It's just enough to whet the appetite.
The college football is season is six months away. That seems like an eternity in our football-addicted sports culture.
Fans need a fix to calm the jitters. So bring on the spring games.
During March and April, college football teams will reconvene for a few weeks of fitness, drills and team-building exercises.
For most, it all leads up to a spring scrimmage that draws fans by the tens of thousands. The biggest ones are televised nationally.
In recent years, a few football addicts have proposed turning this short-lived taste into a full-on bender.
Ideas tossed around by experts and observers span the gamut. They range from humble (scrimmaging against other colleges) to audacious (moving early-season cupcake games to the spring) to outlandish (having a mini conference season).
Back away from the buffet, I say.
Football is the only major American sport that leaves its fans hungry for a good portion of the year. Baseball and basketball go on hiatus for a few months, but return before most of us even realize they were gone.
Football goes away for more than six months. Its absence does more than make some hearts grow fonder. Infatuated is more accurate.
As football season approaches, its fans long for it with an anticipation and passion that enhance the sport's allure. When games finally arrive, it's like that first warm spring day after a long cold winter.
But that doesn't mean meaningful football should actually be played in the spring.
The most satisfying meals are the ones eaten on an empty stomach. Football is king of the American sports landscape partly because it leaves its subjects hungry for more.