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When did sports get so confusing? When did lacing up and throwing on your uniform turn into a chore? When did being a professional athlete become a burden? When did playing a sport at the professional level become not enough?
Could one envision Sundays in the fall and winter without football? Such a thing could never occur and if it ever unfortunately did, hell would have frozen over and pigs would probably be flying. There is nothing that defines this country more than football on Sunday. It doesn’t matter whether you are at the stadium or behind a television. It is the touchdowns, the defensive goal line stands, and the kick-off returns that keeps the blood flowing and establishes the title of a faithful fan.
But as a faithful fan, there was only one thing you could do late this past summer; hold your breath.
Pennant races in baseball began to heat up in mid July and early August. The struggling economy continued to leave its lasting mark on everyone as gas prices continued to rise while more and more people were thrown onto the unemployment line. But it was the summer. Why worry about anything, right? Wrong.
Let’s go to the beach and forget about our worries. Let’s go on vacation and escape reality. It could always be worse, right? Wrong.
Well at least football season is around the corner. That means fantasy drafts, season tickets, and Sundays filled with excitement. At least football is starting soon.
Wait, no it’s not.
This year’s fantasy draft is going to be awesome. Aaron Rodgers is going to light up the scoreboard again. Adrian Peterson is going to run all over everybody.
Wait, no they’re not.
The Jets will finally win a Super Bowl and Rex Ryan will back up all the talk and hype.
Wait, no they’re not. No he’s not.
There might not be a football season? That can’t be. Impossible. That’s never going to happen. We need football. Football needs us. What are we all supposed to do on Sundays? We don’t want to find another hobby to occupy the time that should be spent watching our favorite teams.
Come on players, come on players’ union, and come on coaches, owners, and general managers. Wake up already. This isn’t rocket science here. This isn’t brain surgery. How are you going to strip all of us of this privilege? How are you going to strip us all of come-from-behind wins, fantasy trades, and Monday Night Football? Say it isn’t so. Make a decision already and come to an agreement.
Think about us for a second. Will we ever forgive any single one of you for giving us a year without football? You might as well go ahead and take away Christmas while you’re at it. Make our puppies go missing. Take away anything important to us because that is how it would feel to wake up on Sunday, turn on CBS and FOX and see talk shows instead of pre-game specials. Replace games at one, four, and eight o’clock with movies and see how tears are shed and listen to how many hearts break.
What would we do on Sundays? Start a stamp collection? Take an interest in puzzles? I couldn’t tell you because I have no idea.
Wait, they’re establishing an agreement? I don’t have to think of new ways to spend my Sundays? Don’t toy with my emotions just to strip me of my hope once again. So, you’re serious? Football will be played? We’re going to have a season? We can keep Christmas too? It’s time to start researching for my fantasy team. Let’s see if I can find any cheap tickets on StubHub. Time to get the grill ready and set up the tailgate. Where’s my Revis jersey?
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Not really. Every NFL fan can attest to this. Every NFL fan will tell you specifically the way they were feeling this past summer.
With the New York Jets going into a bye week and the New York Giants coming off of one, both beating good teams in impressive fashion, you can’t help but wonder and let the nostalgia kick in. The Jets are 4-0 at home and even though they can’t win on the road things are finally looking somewhat optimistic for the team. After dropping a tough one to the Seahawks, the Giants bounced back big and beat the resurgent Bills.
Neither team has done anything yet but the G-Men are in first place and Gang Green is on a TWO game winning streak. That’s right. They stopped stinking, for now at least. That’s always an upside.
Should we stop to think about life without football again? Probably not. No one needs that heartache and agony again. If there is one thing we should think about it is that football is being played.