Football Season! My earliest memories of the great American game are tied up with images of being with my dad. I remember an early fall day. The sun was bright but the temperature was a little crisp. My dad was using a chainsaw to cut up wood for the winter. My older brother and I were helping load the truck. (Well, I was helping as much as a 6 or 7 year old could – carrying the smaller logs and probably getting in everyone’s way.) My memory of that day touches every sense: the smell of the sawdust, the bright colors of the leaves, the feel of the rough bark through my flannel shirt, the roar of the saw. Also on the hood of the truck sat a transistor radio. Its small speakers pumping out the sounds of a University of Tennessee football game as described by the Voice of the Vols – John Ward. His vivid description made you feel as if you were actually in attendance. Every so often, my dad would quiet the saw and listen for a few moments to keep track of the flow of the game. If things were going UT’s way, he would smile and wink and then get back to work. If momentum was going against the Vols, he would just shrug, shake his head and return to the task at hand. No matter what, the work continued. I don’t remember who won the game, but I will never forget that Autumn afternoon! So my own passion for football came not from playing it or watching it in person (though I would eventually do both), but from seeing how it mattered to my dad. It was his passion. But looking back, I also see that he kept it all in proper perspective. Passion was balanced with necessary hard work. Work was done with an eye toward future need. And everyone pitched in. Passion, Hard-work, Discipline, Perseverance – just a few of the things my dad taught me on crisp fall days.