October 8, 2007

On Football

I love the changing seasons, especially the change from winter to spring and from summer to fall. New smells fill the air, the sky is vivid blue and nostalgia becomes the order of the day.

Fall seems to bring about the most feelings of nostalgia for me. Although the leaves and flowers are dying, my life seems to have a feeling of renewal. Perhaps it's because for so much of my life, the beginning of fall signaled the beginning of a new school year. A chance to go back to school and see how people have changed and let them see how I've changed. A new opportunity to define myself.

Fall is also the beginning of football season. Ahhh, football, how I love thee. I could wax poetic about football all day. Although I hail from North Carolina, I'm a Green Bay Packers fan. I remember the first Super Bowl I ever watched for the game rather than the commercials. The Packers were playing and I remember watching the fans and thinking that they just seemed like fun. They had cheese on their head! They seemed like they were a friendly bunch and were enjoying the game in a childish and pure fashion. It's as though they couldn't believe they had the fortune to be able to watch grown men run up and around a field chasing after a ball. So when I was 16 and decided to learn about football, it only made sense to pull for the Packers. I also like the fact that the team is owned by the people of Green Bay, and not one person alone. It truly is a family affair for Green Bay and Wisconsin. The waiting list for season tickets is more than 30 years long. Tickets are left to family members in wills and a child's name is added to the waiting list when they're born. You want to see dedication? That's dedication.

I've tried to get into basketball and baseball, but they just don't thrill me like football. I've only seen a couple of high school football games in person, but I can watch a game on TV for hours. Yet, baseball and basketball are only fun at the game. I appreciate them, especially the history of baseball and the mystique of America's pastime, but they're just too mundane--the same thing over and over.

But football. No game is ever the same. What play are they going to use? Who will the QB throw to? Everyone gets their chance at glory and every player is absolutely essential. You aren't focusing on just one player trying to hit the ball, or watching players run up and down the court. No, a basketball court cannot contain football. They need 100 yards of pure, green grass (or turf). They need pads and helmets because they aren't satisfied just to stand in front of the other team. No, they need to tackle. They need to pummel. They need to run and block and throw their entire body in the way of the ball. Glorious, glorious football.

The Packers are 4 and 1. The Patriots, Cowboys and Colts are 5 and 0. Am I the only one who's tired of seeing the Patriots win? But it's all good. Because in football, you never know how the game will end (Michigan and Appalachian State--case in point). I'm sure I could make some profound illustration about life and football. But for now, I'll just leave it where it is. Sometimes things are just meant to be enjoyed. And football is one of those things.

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