Are you ready for some football?

Posted by on September 12, 2010 at 9:03 pm.

It’s fall, y’all.

There’s no getting around it. It’s cooler at night. The leaves are thinking about changing. The bugs are getting ready to all go away (I hope).

Watching the seasons change is always a beautiful thing, but do you know what season I love more than fall?

Football season.

My god, do I love football season.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there are certainly more dignified/worthwhile things to do with your Saturdays/Sundays/Monday nights. But let me try to convince you that football season is a good thing.

  1. It gets people together. Games, live or on TV, pull people who normally stay in their bubbles to go out to a stadium or a bar and interact with other people.
  2. Football fans are all equal. While the game’s on, there’s no hierarchy of fandom. Unless you’ve got a private box at the stadium, we’re all going to treat each other as equals.
  3. There’s a universal topic of conversation. Whether it’s “How ’bout ‘dem Bears?” or “Can you believe that call?” (Or, in my case, “Can you believe Favre came back from retiring again?”), you know what to say. You can run into anyone on the street, find out where they’re from, and have something to talk about. Even people who don’t follow football have learned to make small-talk about football. It’s just so easy.
  4. It makes people care about something. Really, probably 50 percent of the population doesn’t care who wins during the midterm elections. Certainly, fewer people will jump and down cheering or sulk home about the results of an election than a home-team football game. When people invest themselves and share their emotions, it’s a good thing, even if it’s about something that doesn’t effect the future. If people can care about football, maybe they can care about other things, too. And there’s no limit on how much you can care about, so caring about football doesn’t stop you from caring about poverty or public safety or elections.
  5. It’s fun. There’s no denying that getting caught up in a crowd that’s dripping with adrenaline is a good time. Being happy, even for just a few hours a weekend (or a few minutes, depending on how the game goes), helps everyone feel better. The joy of the game is a drug. And as drugs go, it’s pretty safe.

This is supposed to be a story blog, so I suppose I can end with a story. I have yet to make friends in this city of mine, but my best hope (maybe my last best hope) is football season. People I work with care about football, and I have Sundays and Mondays off. I don’t have a television, so I’m forced to go out and find someplace to watch it. Today, I went to a bar. Didn’t go with any friends, but at least I was social. Maybe next week I’ll be able to watch it at some coworker’s place. See, that’s the thing with football. You have to be optimistic. You don’t tune it to watch your team lose. You always hope that things will turn out like you imagine, even when the odds are against you.

Optimism is a good thing.

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