Must be Football Season

Sunday’s back with the third week of football, which reminds me of how this season already feels unlike any other, for we may have needed our pastime more than we realize.

And football is the new pastime. Baseball has let us all down with its overpaid stars who put themselves in the horrible danger of mosquito bites or getting spit on. They’re like a bunch of hulks with legs thicker than two heads, and bellies the size of your Uncle Wilfred.

Football, you’ve returned to us no less perfect than the years past; but you arrive following a summer of doubt, not just with respect to a possible lockout, but concerning the nationwide speculation of a government shutdown and the country’s continually stalling economy.

Your return seems like a small remedy, but when men and women gather around the television on Sunday afternoons and watch their teams begin their own journeys toward Lombardi glory, if not for a mere three or four hours, they may enjoy the distraction. Though pale in true comparison, the plight for the trophy in that time magnifies in meaning, quite possibly to a level just shy of that in the actual plight individual Americans face during tough times.

I’ve missed the Campbell’s soup commercials. I’ve missed the Sunday morning panelists saying one thing one week, being proven wrong following the game, and then stating the complete opposite the next week as if the last airing never happened. I miss the commentators, who during the game never fail in stating the obvious. I miss the Madden NFL video games that I never actually play but still enjoy watching.

And I miss those commercials, the greatest of them all, where everyday people are overcome with feelings long repressed, a feeling that causes one customer at a grocery store to peg a cashier with a pineapple after hearing the unlucky attendant declare to the crowd, “I’m open”; and the screen then reads in big, bold letters of white:

Must be Football Season.

The Dolphins are now 0-3. Yet in spite of all their yearly mishaps, I find that my loyalty and enjoyment of the game itself is somehow never phased. And I wonder whether its rooted in a strange sort of solace in merely knowing that they are there. My team. Our game.

I’m glad it’s back.

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