The wait is over.
Football fans now have something to do on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The NFL's 100th season kicked off on Thursday and will be a full slate of action come Sunday. I'm looking forward to seeing who would make the NFL's 100th Anniversary Team, as well as the special Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020, which will have 20 inductees in honor of the anniversary.
Lots of people in this area are Dallas Cowboys fans, and Sunday is bound to be an entertaining matchup against the New York Giants. It should be fun watching Saquon Barkley against the newly extended Ezekiel Elliott.
Former Oklahoma Sooner Sterling Shepard will have some big shoes to fill at wide receiver for New York with Odell Beckham being traded to the Cleveland Browns — another team popular in this area with Baker Mayfield, the second-year quarterback who won a Heisman at the University of Oklahoma and has to be as beloved as any athlete in the state.
The Sooners opened their season last week and it's hard to have asked for a better debut from Jalen Hurts. It looks like the trend will continue of quarterback castoffs transferring to OU and thriving under Lincoln Riley.
I'm anticipating a very entertaining race for the Heisman Trophy in 2019 with Hurts, former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson's Trevor Lawrence leading the pack. Texas' Sam Ehlinger, Oregon's Justin Herbert and Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor shouldn't be discounted either.
The No. 4 ranked Sooners could have a Heisman winner for the third year in a row if Hurts performs around the same level he did Sept. 1 against the University of Houston. Other Heisman winners for OU include Billy Vessels (1952), Steve Owens (1969), Billy Sims (1978), Jason White (2003), Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018).
Hurts scooping up the Heisman in December would make even more history. No program has ever produced three consecutive Heisman winners, though there have been multiple back-to-back winners in addition to Mayfield and Murray these past two years.
Larry Kelley and Clint Frank of Yale won it in 1936 and 1937, respectively. Doc "Mr. Inside" Blanchard and Glenn "Mr. Outside" Davis from Army joined the Heisman club in 1945 and 1946, respectively. Then there's Archie Griffin of Ohio State University, who still has a table for one all these years later as still the only two-time winner in 1974 and 1975.
Of course, Hurts is hoping to bring OU its first national championship since he was two years old in 2000, and he's bound to have stiff competition with the Crimson Tide and Tigers in the mix yet again.
Yet, there's just something special about Friday Night Lights — especially in certain parts of the country like southeast Oklahoma. These people love their high school football, and communities rally around the kids this time of year.
Quinton began play on Aug. 30, while McAlester, Hartshorne, Wilburton, Savanna and Canadian started Friday evening. These teams are excited. Expectations are high. The hunger is there. It's all about just putting it together for these teams, and these towns would then have a lot to rave about for the next couple of months.
Are you ready for some football?
Contact Corey Stolzenbach at firstname.lastname@example.org