan for. Then there are two editions of Athlon. The "Western," which is great for the 11-year-old boy in all of us who needs huge, big, bright, vivid action football pictures to cut out and put on our wall. These are great -- clear, colorful and breathtaking. If you follow the Mountain West Conference. The WAC definitely gets second billing in this book.

We've gone from the days where all UH fans can hope for is a tiny, blurry, grainy black and white shot of Al Noga to these new and modern times ... when you can see a tiny, blurry, grainy picture of Tim Chang. But at least it's in color. Where you really get to appreciate all that black.

This is also the book with a section of cheerleader pictures. And while transparent, it at least pretends to offer a game-day atmosphere. In the national edition, however, the cheerleaders are instead posing for the camera on campus, wearing several different outfits and come-hither looks.

But national still is the one to go for, because the regionalized edition doesn't have much on UH anyway.

So instead of reading just a few words about Hawaii and a lot about Wyoming, let's read just a few words about every team in the country! That way we get to see the rankings (Florida No. 1, UH No. 88). Let's see them all, 1-117.

THE DIVERSITY of the college game is its beauty. The towns and the teams, the Saturdays filled with anticipation and magic.

This is why we get the college previews. That, and:

>> Macho ads: With Joe Theismann ("it's the rejuvenator") for hair coloring and Mike Ditka ("no chick flicks") for hair spray. Also, bourbon and whiskey. And the PowerFast StrapGun. SoundsGreat.

>> The voluminous number of teams that the new, fancy, snappy "3-D" numerals look works for: Clemson. (No, just Clemson.)

>> A place where you can order a subscription to your favorite team's "fan magazine." Best title: Central Florida's "Into the Knights." Second place: South Carolina's "Spur & Feathers".

Football is back. Life is good.

Kalani Simpson's column runs Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
He can be reached at

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