It's a Seinfeld World

August wins the prize for me - by far. Until I arrived to college (and even a few years after that) I truly used to enjoy the summer. How could you not? So much to do - primarily headlined by something that included the Jersey Shore - but only 3 months of time to squeeze it all into. Nowadays, things are indeed different.

The real job, the actual bread-n-butter maker is always at the top of the to-do list. Outside of May and June, which remain busy enough to keep the mind occupied - on and off the field - the months of July and August become increasingly painful. Everything slows down in July. And the mind, all but eager to respect, follows suit. By the end of July, recruiting-season has pretty much come to a grinding halt. The topics of conversation become limited. But the mind and body seethe, they yearn. They yearn for that crisp autumn chill, that pleasant breeze that is always accompanied by the sounds of pads on pads, screaming fans hopeful for wild dreams to turn to reality.

Football, over the years, and college football at that, has become one of the basic, most elemental of food groups. Go without it for a sufficiently long time and agony ensues.

By the end of July, each passing day becomes more unbearable than the previous.  By August, the wait for opening day turns truly torturous. And I'm not sure the opening of summer practice can even begin to cure this ill feeling. It may actually makes it worse - it's a terrible teaser, but not of what is, but of what is yet to come.  Can you imagine having a TV yet no remote control to watch it with?  Such a tease ...

So with that said, I nominate August as the single worst month of the year.  The one month where the appetite for college football - Rutgers style - is at an all-time high, yet the dish itself has barely a morsel on it. 

With that said, it's time to whet the appetite, just a bit, while remaining sufficiently off-topic to keep the tease at bay. 

Top 5 Seinfeld truisms and their relation to Rutgers Football

5. Rick: "Oh, Mr. Kramer, I gotta thank you. I - I learned a lot. Things are gonna be different from now on." -- The Dealership

Much like Rick had to learn from his experience of Kramer behind the wheel, so did Rutgers fans. Similarly painful, it took the trauma of nearing the end to enjoy a glimpse of the future.

Previous summers - just go back to the summers without hope of '96 - '00 - are but a horror-filled memory now. The anticipation of the season grew with each passing day, but hopes were indeed dreams. Dreams not based on reality.  Fans knew, deep down, that each subsequent season would be no better than the previous.  What a wretched way to begin a new season.

With experience, that mentality has begun to change. The culture, through five years of program building, has begun to change. Fans now - yes, Rutgers fans - dream big.  And these dreams are based on reality. Things are different.

4.  Puddy: So what do you think?  Elaine: What is that?  Puddy: I painted my face.  Elaine (still in disbelief): You painted your face?  Puddy: Yeah.  Elaine: Why?  Puddy: You know, support the team. -- The Facepainter

With the currently ongoing culture change comes a new mentality, a fresh way of thinking about Saturdays.  And a fresh way of doing, as well.  For some, namely the diehards (you know who you are) - lets call them the Puddys of Rutgers Football - this has never been an issue.  But for others, it's quickly becoming chic to express yourself with Rutgers Football paraphernalia. It's easier when the team is winning - for sure. Well, the team is winning - now don't forget, next time you head on over to Rutgers Stadium to ask yourself: Do I look like I'm supporting the team?

3. GEORGE: (shouts) Wait! Yes! That's what I should've said! (frustration)  [PAUSE] GEORGE: (cocky laughter) Huh haha! (shouts) You're meat, Reilly! You just screwed yourself! (laughter) Ha ha! -- The Comeback

For too many years it's been personal.  The butt of jokes at work, among friends, heck, maybe even at home.  And no retort to come back with that would make the perpetrators sit back down and shut their trap. It was always too easy to pick on the ugly duckling.  Whether you were the Orange-clad neighbor from up the block, or the Panther gear-wearing fanatic from work, all you could do was sit back and take it on the chin.  What could you possibly say?  It was embarrassing, it was hurtful, you wished they would stop and see the flow of tears inside - but they wouldn't.  A little sympathy was all you asked for.  But they didn't care, it's as if they enjoyed it.

Until now. The perfect comeback began taking shaping last year. At the very least, some of the neighbors to the north aren't so quick to poke fun any longer.  No more are you the end result of a long trail of jesting.  Now they have to be careful - because the tide has turned.  It's your turn now.

2. GEORGE: Um, excuse me, I - I think you forgot my bread. SOUP NAZI: Bread -- $2 extra.  GEORGE: $2? But everyone in front of me got free bread. SOUP NAZI: You want bread? GEORGE: Yes, please. SOUP NAZI: $3! GEORGE: What? SOUP NAZI: No soup for you! [snaps fingers]. -- The Soup Nazi

Remember the days when you couldn't convince your friends to take in a glorious afternoon at an admittedly empty Rutgers Stadium a few years back?  You had free tickets, but they didn't care.  They had plenty of other things to do - washing hair, clipping toe nails, you know, typical guy things.

Once again, it's now your turn to turn that frown into a triumphant smile. Tickets are now at a Premium. Opening day versus Illinois will, in all likelihood, be a sell-out: Michigan State style. And now, Joe, Moe, or Sal (you know, a short, three-letter word name), can't stop begging you for those tickets.  How much does a pair go for these days?  Or else, No tickets for you!

1. KRAMER: I couldn't get there in time to stop it, but you should have seen Little Jerry, Jerry! Flappin' his wings and struttin' his stuff! He was peckin' and weavin' and bobbin' and talkin' trash! He didn't even have to touch him! The other rooster ran out of the ring. The whole fight lasted two seconds. -- The Little Jerry

The ugly duckling is no more.  There are stars on this team, and there is character and senior leadership.  Sprinkled in, you have a continued drizzling of youthful exuberance, just enough to keep everyone on their toes.  Just enough to continue the upgrade.  Just enough to bring your blood to a scalding boil when imagining the future.

Do you have a Seinfeld quote that you can relate to Rutgers Football?  Or perhaps quotes from another favorite show of yours?  Share them on our message boards!

Matei can be reached at mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com


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