|Kinnick Stadium, home field of my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes, photo by J. Berta|
It's August. While the days are clearly getting shorter, it is still quite warm and summer will be with us for several weeks. School has is not starting for several weeks (thanks Gov B) and fall might as well be a million miles away.
Yet, it is not. At least as far as a particular American past-time is concerned, football. Ah football, how I love it so.
Full disclosure, I never played football, organized at least. My parents refused to let me play tackle football growing up. While I seethed at that decision, it was likely for the best. I mention this because I am clearly a spectator. I'm not alone.
Football is probably the most popular sport in the world, save soccer. (Pause for those "across the pond" who will say/yell "Hey Mate, it was football here long before you bloody treasonous colonists started picking up the ball and running with it! Only the goalie can touch the ball, you wanker Yanks!")
Well, God save the Queen. Oh, and by the way, We won the revolution, so we're going to call it football!
Deep breath. I feel better.
So back to the subject at hand, football. As I write this, I suspect there is some coach studying film. There is some high school kid who is signing off his Facebook account to go to sleep to get up early and run with other players. There is a Soldier in Afghanistan who is logging onto her college website to see who is the starting QB. My point is that the so-called "lazy days of summer" are anything for those involved with preparing for the upcoming football season.
For those of us who are fans, this is all about anticipation. Anticipation of the new season. Hopefully of victory, of all victories, of a trip to the national championship game and the inevitable hoisting of the championship trophy high as it is baptized in the blazing lights of flashing cameras.
Of course, for all but one, that will NOT come to pass. There will be loss. There will be heartbreak. There will be bad calls, dropped passes, missed blocks and improbably field goals made.
In the meantime, here's to the teams, ALL of the teams. Here's to the teams who won't win a game, and yet will play hard every down, all 60 minutes. Here's to the SEC upset that will be the talk of the town decades from now. Here's to the Div III team that goes undefeated that no one knows about outside of that area code. Yes, in the meantime, here's to everyone who straps on pads and snaps chinstrap.
Revel in the moment, you warriors of the gridiron. And celebrate this moment. This moment, when you all, all...are undefeated.
Be well my friends,