Winter…er… Football Is Coming

by Rich on July 31, 2017

It’s the end of July. Outside it feels like someone left the world’s largest pot of water boiling on the stove. The inside of your car doesn’t even register on the thermometer anymore. Inside, the cold water tap in the kitchen dispenses water warm enough to bathe in and the A/C unit is threatening to pack up and move back in with it’s mother BECAUSE IT DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS, DANG IT, AND IT DESERVES TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT AND WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO START ORGANIZING THE GARAGE SO THAT SOMEONE CAN ACTUALLY USE IT FOR WHAT IT WAS MADE FOR?? (Sorry, that wasn’t the A/C. That was something else. My apologies.) Anyway…it’s hot. Really, really hot and really, really humid.

But here’s the thing…if you turn your head just the right way…if you squint your eyes…if you really focus…you can sniff something in the air…football is coming.

Football. Glorious, ridiculous, all encompassing, gripping, powerful football. It’s there. Just under the surface, to be sure. Not quite out in plain sight, but close. Like a slow, methodical computer program working in the background, football is there. You see brief glimpses of it as you pass by intramural fields at your local community college campus, or the side practice field next to the jr. high school. Your friends with kids start posting pictures on social media. The paper starts running opponent scouting reports for the season.

Football never leaves us, as a general rule. The NFL and college beat writers won’t let it, lest they be out of work for significant periods of time. But our day to day lives get a breather from the game for a good seven months. We go about the business of basketball, baseball, softball, gymnastics, NASCAR, golf and Michael Phelps pretending to race a shark (that’s a thing that didn’t happen. Not really. I mean, he DID pretend to, but he didn’t really race a shark and if you thought he was really going to then I suggest counseling and maybe not driving).

But now, football is starting to remind us that it’s still here. Summer workouts made brutal by the blistering heat. Marching bands out in that same heat, practicing in hastily striped parking lots. Booster club lunches. Merchandise sales. Little League sign up e-mails. It’s all starting to hit. And as we transition from July and it’s insufferable insistence that we be miserable anywhere other than directly in front an air conditioner vent turned up to Spinal Tap level (“But this one goes up to 11, doesn’t it? That’s one more.”), and into August, which, let’s be honest, is just as bad and sometimes worse, we begin to see more and more indications that football is coming out to play. And really, that knowledge is what makes August even remotely bearable. Yeah, it’s a scorcher, but now we are talking weeks, not months until the ultimate distraction rains down on us like some kind of divine ice bath, turning our attention away from the 3rd degree burns received by having the unmitigated gall to sit on a vinyl car seat. Football brings with it the promise of sweatshirts and blue jeans just when we need it the most.

It’s brutally hot and brutally humid, but fear not. Relief is on the way. Football is coming.

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