Monday's e-mails included one from Derek Taylor, the prep sports editor of The Charleston Daily Mail, reminding those of us who vote in the statewide football poll it soon will be time to do so.
It was just the latest reminder that football is just around the corner.
And that is the best news to occur since January's Orange Bowl.
No sport stirs our passion like football.
Even those of us who are die-hard baseball fans know down deep it no longer is the national pastime.
That football has surpassed baseball as the king of American sports.
We love our football at every level. On Friday night, we love watching the local high school teams play. High school football is the most pure form of the game. No one is getting rich off of it. Those who are coaching and playing are doing so simply for the love of the game.
They love representing their school and their hometown. They love pursuing that elusive state championship, even though only one team in each class will accomplish that goal.
On Saturdays (and for that matter virtually every other day of the week), college football rules. If your team is scheduled to play West Virginia University, you aren't just playing the 100 men in Mountaineer uniforms, but you are playing the entire Mountain State. In the old days before television, you could walk down the street and hear the voice of Mountaineer announcer Jack Fleming flowing out of virtually every home.
Now, with nearly every game on television, there's little traffic on the roads when the Mountaineers are playing. There's nothing bigger in West Virginia than a WVU football game. It's the same all across America.
Why? Because there only are 32 National Football League teams and they are located in the most populated cities (the exception being Green Bay). In the rest of America, college football rules. College football brings out state pride.
If the governor resigned on the same day WVU played a football game, the news story might be far more significant, but the sports story would draw considerably more interest.
Earlier this year, it was my pleasure to speak to a local church group on the subject "Why We Love Football.'' Doing some research, I discovered that the Colosseum in Rome could seat 50,000 spectators, who would fill the arena to watch gladiators battle one another. Think about that. They either had to walk or ride on horeseback. Yet, they would flock to a stadium to watch a violent "sport.'' Football is today's version of the gladiators, except we're a more civilized society and don't condone anyone getting killed over a ballgame.
No sport creates more interest than football. I'm ready for the ball to go in the air.
And I know I'm not alone with that thought.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org