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"Stay tuned for all the NFL week zero highlights!"

"Don't miss the wrap-up of all the action in a wild week zero of college football."

Have you ever heard these words from a broadcaster? No? Join the club. No one has heard them.

No one has heard them because week zero in the NFL and college football does not exist.

There is no week zero in basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, etc., either. 

However, according to some powers that be, there IS a week zero when it comes to California high school football.

There has been at least as long as I've been here, and that's since 2000.

In fact, on the CIF Central Section website under Season of Sport, the date of the first eligible day for a football contest in 2019 is listed as Aug. 22, the "old 0 week," according to the website. Then there is a note advising coaches they have 11 weeks to get 10 games in.

Um. No. Part of that statement is factually wrong. It is factually wrong because there is no de facto zero week in sports.

The first week of competition in any sport is week one. Period.

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August 22, to serve accuracy, was part of the old week one in California high school football.

The first week of this high school season is week one, guys. The last week is week 11. The regular season lasts from week one to week 11, not from week zero to week 10. Period. 

No teacher, during a new school year, has ever started a letter to parents with, "Welcome to week zero of the new school year!"

That is because there is no week zero in a school year. There is no week zero to start a sports season, either.

I don't know what the reasoning is behind christening the first week of a high school football season as week zero, and I don't really care. Whatever the reasoning is behind naming anything "week zero," it's wrong.

"Week zero," has often made clarity a lost cause for me when headlining football summarizing the outlook for upcoming high school football games for that week.

More than once, I've put say, "Week Four," in the headline and an editor has to remind me that, thanks to week zero to start the season, we were really in week three, not week four.

In fact, we were in week four. Week three had passed. However, thanks to a long-ago decision that the first week of California high school football is week zero, logic lost.

For years, some professional sports divisions were geographically incorrect (the Atlanta Braves were in the National League West for decades). Then people got it right and started putting more teams in divisions according to where they were actually located geographically.

I'm hoping people eventually get it right when it comes to naming the opening week of California high school football as well. The opening week of high school football in the great state of California is week one.

"Week zero," makes zero sense.        

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.