It's not actually officially autumn yet. I think that doesn't happen until the 22nd of this month, but in most places school has started, Halloween candy is on the shelves, the temperatures are beginning to cool off and, lord help us, the Christmas Trees are already on display at Costco. So yeah, close enough.
And that also means football has resumed. I'm talking, bigboy football here. NFL type. Really big guys that garner really big salaries for, effectively playing a game. That's ok. It's their job. It's what they are good at, it's what they do and we watch it.
When I say we, I mean other people, not me. And by other people I mean almost everyone else. Apparently. I assume this to be true because throughout my life, during this time of year, it is not at all uncommon for football to be the topic of conversation. And nothing ends a conversation quite as quickly as this following exchange:
Almost everyone else: "So who do you think is going to win the SuperBowl this year?"
Me: "Actually I don't really follow football. Sorry"
Almost every one else: "?????" blank look and then slowly walk away.
I do not actively dislike football. I experience no sense of disdain or dismay when Tim is ensconced on his sofa-throne talking to the TV. I support his interest. I'm pleased that he enjoys it. I will bring him refills and serve lunch/dinner in the family room so he doesn't have to miss his show. And if he's watching with other people who also are enjoying the game, I will cook for and serve them all.
But I have Zero interest in it. Just doesn't captivate me. I'm not drawn in and excited about what is happening. Not on the screen and not in person. And yes, I have seen a few football games live and in person. Didn't help.
I'ts not as if I hated every moment of the experience of watching a live game. I didn't. I make it a point to enjoy every experience that I have. But if I have a choice between attending a football game and reading the latest Diana Gabaldon book, I would absolutely, no question, not a single moments hesitation choose the book.
And the funny part is that of all of the professional sports out there, the only one that I actually understand, is football! Y'see, I went to high school in Texas where living and breathing football is not just a religion, it's a requirement for residency. So I learned. Maybe against my will, but I learned.
And then of course, I had three sons, two of whom are also huge sports fans. Throughout their childhoods I not only heard names and stats (and unintentionally learned those things) the boys would actually quiz me about the teams. So I knew my stuff. I didn't care any more than before, but I knew it, by god. It was important to them and therefore, by extension, it was, to some degree, important to me.
I cannot honestly say that I remember sitting through an entire televised game though. In person there isn't much choice, but in my own home I have lots of options. And any of them is preferable to me.
Autumn to me has a lot of wonderful connotations. It's brand new pencils and notebooks, colourful autumn leaves, fuzzy sweaters, home made soups and amping up my baking. But for the men in my life, it's mostly football. They won't turn away the baked goods, they aren't fools after all but for them autumn is really mostly about "the game".
To me football seems to be a very brief action followed by a lot of milling around then quick shots of various people who are hiding their mouths behind clipboards then more very brief action followed by commercial breaks and......... repeat. It just feels like the game is dragging on forever!
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it supposed to be 4 fifteen minutes quarters? That means the game should last, maybe 90 minutes tops if you add in time for commercials. So why oh why, please why, does it take HOURS to play one game?
There were games on our TV yesterday. I did watch a little of it. The rules have changed since I learned them so I didn't understand as much as I used to. And the players seem to wear a lot of jewelry which surprised me. Jewelry on the field? Really? But otherwise, it felt the same as it always did. Brief action followed by nothing followed by brief action followed by a commercial. The biggest difference was no cheerleaders and empty stadiums. That was definitely strange. I wonder if it feels weird to the players too?
I know that performers love the electric charge that comes from a live audience. I cannot imagine that it would be different for athletes. But things being what they are right now, it is a safer thing to have no live attendees. Just the players and coaches and (whoever else they require on site) and the folks behind the cameras. I wonder if there was an echo?
Meanwhile, in this house anyway, on Sundays there will be football playing on the TV in the family room. And I will bring drinks and food in if requested. And I might stand there and watch a play or two. But mostly I will be elsewhere doing other things during the game and not reading about it the next day in the newspaper. And that will be perfectly fine.
And when someone asks me who I like for the superbowl this year? I think I'll say, "The what?" and thoroughly confuse them.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.