Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fifty Days To Football

Counting Down, Way Too Slowly
Honest. That many.

Let's face it, folks -- for the vast and growing every year majority of American sports fans, there is the NFL season (and to a lesser extent, the NCAA football season, AKA the SEC season), and then the off-season. The NBA is that thing that people who don't like to see their hated opponents violently assaulted watch, and MLB stopped being even a little bit fun when the players put their needles away and starting hitting baseballs like humans again. The World Cup was either a nice month-long party that distracted you from the fact that it was Not Football Season, or a liberal conspiracy to try to make you not like football. (No matter that liberals like football plenty, because blood sport is bloodsport, and there is no political persuasion that doesn't go for it. Witness how the hippies of Seattle with their crazy minimum wage, pot and coffee mark out for the Seahawks more than any other fan base. But I digress.)

Fifty more days of timewaste before the pads go on for real, once the methadone goes away. Fifty more days of getting fooled by training camp and fake games where the outcomes don't matter, and we re-learn just what a devil's bargain this sport is, from the soul-killing announcers to the periodic life-ruining injuries, from the awful people that win and are good at this and the awful people that lose and have become too old to keep the only job they've ever trained for, or wanted.

And sure, there are distractions between now and then. There are fantasy football rankings to write and chastise. Schedules to consider. Baseball, I suppose, especially if there are actual pennant races that help us to start caring about individual wins and losses. A few more NBA moves and some clear air turbulence scandal (the NFL is usually good for a murder or two right about now). An idiot quote or Tweet or divorce or whatever. Something to fill the mind or bloghole, when all we really want are Games.

You know, that matter.

Small wonder that this is when the World Series of Poker gets airtime. Or the annual embarrassment to humanity that is the ESPYs. I, personally, plan on spending a lot of time training an adorable but headstrong puppy into a more suitable dog companion. (I'm 45. I love dogs. I tolerate puppies, because they become dogs.) Some of us will lapse into wrestling or brain-dead movies or binge watch work from the eternally Golden Age of Television Drama.

And count the days until we get Games.

Fifty.

Too many.

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