Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And the Sports Season Begins Anew

Over the Spring I discussed the NFL and NBA lockouts as well as talking about the NHL.  This past weekend, the NCAA football season began, and my Michigan Wolverines were rained out, but took the first game.  Not unusual given the ease of the early schedule for most universities.  I don’t anticipate the Big Ten, the conference the Wolverines belong to, to perform well or go to any great bowl games, but it was nice to have that sense of normalcy.

For most sports fans here in America, minus baseball fans, Labour Day weekend is the bell tolling for the end of the sports fast.  No longer do I have to subject myself to the only televised sport around, baseball.  No longer do I have to feign interest in who has hit the most home runs or which conference did better in the All Star game to determine who will host the World Series.  No longer do I have to sit through tedious golf highlights watching myself age for every second Tiger Woods gets mentioned.  His reign of terror is over, let us all rejoice!

Don’t get me wrong, I am a season ticket holder for the Washington Nationals, (and I renewed for next year, so if you’re in the area and need tickets, they are in the lower level and I have 4 seats), and I do watch their games when they are on.  But truth be told, that is more of an investment than anything else.  I also have season tickets to the Washington Capitals and Georgetown Hoyas, but the former are solely because I love the Caps, while the latter was just a really, really good deal.  I do enjoy baseball, but nothing will ever replace football for me.

I look back to when I was a kid, and as most children, you want to spend time with your parents.  My mom and I never, and still don’t, see eye-to-eye, on pretty much anything.  But my father and I have always had similar interests.  It is he that I credit for my current addiction to the NFL.

When the lockout was announced, some of you may recall my stalwart indignation at this fallacy on both sides.  How could the owners be so greedy?  How could the players be so greedy?  Why were the fans going to be the ones holding their heads in sorrow once the season didn’t start?  Of course, as many of you said then, I was crazy and there would be a season.  As a hockey fan, part of me was rooting for the lockout just to see hockey get centre stage, but in all honesty, hockey is a niche and quite frankly, most sports fans don’t deserve to be a part of such an amazing experience.

I look back now and realise, I don’t think I would have done well this fall without football.  My uncle was kind enough to get my tickets to opening weekend, so I’ll be dragging a cousin to the Giants/Redskins game this Sunday, though let me be clear, despite liking the Nationals and Capitals; I am a New York Giants fan through-and-through. 

I was born and grew up there in New York, and learned about father-daughter bonding through football.  My fondest childhood memories are often centred around the sport.  I remember watching Phil Simms lead the Giants over the Denver Broncos.  I remember Scott Norwood’s wide right kick that granted us the Super Bowl twenty-five Lombardi trophy.  I remember Leon Lett fumbling the football on the one-yard line.  More recently, I remember having been laid off from a job and watching my ‘David’-like Giants beat the ‘Goliath’-like Patriots.  I remember my parents going to great lengths to take me to games.  I remember not missing a Giants/Redskins game in the span of six years before they moved it to the end of the season and Dad refused to sit in the freezing cold to watch our team clock the hapless Redskins.

While I realise how silly it seems, a Sunday in the Fall without football just seems wrong.  And while the players, owners and others will quibble over who gets the biggest piece of a nine billion dollar pie, I’ll remember what it means to be a kid again, to be worry free and to watch a game that continues to evolve and capture the attention of a nation.

1 comment:

  1. Hey you and Mom have Jane Austen. And I remember that evening when the Giants beat the Patriots and you called me in Denmark at 3 in the freaking morning!