So, your football season is off to a bad start?
It happens to the best of them. But I am here to tell you it could be worse.
A lot worse.
Meet Wilbert Adams, IV, a 2009 Hardaway High School graduate. Adams is in his first season as the mascot of the -- drum roll, please -- Savannah State Tigers.
Adams, wearing his Tiger costume -- complete with a Savannah State jersey and orange Tiger shorts, has been on the sidelines twice this season.
In the opener a week ago, Savannah State lost 84-0 to Oklahoma State. It got a little better last weekend. The Tigers only lost 55-0 to Florida State. The good news, at least for the Tigers, was the game was stopped midway through the third quarter because of severe weather.
The scores withstanding, it hasn't been all bad for Adams, an environmental science major.
"Playing the big teams has really been an honor," Adams said Monday between classes. "We don't get to see them every day."
And for good reason.
Savannah State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, has played up in class the first two weeks for a simple reason -- money. Though the scoreboard says the Tigers are down 139-0, the bank account says the Tigers are $860,000 to the good.
The two paydays will go a long way in funding the entire athletic program, which has a $5.1 million annual budget.
But that is not what it has been about for Adams.
For him, it has been about soaking up the experience of large stadiums and big crowds.
And the mascot -- even an under-appreciated visitor -- gets to play to those crowds.
"Both places were really nice to us, from my point of view," Adams said. "The kids have been coming up to me, giving me high-fives. In Stillwater, it was Savannah State fans and Oklahoma State fans."
You don't get much resistance when you are a toothless Tiger.
A Seminole fan even gave Adams a Florida State sticker.
"It's in my scrapbook," he said.
Still, Adams wishes the game in Tallahassee had come to a natural conclusion Saturday night.
"The thing about it is it wasn't going well on the scoreboard. But it didn't end by the buzzer. It was ended by Mother Nature.
"It is what it is."
Yes, it is.
Savannah State gets a week off to lick its wounds before playing the likes of North Carolina Center, Edward Waters and Norfolk State University.
While Wilbert was in Tallahassee Saturday getting ready to go nose-to-nose with Chief Osceola, his mama, Sandra Adams, was in the checkout line at a local grocery store.
Spotting her Savannah State jersey, she was asked if her son played there.
She proudly said, "No, he's the mascot."
For the last two weeks, her son may have had the best job in the house. He got all the trappings of big-time college football and didn't have to take the physical beating his classmates did.
Chuck Williams, senior editor for content, firstname.lastname@example.org.