Championship teams are not first assembled on sweltering practice fields in the heat of August. They do not come together during the quaint, unorthodox December intermission. They are constructed on days like February 3—a national football holiday known as national signing day.
On this celebrated calendar moment, the sport's future will become its present. The nation's premier crop of high school players will confirm where they plan to spend the next three or four years.
Time-honored fax machines will give off a distinguished hum before spitting out commitments one by one. Logoed hats will be lifted off tables to dramatic applause.
And on the outside, otherwise responsible adults with children and mortgages and successful jobs will call in sick—developing a "cough" in the wee hours of the morning—all to watch this grandiose spectacle unfold.