My preseason top snack foods for watching football this fall: 1. Cocoa almonds. 2. Popcorn. 3. Wings. 4. Nachos. 5. Peanut M&Ms.

At this time of year, the preseason polls come at a frantic pace. They start in early August, sometimes even late July, as a trickle. One here, one there. Then, somebody turns on the faucet, and the preseason polls flow in a steady stream to my email inbox.

Like sleeping, eating and reproduction, ranking things is a basic human function. We rank anything, everything and all the static in between. Often we wait until the end of the year, which is a good time to break down what we liked and didn’t like from the past 12 months. With sports, however, we can’t wait that long. With sports, there’s winners and losers and it all sorts itself out.

With sports, we go for the preseason rankings. Who is number one, before they have to go out and prove it? Who is down the list, towards the middle or bottom, and has to work to earn our respect and love?

My preseason top things to keep on the DVR to watch when the Sunday afternoon football games are boring and the New England Patriots are playing in primetime: 1. You’re The Worst. 2. Archer. 3. Battlestar Gallactica. 4. The fourth quarter of Super Bowl 49. 5. Vice Principals.

The Associated Press hyped the unveiling of its preseason top 25 football poll for days before it was released. Who is number one? Who is number 17? The games do not begin until this week, but we have a pecking order.


I admit, I’m a sucker. I fell for the preseaon top 25 clickbait when I saw the link on Twitter. I can rattle of the preseason top five (Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, LSU) the way I was able to rattle off the first five books of the bible for religion class my freshman year 30 years ago at Mt. St. Joseph Academy. When I see the Super Bowl predictions at the start of each NFL season, I gobble them up. It’s all empty calories, but who cares?

Something important, like my social security number or how to change a tire, got pushed out of my brain to make room for that, but it’s in there. Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, LSU.

My preseason list of people I hold in lower regard than Roger Goodell: 1. That bully who tortured me mentally and physically for the entire sixth grade year. He was a jerk and is not worth naming. He knows who he is. 2. The guy singing “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” to himself coming out of the bookstore, sticking me with an unwelcome earworm. 3. Ryan Lochte.

Husson University is the preseason favorite in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. Husson also is the preseason favorite in the North Atlantic Conference preseason field hockey poll. The University of Maine is ranked ninth out of 12 teams in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason football poll. At least, that’s where the Black Bears were when the poll was released on July 26, more than a month before a game was played. The Black Bears haven’t lost since then, so maybe they moved up. Maine did get one first place vote in the CAA’s preseason poll, so maybe they can trade that in for free coffee for a team meeting or something else useful.

My preseason list of things I would rather drink than pumpkin-flavored anything before Columbus Day: 1. Dishwater. 2. Mud. 3. Moxie. 4. Any beer “with lime.” 5. Lava.

I have never heard a player or coach mention a preseason poll unless he or she was asked about it. Preseason polls are less valuable than last year’s calendar. At best they’re an educated guess. At worst, they’re a crapshoot. In 2013, the Maine football team was ranked eighth of 11 teams in the CAA preseason poll. The Black Bears went on, won a lot of games, and won the conference title when it counted in November, not on paper in the summer.


Preseason polls are fun for fans, though, and that’s why they’re not going anywhere. When our favorite team is a preseason favorite, it gives us something to look forward to. It gives us hope. If your team is near the bottom of the preseason poll, and it finishes near the bottom, then you can say “I told you so!” If the team is ranked near the bottom and it wins, it overachieved. If it’s ranked near the top of a preseason poll and plays poorly, it choked.

My preseason list of things I think about preseason polls: 1. There are worse time-wasters. 2. Never take them too seriously. 3. We sure love our lists. 4. What do you mean, the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Patriots in the AFC? That’s crazy talk. 5. Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, LSU.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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