It's always fun to look through my office window.
I've got a great view of thunderstorms, I can see the heat rising off the cars in the parking lot, and even the occasional bird flies into my window (that's always both an amusing and startling thing at the same time).
But lately, it's been even more exciting to look through the glass and onto the football practice fields. The white lines are being drawn, the fields are being watered, and we're only a few days away from the beginning of fall practice.
While there are certainly things that we learn during the spring and even summer conditioning, nothing can even come close to the storylines and position battles that take place during August.
Fall practice at Florida State means a number of things, but I've chosen to focus on three.
First, the heat.
Oh good gracious it's hot! Those of you who live in Tallahassee know exactly what I'm talking about. Heat indexes well above 100 degrees, the humidity sky high as sweat begins careening down your back, and those sunburns that never seem to disappear.
Heck, we still get overheated just standing outside for 20 minutes waiting for post-practice football interviews! And then the afternoon rainstorms come, and then it gets even muggier outside. It's a sick cycle, really.
Those players have to stay hydrated for the duration of practice, and how they survive always amazes me. It's true what they say: if you can survive a fall practice in Tallahassee, you can play in just about anything.
Second, the freshmen.
There are always those certain first-year players that come into fall practice and make a lasting impact. Most everyone would agree that Greg Reid was that guy during 2009 camp. This year, who's going to be that rising star? Maybe Lamarcus Joyner? Christian Jones or Kenny Shaw?
One thing is certain. This freshmen class may be the best we've seen in Tallahassee in years. Jimbo Fisher really likes this class and they've got size and speed that should make each practice fun to watch.
There are certainly a number of positions up for grabs, and I've got a hunch that some of these freshmen are going to make an immediate impact from game one against Samford.
Finally, the emotion.
Guys finally get to put on pads for the first time in four months (the spring game on April 10th was the last time).
No more waiting around: it's time to get down to business and finally start playing football again.
There's nothing quite like seeing the team walk onto the practice fields together for the first time in the fall. These guys have been playing football for the majority of their lives, and to see the excitement on their faces as they trot onto the fields is awesome.
It's like kids in a candy store, but then some of that luster gets worn off as the hard work begins on the practice fields.
My personal favorite is seeing those certain players who can keep that same excitement level up through all of the labor, through all of the trials, and walk out of practice with the same smile on their faces that they had at the very beginning of practice.
And pretty soon, instead of watching the rain or avoiding the birds, I'll get to see our team running around those practice fields.
And that makes September 4th seem that much closer.