It’s a tough time of year right now. After an exhausting season 2008 season (I know, either sitting on the couch or taking the 40-minute drive up to the Meadowlands is some tough work), I find myself ready and in tip-top shape to scream until my head blows off, turn the tough losses into moral victories, and find myself with no fingernails by the month of January.
Except it’s March. Mid-March.
March Madness? Love it. The excitement of successfully picking an underdog team can only be matched by the bewilderment I go through when I hear the starting five for the Siena Saints.
Except that adrenaline rush can only take me so far.
Last year, I had the Davidson Wildcats in the Elite Eight (am I patting myself on the back too loudly? Sorry!), and the feeling of being the prophet was enriching.
Baseball is coming right around the corner. After witnessing another collapse, it’s going to be exciting to watch this revamped Mets ballclub attempt to redeem themselves in their brand spankin’ new ballpark.
But let’s face it. Baseball is an intense sport, but in perspective, nothing in the first three, four, hell even five months matters. It comes down to that last month. Can the bullpen come through? Are the bats stepping up in the clutch?
If the answers are "no" to both questions, then you’ll most likely find yourself watching your rival’s squad blast through the playoffs and take home the championship. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like.
Even if the division is lost by a game or two, it never really comes down to that game in mid-May in which the team ace suddenly gets bombed for six runs after being given a 5-1 lead.
In football, it’s different. If my team misses the playoffs by a game, the first thing I will look back to is the early October face-off that my team was winning handily by, but failed to put the other average squad away early—thereby losing in the last few minutes.
I’ll carry that game into the off-season, knowing if we won that, we’d probably be playing in January.
This life or death sensation before each game for sixteen Sundays is what makes football the sport of the U.S.
But in reality, nothing matches the taste of football Sunday.
Nervously waking up and going downstairs to watch Sunday NFL Countdown, and refreshing the computer every so often to see if the inactives were posted yet.
A little over six weeks ago, Santonio Holmes caught the game-winning touchdown in a contest that rivaled (but didn’t match) the Super Bowl XLII upset for the ages. Since then, day-by-day, I’ve been saddened to wake up on Sundays, knowing that the only things waiting for me downstairs were an Xbox 360, some junk food, and piles of homework.
No shots of players walking into the stadium in casual attire or animated analysis from the group of analysts from ESPN, FOX, and CBS. No anticipation. No emotion.
Boy, I miss football.
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