Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How Does Football Change Your Life?

The Ides of August passed last week, signifying that football is around the corner and summer is entering its twilight. I happen to love September and it can be really warm, but for the sake of this discussion let’s consider it dead in its tracks after Labor Day. But what eases the pain of summer’s slow death? For me, and most of America, it’s ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!! 

Whether pro or college is your game, football is the pizza of American pro sports. Some people love fancy toppings and eat it all the time, while others will just dabble with cheese pizza in a big group setting. It’s universally loved, yet different all across the country, and even when it’s bad...it’s still pretty good. 

How will life change and/or improve once the pigskin starts flying again? Let me count the ways

Doing Nothing on Sundays is Back

I was going to plainly say “Sundays are back”, but summer Sundays are actually pretty awesome. But on a summer Sunday, you feel obligated to be outside*. Once football is back, though, you have to be planted nicely on a couch or barstool somewhere by 1pm. There weren't any TVs with red zone on the beach or along my running route last time I checked. As nice as capitalizing on the warm weather was, doing nothing is Sunday as God intended it.

*this is strictly a 9-6 cube monkey perspective. I have no idea how the proprietor of this blog or his teaching brethren treat summer Sundays.

Bars are Different

Going along with the outdoor guilt principle, bars in the summer are judged by their outdoor space, be it a deck, patio, or roof. The return of football signifies a shift in the way we treat bars. Amount of TV’s and set up of TV’s becomes paramount, as does table layout. Not to be forgotten is how crowded it gets for football. Everyone has their own definition of the perfect amount of people in a bar. The trick is finding that sweet spot.

The L Street Tavern of Good Will Hunting fame has become a mainstay in FranT’s Boston trips, partly because it’s never too crowded on a Saturday afternoon, the bartenders are cool, and the people that are in there have an endearing skell quality about them. Football Sundays there are great for the same reason. It’s never too crowded, and the people in there have money on the line are really into the games. It makes it easy to go alone strike up a conversation about the game with strangers and have a great time.

source: flickr.com

Speaking of Boston, if you’re a transplant like me, you also have to pay attention to how many tv’s are dedicated to the hometown game if it’s at 1pm. I’m fine with the majority going to that, but it can’t be 100%.

Mondays and Thursdays are better

My cousin’s ex-boyfriend had a classic quote on the football watching routine. He was a huge football fan ( and a pretty big sports gambler, I would later learn), and upon my cousin’s complaint that she was forced to watch it every day, he said “It’s not everyday. It’s just Saturday Sunday Monday and Thursday”. What made it so funny is he was dead serious, as if to say “hey I’m giving you Big East football Friday nights, cut me some slack!”. But that’s how it goes, and once football is back Mondays and Thursdays all of a sudden have a little more kick to them.

I used to think these commercials were sooo stupid...until they started to loosely resemble my Mondays in the Fall.

Work Distraction is Better

Speaking of work, football brings back MUCH better work distractions. Trust me on this one, it’s kinda my thing. Fantasy does the trick for me, but really your choices are numerous with fantasy, checking out the betting lines, injury reports, match-up previews, or local newspaper stories. If you’re like me, by Thursday you’re already lining up in your head the Saturday college slate with the loose plan of the day/night and guessing how much you’ll be able to watch. Alright I've said too much.

ESPN is Better

This is a matter of preference, but ESPN and other major sports outlets just seem better in the Fall and Winter. It might have to do with the “homer” nature of baseball, where you love your team but aren't interested in the league at large. The NFL, on the other hand, seems to have interest on a league level and thus I don’t mind watching segments or highlights on the NFC West. But again, personal preference.

The NBA is on Deck

What? Did someone say personal preference? To me, an underrated benefit of the return of football is that the NBA is right around the corner, and by mid-November the sports plate will be full again, my girlfriend will want to kill me, and the weather will have turned rather chilly without a single complaint from me.

Easing into Fall ain't easy, but football makes the transition do-able. But that’s for future Brian to deal with. Present Brian is concerned with enjoying what remains of summer. Ya gotta cherish it!!

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