It’s September, and pro football’s pre-season games are a fading memory. Now, it’s time for the main event—the NFL’s regular season—to begin. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for pro football. With age, comes inactivity, and I’m no different than any other senior citizen (okay, some might argue otherwise). That means there are 126 hours of free time per week to fill (that’s the 168 hours in a week, less the six, “wasted” hours per day spent sleeping). Lucky for us seniors, however, we can fill most of them by watching up to 16 games per week (not including re-broadcasts) on our flatscreen TVs.
“But, wait,” you say, “what about baseball? They haven’t even played the World Series yet. To which I reply, “Baseball? Baseball?! We don’t need no stinkin’ baseball!” I gave up watching that most boring of sports a long time ago, somewhere around the advent of the so-called “wildcard” addition to the playoffs. Granted, I sneak a peek at a playoff game every once in a while (mostly when the New York Mets are fortunate enough to be included), but I can’t tell you the last time I sat through a regular season contest. So that leaves us with football.
Unlike nearly all of my friends, I am not drawn to the college version of the sport. It’s give me the NFL, or give me a good movie (even if I’ve seen it eight times already). I’m a Carolina Panthers fan, but it hasn’t always been so. My earliest love affair with professional football began with the New York Giants: Charlie Connerly and YA Tittle, on up until the Jets and Joe Namath captured my attention—and my heart. I bled Jets green until 1999, when I moved to western North Carolina. Even then, it wasn’t until Cam Newton came on the scene that I truly switched allegiances. (Imagine how conflicted I was when my sons treated me to a Jets-Panthers game, two years ago at Charlotte.) I pretty much rooted for whichever team had the ball. It was a classic, win-win situation.
And what about those Cowboys? Well, always a fan of the underdog (which the Cowboys have undoubtedly become), I actually find myself rooting for Tony Romo and company, unless they’re playing “my Panthers.” Then, it’s “Go Cam!” or “Luuuuuuuuke!” (the chant reserved for Luke Kuechly, the “all world” linebacker for the “Cats”).
Ah, yes, life is good for this 71-year-old senior. Now where did I put my remote?