Today Pete got the email below from his buddy, a die-hard college football fan. The friend's comment about the article, which was not written by him, was something like "this sums it all up for me..."
And Pete wholeheartedly agreed.
For all you soon-to-be football widows out there, it's time to face the inevitable. This week our husbands suddenly become glassy-eyed TV remote hogs who yell and whoop during televised games, thinking the players will somehow here their pleas and play better. Pete has had his poor-man's picture-in-picture set up for a week (that's two TV's downstairs: one solely for football, the other still for Barney. I think I will be in a corner somewhere rocking back and forth...).
For other teams, legitimate visions of BCS glory bubbling forth between now and Friday are erased before the leaves have fallen from the trees. Others will stumble in the midst of the yet-to-be determined "Showdown Saturday." A select few will be allowed to hold onto August's anticipation until fall's final games are played.
I love this week.
The last few days leading up to the first game of a college football season are the closest I've found as an adult to those exciting, anxious days of my youth right before Christmas.
Now, as then, hope springs eternal. Optimism is the norm.
Would I get the ThunderCats action figures? I asked Santa and he seemed pretty positive. Will my beloved Buckeyes erase the sting of the final game of last season? I read the papers and everybody says they're using the doubts as motivation. It looks good.
Then again, it always looks good this week, doesn't it? Just as those unopened packages underneath the tree on December 22nd always contained the requested gift.
This week, the season is still perfect. This week, The Big Dream is possible. This week, none of those packages contain underwear and socks. Of course, for all but two teams, that dream eventually dies. For some it was unrealistic from the get go. They never really had a shot except for this week. They were fooling themselves. (Did I really think Santa was going to bring me the cute girl from Facts of Life that one year?)
Yet still it will end. By a flat effort against an inferior opponent. A lucky bounce. A trick play. A missed call.
But not today.
Today we all sit on the right knee of the mall College Football Santa, reading off our wish list for 2007. And I'll be damned if he doesn't listen. And give "that smile" that makes you believe it's all going to come your way. Which is good enough. Because right now, this week, it doesn't get any better.
Okay, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I always say. Have fun, Pete and all your friends, and the guy who wrote this article. May the season bring your teams lots of W's, no injuries to the first-string quarterback, and, heck, maybe even a visit from Lisa Welchel.