This time of year is when there are lots of things on the horizon. That horizon also seems to come slowly.

As a kid, summer always flew by too fast and school started too quickly. Now, we can’t get the kids back to school soon enough. Teachers and counselors may disagree with that, but as a parent I’m ready for things to get back to normal.

It’s definitely time for sports to get back to a chaotic level that I deem to be normal.

The Goblins have a benefit game on Aug. 20 at home against Rogers Heritage that will give some relief.

Local football technically begins on Aug. 30 with Harrison and Marshall being the only two local teams to participate in Week Zero. Harrison opens the season by traveling to Pea Ridge while Marshall visits Two Rivers.

After that, it’s on like Donkey Kong every Friday night until the end of the year for high school football.

Week Zero for college football is 15 days away with a four-game slate. Florida plays Miami (Fla.) in the only game worth noting on that day.

One week later, Arkansas plays Portland State in the first game of the season for the Razorbacks on their newly installed grass field. It seems like the first year that I don’t have any expectations for the Hogs leading up to the season. Last year turned out to be a wash after they couldn’t beat Colorado State in the second week. This year they play the Buffaloes at home. Luckily they don’t have to play North Texas again with the possibility of getting embarrassed by the Mean Green. Instead, San Jose State takes their place on the schedule.

The real test — assuming they beat Portland State in the opener — will be the second week when they go to Ole Miss. Their performance there will be key to whether half of the fan base decides if they think Chad Morris should go or not.

If they win all four non-conference games and one SEC game during the season with a shot at a bowl game going into the final game against Missouri at Little Rock, then I will consider the season to be an overwhelming success. That still seems like a tall order looking at the schedule.

When it comes to baseball, the MLB postseason begins on the first day of October. The only thing for certain is that the Dodgers are the best team in the National League and a bunch of teams will be in the mix for the wild-card spot. The Cardinals will be one of those if they can’t get past the Cubs for the top spot in the NL Central. Milwaukee is also in that bunch to make things interesting.

The Yankees, Twins and Astros are controlling the American League with a smaller wild-card race on their tail. The Royals are coming around after a rough start but will ultimately miss the postseason with potential for the future.

There are lots of things about to take off in the wide wide world of sports and the wait is getting to be worse than a little kid counting down the days to Christmas. All of the football will eventually turn into college and high school basketball and basketball will turn into college baseball. Then the dead period. Then we rinse and repeat.

I’m ready to get all of this started already.

I’m ready for football.

I’m ready for these kids to go back to school already.

I’m ready for the weather to cool off just a bit.

And I’m ready for my beard and the hair on top of my head to grow back so I can fix this bad haircut.

Rodney Beaver is a sports writer for the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at rodneyb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/rodneybeaver .

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