With all due respect to the American institution that is Monday Night Football, I ask the rhetorical question: "Are you ready for some football?"
Of course you are and it all gets underway Thursday night.
Locally, new coach Dean Hood and his EKU Colonels kickoff the new season with a trip north, up I-75, to the Queen City. That's where Eastern Kentucky and Cincinnati hook up in the first game of the year.
Hood replaces Danny Hope, who's 2006 Colonels made the same trip to Cincinnati, with a ton of confidence and huge expectations for a great season, only to see their dreams of upsetting a division one team dashed.
Hood's first squad is the defending OVC champs. The coach is keeping his emotions in check, but has shown the Colonels highlights from last year's Appy State upset at Michigan. EKU returns Allan Holland at quarterback, who is trying to become the back-to-back OVC Player of the Year.
Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza is familiar to football fans in this area. He quarterbacked Mason Co. to the postseason, hooking up with All-State wide receiver Chris Lofton (remember him?) several years ago.
It's yet another opportunity for the Colonels to knock off one of the big boys.
On Friday night, it's high school football throughout the state. Bowl games are the staple on the first weekend. By my count, there are 25 bowl games, stretching from one end of the state to the other. It'll be an exciting start to the weekend.
High school fans will get a chance to see one of the country's finest high school programs on Saturday, when Indianapolis Bishop Chatard plays at Lexington Catholic. Chatard has won nine Indiana 3-A championships. They are led by an offensive tackle that already has committed to Notre Dame.
Fans can watch the game on our sister station, CWkyt, beginning at 8:00. Be sure to catch the pregame show, beginning at 7:30, as Christi Thomas and Brandon Fisher preview the game and teams from across the region.
Of course, the icing on the football cake is the big matchup between UK and Louisville on Sunday. The hype began in July, with the Governor's Cup Luncheon, but it's in full swing this week.
Wildcat players are saying the smack talk already is heating up. They're trading text messages with friends that play for the Cardinals. Defensive tackle Corey Peters says he sometimes acts like he didn't get a message, when he doesn't want to respond to a particular text.
Louisville is the morning line favorite, but the Cats have the better defensive squad. The one constant in this series is the running game -- the team that wins the rushing battle wins the game. It's happened every year since 1996. I like UK's chances, because their defense is proven.
Mike Hartline is an unknown. UK's receiving corps is a question mark. But Louisville has some of the same issues on offense, which makes this game even more intriguing.
No matter what happens on Sunday, it's football time in the Bluegrass. Let the games begin!
Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.