Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Long Offseason...

Seeing Baylen and Drew celebrating their big win put a smile on my face and delayed the offseason blues for a few days.

It’s Wednesday, and it’s finally hit me. Football season is over. It took a little while to sink in, because I had to wipe the smile off of my face that was derived from watching the underdog Saints rise up to claim their very first Super Bowl Championship. I was rooting for New Orleans for many reasons. First of all, after all the crap the state of Louisiana has been through in the past five years, it’s nice for them to have something to smile about. No, winning a football game is not going to increase your area’s industry and job rates, it isn’t going to put food on the table, build houses or encourage infrastructure development, but if you’ve never had one of your teams win a championship, you know that it does make the rest of the crap you have to deal with a little bit less annoying, so I was glad for them.

Secondly, Drew Brees is just so darn likable. Not only did he play a tremendous football game and totally deserve the Super Bowl MVP, but if you didn’t at the very least get a smile on your face when you saw Drew walking around a confetti littered field holding his little boy with a look of glee on his face, you have a heart of stone. That Baylen Brees is adorable.

Thirdly, I have to cheer for a Super Bowl team (as long as they aren’t playing against the Broncos) that decides to go for it on Fourth and Goal from the 1 AND decides to open the second half with a surprise onside kick. I am required to root for them. It’s a rule. If a team gets all gutsy in big situations, they have won my admiration. Even in situations (such as the 4th and Goal from the 1) when it doesn’t work out as planned, I still dig testicular fortitude. Fortune favors the bold, and New Orleans was BOLD. So I offer congratulations to the feel-good Saints, a fun and unpredictable team that surprised the sporting world by actually beating against Peyton Manning. (A guy who pregame pundits were declaring practically invincible.) I also thought that the Colts would prevail, but I guess I should have listened to my 2 year old son who predicted that the Saints would win big. He’s very good, that Luke Dodge.

As the smile of watching Drew Brees celebrates subsides, however, I have come to the stark realization that we are now eight months away from meaningful football. Now, it’s not as if there are not other sporting options out there, but the end of the football season is a tough time for me. I enjoy hockey, baseball and puck, and the Olympics and World Cup are both right around the corner, so there is hope for the wayward sports fan, but when the football stops, it’s always a melancholy moment.

So as I wallow in the post-Super Bowl blues for a few weeks, I must remember the positives of this time of year. Sunday afternoons with the kiddos at the zoo or the park now require zero sacrifice of football, Monday Nights I can just leave the television off, and I won’t have to hear JB talk about himself and “his guys” for months, which is a big plus. Still, I’m slightly glum, and while this too shall pass, remember sports fans…you’re not alone. Guys and gals all across the land are slightly blue because there will be no football for awhile. I’m here to say that there is no shame in feeling a little verklempt now that football has ended. We’ll get through this together. I’m not sure if there are football support groups, but there should be. “Football Anonymous” meetings sprouting up across the fruited plain with guys like me standing up and painfully acknowledging, “Hi, my name is Craig and I’m a Footballaholic.” Followed by the group proudly and happily greeting me with a, “Hi, Craig!”

Ah well, the sun shall rise again, the calendar will turn to September, and NFL football will ring out again. For now, let’s try to get through this together. There are only 211 days until September 9th (The Day that Football comes back!)

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