Yes. It’s that time of year.
You consider “unfollowing” and “unfriending” some of your friends due to the never-ending posts regarding names you don’t recognize: Peyton, Vick, Peterson. Your significant other cares more about the upcoming fantasy draft than your anniversary next week. Your coworkers speak in strange jargon: “over/under,” “point spread,” “I just need New York to cover on Sunday.”
It’s that time of year. Football is back. Don’t fight it, you won’t win.
Unless you pulled a Rip Van Winkle and just woke up from a 10-year nap, you’ve seen professional football become an essential fabric of this nation. It’s why people schedule their Thanksgiving dinners around the _________ vs. Cowboys game. It’s why your man is essentially useless until he “sets his roster.” It’s why the Super Bowl is the highest rated television program every year. Football is king, y sigue siendo el rey (I’m allowed one stupid reference per month, and there it is).
As a friend recently said to me, “a football game isn’t just a game, it’s an occasion.” For what other sport do we gather around and have viewing parties for regular season games? We don’t even have viewing parties for other sports’ championship games, much less their regular season games. You could argue that this past World Cup Final rivaled the Super bowl…and you’d be very wrong. About 23 million people (a U.S. record) in this country saw Spain beat Uruguay in South Africa. The 2011 Super Tazón (yes, that’s really what it’s called on Spanish-language TV) was viewed by 111 million people, so, yeah, it wasn’t even close.
Less than two months ago, it was looking like there might not even be a season. Owners and players couldn’t see eye-to-eye on things like the number of games, player benefits, and revenue sharing. Non-football fans were rejoicing, “Now we can actually do things on Sundays with our significant others.” But a deal was finalized, and the season saved.
Imagine a taco without a tortilla, or a party without some salsa, merengue, y bachata? That would be our country without football, and I think even non-football fans would have to agree. After all, how would we initiate conversations with other people if we couldn’t start with, “Hey…you see the game last night?” What would we look forward to on the dreaded first day of the week without Monday Night Football? And more seriously, what would the thousands of people dependent on the NFL for employment do to put food on the table?
Luckily we don’t have to worry about that now. Personally, I just have to worry about not neglecting my responsibilities in the name of the NFL, and how I’m going to console (I mean, make fun of) my Tíos after Los Vaqueros have another 5-11 season.
The air will soon be crisp, the leaves will change color, and, oh yeah, football is back. It’s that time of year.