If I was in a rap group, I like to think I’d be the rapper and not the hype man.

For those who might not be familiar with rap concerts, many times there’s the guy who writes and raps the songs. He steps forward on the stage at the right time to deliver the goods. But before him, there’s the all-important hype man, who dances around and shouts and generally works the crowd into a frenzy.

You’re probably the same as me, though. You probably know the names of a few rappers, but maybe not any hype men. I can’t tell you who riles up the audience for Childish Gambino or Eminem, but I like their music.

I want the real stuff, not the hype.

That makes this time of year real tough for me because, friends, we’re staring at six more weeks of hype before football season begins. We’ll spend the next 40-plus days in the desert of preseason all-conference teams, award watch lists, practice reports, and an endless parade of talking heads telling us why every team is going to be awesome this fall.

Come to think of it, I might not be the right person to be writing this column. My boss told me to write something to accompany the start of our annual Trib high school football Super Poll. It is, I’ll admit, just another media invention to whet your appetite for the start of football season.

Before I dig a hole too deep to write myself out, let me tell you what the Super Poll is, what it’s not, and why I’m excited about it.

The Super Poll, which you can find at wacotrib.com/superpoll, is your chance to vote on who you think will be the best player at each position group in the upcoming high school football season.

Voting opens today with the initial ballot and nomination process. This is just the first round and it will continue through August 9. After that, the top five vote getters in each category will move on to the semifinals on August 11. From there, you’ll choose the top two in each race for the finals, which will start on August 18. Then we’ll announce the winners in the Trib’s high school football preview.

Those are the basics. That’s what the Super Poll is.

Here’s what it’s not.

It’s not to be taken too seriously. There are zero college scouts watching the Super Poll to learn which players they should be following in the upcoming season. If they are, they might be looking for a job next summer.

And it’s not a venue for us to hype the players we like and dis the players we don’t. You have the opportunity to write in candidates for the first round. Please, please, PLEASE take advantage of this process. I know my view of the high school football landscape is limited. In fact, one of the things I’m looking forward to about this fall is getting to know players who jump out and surprise us all.

Despite all my anti-hype tendencies, I am enthusiastic about the Super Poll. I’m looking forward to seeing the names submitted and even more intrigued to see if those submitted names come through when the season kicks off.

I’ve already enjoyed the process. Sitting in a local coffee shop last weekend, I perused my copy of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football in order to come up with an initial list of names to put in the poll. It started me thinking about all of the fun things that unfold during a football season and how much potential excitement there will be in Central Texas.

My research also led me to the discovery of Bruceville-Eddy running back Nathan Quattlebaum.

Nathan, if you read this and want to start a rap group, I’ll be your hype man. We’ll drop the Quattlebaum on ‘em.

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