September or What it was was Football

Rick Alexander

Does anyone know why the new year starts January 1st? It seems to me to be an arbitrary choice. September has always felt more like a  new beginning than January. That probably stems from 13+ years of the start of school being around that time. September was truly “New Years” for me. New clothes. New teachers. New friends. New resolutions. Yes, this is the year I will work hard at my studies!  Seriously!

 

September also means football. Those of you who know me are quite aware I’m not into sports. My dad and both my brothers are, but somehow the bug didn’t bite me. Football, however, is different. Football is much easier to get wrapped up in than other sports. It’s not an endless season that tends to get boring well before the playoffs arrive. You only need to pay attention to less than twenty games to become engulfed.

 

I like football on all levels: high school, college and NFL. Each has its day: Friday Night lights for High School and all day and night Saturday for NCAA football. If you don’t believe me, click around your TV remote randomly on any Saturday between September and November. And of course Sunday means the NFL.

 

I have a warm spot for all three. I love sitting in the home team bleachers on a  cool Fun-lovin’ Friday night. It brings back memories of playing drums in my high school marching band. And two of my favorite memories involve Football. On November 7, 2010, Jonathan, Artie Shultz and I were present at Beaver Stadium for what turned out to be Joe Paterno’s 400th win and his last glory moment before the Sandusky s**t hit the fan. We would have missed the victory altogether if not for Jonathan. Penn State was behind and it appeared that the game was over. Artie and I were ready to leave to beat the restaurant crowd, but Jonathan wanted to stay.

 

The only NFL game I’ve ever attended was The Browns vs. The Steelers on December 29, 2013. The game was Jonathan’s “big” Christmas gift that year. It was entertaining to watch Lisa try to buy tickets on Stub Hub. Every time the Steelers would win a game, the ticket prices would rise, frustrating the pee out of Lisa. It rained and rained all day at Heinz Field, but I still have a very fond memory of that day. Lisa earned her mom stripes on that day.

 

It pains me to see sports, particularly the NFL get politicized. Sports used to be so inclusive of everybody; black, white, rick, poor, man or woman. Even a clueless guy like me could hop on the bandwagon.

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