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The Gravitational Pull of Football Strengthens with Age

I’m ready. The calendar still stands short of August, yet I couldn’t be more raring to go. Yes, the gravitational pull of the pigskin undoubtedly strengthens with age.

This phenomenon can not be restricted to me. In fact, I know it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am still watching my Metros each and every night (and afternoon) possible. But for we 30-somethings the power and promise of weekend football viewing in the fall seems to beckon in a louder voice with each passing year.

Why, you may ask? I think many of us have reached a unique time in our lives where football just makes an entire six-month stretch of the year not only more tolerable, but logical. It eliminates uncertainty. It stands as a shining beacon at the end of each long and tiring week. It provides brilliant clarity.

As youngsters, we may have loved the game, but the familiar and friendly presence of booze and our own large flat-panel televisions was nowhere to be seen. We enjoyed the distraction but could in no way appreciate it as elementary or high school student reflected our only job title.

During our college years (at least mine), the reality of being away from home and the constant distractions of booze, girls and general debauchery made weekend football an enjoyable sideshow, but rarely the main event. Post-graduation years in New York City delivered more of the same, as football viewing was often a part of the fall but at a sports bar where chicken wing consumption and the number of shots consumed were often seemingly of equal importance to any scores. This era also included our fantasy years, a period that only managed to cheapen my appreciation for the game.

But, now I’m 30. Apparently, I have a “real job” with “real responsibilities,” or so my fiancee continues to tell me. Work is a perpetual grind and while summer weekends bring brief respite, it is a eason to be active, get outdoors and cross your fingers that baseball still means something for your favorite team (who would’ve guessed?!). We have weddings and brunches and all sorts of things, and a 162-game hardball season doesn’t help in providing one with many “free passes.”

Around the corner? Children, family. More responsibility. More obligations. Less time to sit on our asses. And so it is that this fall brings with it a special feeling. It promises weekends of focus. Of relaxation. Of food and drink and merriment, no matter our team’s success. It’s when the weekends make sense again.

In a few short weeks, the fall will come into focus — with football at its center. The SEC on CBS. ABC and the Big Ten. Saturday night ESPN Primetime CFB. NFL double-headers. Monday night. Oh and that wonderful time of the year where Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all mean football. This is also my first season with HD-liciousness available from the comfort of my couch. I know, pure heresy right?

Luckily, I have a companion who can’t wait to invite folks over on Sunday for back-to-back games on our beautiful new Pioneer plasma. She recognizes the length of the season and similarly yearns for it to begin. It is no coincidence I have given her a ring.

So, Thursday night, Saturday afternoon, Sunday. Who cares? Let’s kick this baby off. I just want to get back home…to fall and football…where things make sense again.

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  1. P-Cat

    July 27, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Know how you feel. I’ve got my Lindy’s which I’ve re-read about 40 times already. Heck, I’m glued this weekend to my Yankees, but I’m so ready for kickoff to occur.

  2. Mac G

    July 27, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I agree to this whole post and your analysis of the mind of male sports mind as he ages is quite accurate.

    I would like to add that I can not go to bars to watch football anymore, college or pro. I only feel comfortable in my own living room, loaded up with the whole NFL/College packages in HD.

    If I do venture to a bar or watch games at someones else place, it just sucks and it is not the same.
    When I was younger, I could watch games anywhere and did not care.

    Now, unless I have my laptop open with live scoring and the ability to switch the ending of a Titans/Texans game, I am pissed.

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