31 Going on 85

First off, an apology: I’m a little late with this Friday’s post. I gave a “Football 101” presentation to a group of international students last night, and that didn’t leave much time for blogging.

Second, I realize that this post won’t be read by that many people since it’s going up around 5:00 on a Friday. However, if this were to deter me, I wouldn’t post at any other times, either, as I’m not exactly pulling onlinebootycall.com numbers here.

Sidenote: By far my favorite exchange I’ve had on Twitter to date involved the “You Know Who’s Awesome?” I wrote about this website; it went:

You know who’s awesome? Onlinebootycall.com. Go ahead and check Maury telling you “You ARE the father” off your bucket list.

Not bad, if I do say so myself. And clearly, I do. But their response was even better:

@KnowWhosAwesome Not if you use our brand of condoms!

Anyway, that I spent last night spreading the gospel of college football to a group of people who had never encountered the game before seems ironic given what I wanted to write about today:

How I’m not sure if I have it in me to sit through bad weather at football games anymore.

You see, I work at my alma mater, a school I chose (as I told the students I spoke to last night) based in no small part on growing up a fan of the football team. Now, one of the perks of my employment is that I get to buy season tickets at a discounted rate, something I’ve done every year since I started working there back in 2004.

Ahh, 2004. A time when I still envisioned myself being that 85-year-old guy in the stands who gets interviewed because he hasn’t missed a home game in the last 67 years.

But now I find myself looking at forecasts and actually considering what 20- and even 25-year-old me would have considered sacrilege: skipping out on my tickets because there might be thunderstorms.

Where is the fervor of my youth, that diehard spirit that once compelled me to drive hours and hours to Boston and Lincoln and Knoxville just to cheer my team on to victory, even though back in those days they rarely complied?

It’s not like I don’t care anymore; far from it. A bad game will still ruin my whole night.

Not sure why I’m proud of that.

I think it’s just that I’ve discovered a siren song even more seductive than that buoyed by first downs and fake punts, by freshly cut grass and the pageantry of the marching band:

The sound of silence.

The kind of silence that can only come from not having to listen to the idiot behind you incorrectly explain penalties to his friend for four quarters.

The kind of silence where you don’t have to hear someone debate their choices on a menu that consists of hot dogs, brats, pretzels, and pop just to get something to eat.

And the kind of silence where you don’t have to bear witness to 100 other dudes going to the bathroom in order to take a pee.

Add inclement weather to this mix, and the benefits of showing up in person seem a little scarce.

True, I’ll most likely be in the stands tomorrow, but a part of my heart will be staying at home on the couch, where I can always see what just happened, where the only smells are my own, and where the TV timeout shudders before my DVR.

I suppose getting curmudgeonly has its perks after all.

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One comment

  1. NDDLKevin

    If you sat through the Michigan game a couple years ago during a pair of colliding tropical storms…in Indiana!…then you can make it through the "threat" of a shower on Saturday. Starting my 15th year of consecutive home games, tomorrow is 90 in a row for me.

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