No, tomorrow night is the official start of the NFL season. For those in other parts of the world, it’s professional American football. For serious football fans, it coincides with college football, high school football, even Little League football. These are our modern day gladiators doing battle in giant arenas before thousands of screaming fans.
I’ll confess: I watch it on television. Expanding a three-hour game with drive time and a possible tailgate party in the parking lot (although it looks like a ton of fun), is not my idea of a good time. Remember, we’re still living in tropical heat and humidity here at the beach for another month or two.
But Football Sunday is an event in my family. We’re scattered in different parts of the country, but I know if I call a sibling on a Sunday afternoon, I can get the lo-down on whatever game is being covered in their region. Here at the beach, my oldest brother and I have a standing date to meet at one of the local pubs that has multiple television screens. At 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, at least 6 teams kick-off their games. There’s a whole gang of locals—admittedly, I’m one of the few women seated at the bar—and we see each other each week to discuss the match-ups, the scores, the injuries, the glorious plays, the painful mistakes.
To me, football represents the beginning of fall traditions. Gathering with friends to watch football, raking leaves (something I actually miss at the beach), becoming aware of the days growing shorter, the nights cooler. There’s Halloween and Thanksgiving and, yes, Christmas on the horizon. It’s a time of switching out linens, unpacking winter clothes on the shelf of my closet. It’s a time when I start to crave apples and nuts and rosemary-seasoned meat. It’s a time when retirees wear college-logo sweatshirts to cheer on their alma mater. It’s the end of beach season, but a time to celebrate camaraderie with our neighbors.
So whether you cheer for the Vikings, the Saints, the Patriots, the Dolphins, the Raiders, the Broncos, the Bears, the Cowboys, the Bills, the Jets, the Steelers, the Chargers, the Bills, the Rams, the Browns, the Titans, the Seahawks, the Ravens, the Packers, the Giants, the Texans, the Falcons, the Buccaneers, the Eagles, the Redskins, the Cardinals, the Chiefs, the 49ers, or the Jaguars, Panthers, Lions or Bengals (I *think* I named them all!), I wish you a terrific football season. Here’s to Saturdays with your favorite college teams, and Sundays with your favorite pro teams. Whether you’re in a stadium or your living room, while you cheer (and yell) at your team, take a moment to savor the tradition of the sport. And if you find yourself watching the game alone, you can usually find me Sunday afternoons on Twitter: #NFL @amyatwell
Do you have a favorite fall tradition you’re gearing up for? Favorite team you’ll be cheering on? Favorite fall recipe you’d like to share?
All photos from the Microsoft Office site: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/