I don’t know why I do this to myself year after year, but I imagine that many of you do the same thing.

Despite all the evidence that says I shouldn’t do this, I do it anyway.

I hope.

The weather is warm. It’s a great day to be outside. IU football comes up to me and says, “Hey, how about I hold this football and you kick it.”

“Oh, no! I know how this works, you’re going to hold that football there and I’ll come running up to kick it and at the last minute you will pull it away. I’ll miss and end up flat on my back.”

“Not this time,” IU football assures me.

I agree, putting aside all of my years of experience that have informed me to this point, telling me to just walk away cause this IU football is a cruel mistress. I run up and take a big swing at the ball, and sure enough, IU football yanks it away.

I am the Charlie Brown of college football fans.

And what makes it worse, is that last year, in an act of supreme cruelty, the let me kick the ball.

So this year, when they offered to hold the ball for me, I thought, “This is great! They let me kick it last year. They’re sure to hold it steady for me this year. Maybe I’ll even be able to kick this one through the uprights instead of squibbing it.”

But here I sit, bowl hopes gone, lying flat on my back in the middle of a field, the football long since taken away, and I know two things without question.

1.) Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

2.) Next August, I’ll be standing there, rubbing my hands together, just convinced enough that they’ll hold the ball for me to be willing to take another run at it.

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