I enjoy football, especially that of my ‘Horns, and secondly, the Wolverines, but I’d hardly call myself a fanatic. What I’ve noticed this year is that many people, including me, have been more excited about the advent of football season which finally arrived this weekend (for the college folks—I think the pros started several weeks ago—see what I mean?)
For me, in record-breaking hot, drought-stricken Texas, the beginning of college football means that it is time for the temperature to begin to consider maybe thinking about starting to cool off.
But it seems to me that for most people, the increased passion for football is because of the escape it offers from the stress of things (particularly the economy) right now. Football is about rivalries, tradition, records, stats, fellowship, food, drink, entertainment.
It is a constant—you know what to expect from it. There will be losers, winners, amazing plays, controversial calls, the Gatorade douse and so on. If you can’t be at the game, you can watch it. If you can’t watch it, you can listen to it.
For 3-4 hours at a time, or a weekend for the real fans, you can forget the job hunt, the bills, the tight budgets at work, the politicians. You can spend as much or as little as you want, and still have a great time.
Yes, there are plenty of controversies with football, too, particularly in the Big 12 right now, but even that is part of the fun. You can be as passionate as you want, take ownership of the highs and lows, yet if the lows predominate, it doesn’t usually impact daily life, and the euphoria of the highs can last for days.
Though there are ‘better’ ways to escape, there are many worse ones. I am thankful that we have opportunities to take our minds off of real problems for a while, and to do so with others in camaraderie.
Oh, and Hook ‘em Horns!