There's one comforting thought that exists at the end of every summer: Football is coming. And it's coming in the form of the NFL, NCAA and high school.

One characteristic of football, which holds true at any level, is the unpredictable nature of the game. One season's cellar dweller can be next season's champion. And while there may be less turnover in high school football than there is in professional or college football, anything can happen in any season, especially given the unpredictable nature of the FCIAC.

Although I've only had the privilege to cover one season of FCIAC football (during my time as the Norwalk Citizen's sports editor for the 2008 season), I was still quite impressed by the high level of competition. That particular season was chalk full of last-second finishes, multi-score comebacks and four-quarter nail biters. And even though I only saw New Canaan and Darien in action when they were taking on either Norwalk or Brien McMahon, it was clear that each team had a wealth of talent.

That said, New Canaan and Darien each have to be considered two of the favorites. And for all the hype that inevitably encompasses the rivalry between New Canaan and Darien -- not just in football, but in all sports -- the two teams don't appear to be that different from one another: long-standing coaches in New Canaan's Lou Marinelli and Darien's Rob Trifone, a high percentage of one-sided victories, balanced offensive attacks, stifling defenses, and perhaps above all, an expectation for greatness.

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Although I'm still in the process of learning the New Canaan and Darien rosters as well as get acquainted with the coaches, I've got two a few all-important dates circled on the calendar, as both the Rams and the Blue Wave will get some live game action in the form of scrimmages within a month.

I'm hoping to observe some of the practices, but I'm especially looking forward to seeing the Rams and Blue Wave in game action.

Darien gets going with a home scrimmage against Stamford on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 7 a.m. New Canaan will host a jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m.

But the real action kicks off in the regular season, as the Rams will pay a visit to Bassick on Thurs Sept. 15, and Darien hosts Fairfield Ludlowe on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.

So, I've lucked out, at least in Week 1, since the Rams and Blue Wave are playing on different days. Hopefully, that trend will continue, because I'm definitely excited to see what these two perennial FCIAC powerhouses can do.

Jon Chik is the sports editor for the New Canaan News and the Darien News. He can be reached at jchik@bcnnew.com.