Football Can't Come Soon Enough


One step into the local high school weight room said it all. There, the head coach, defensive coordinator and an assistant broke down film. They talked scheme, depth chart and schedule, with deep analysis.

An almost complete offseason gave plenty of time for thought. In days, tryouts and practice will start in the heat. In weeks, the season will kick off. The gridiron glory will begin and end in a matter of months. It’s almost here, and it can’t come soon enough.

Football fans spend March through August the same way. Once the Super Bowl ends, next season is in sight. Never close enough to the first snap. Always too far from the inaugural points. Basketball, baseball and hockey help pass time. Those sports are able to fill the gap but never the void.

We are to football as Walter White is to power — addicted all the way. There’s no substitute for our desires, only time-wasters. To flip through channels in search of sports resembles the hunt for lost socks. Sometimes, a good game is found. Still, it’s hard to feel too enthused about a pair of socks.

The grasp America’s sport has on its consumers tightens each year. It’s the golden age of football. Once the season begins, it doesn’t slow down on its way to the finish. Each NFL team owns hope until week nine at the earliest. College football maneuvers through elimination of contenders. Week by week, the top teams fall, with our attention captured until Alabama wins another title.

Fantasy football adds to our addiction. Not only does every game count, every snap does too. We invest money, time and effort into the game. A braggart will get his comeuppance eventually. The team in the cellar will ruin the standings at least once a year.

Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback site launched last week. The site — dedicated to in-depth features rather than news — will hit home run after home run this season. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but that plays second fiddle. What’s important is the reload of content about our addiction. There’s never enough information, depth or analysis.

For a sportswriter, the season brings new thirst. This column will be significantly better when football provides hundreds upon hundreds of story lines. Biding time is necessary, yet unfulfilling. An apology could be in order, but the readers probably understand. Withdrawal hits home with users.


The first Saturday of college football ranks among the best days of the year. We scroll with jaws dropped at the number of games on television. Exercise, socialization, yard work and other obligations be damned, the drug is on. From noon until the night’s wee hours, we can watch and learn. Then, Sundays will provide another fix.

Monday night is must-see TV, of course. Wednesday gives some low-grade college viewing. The fix is sorely needed after nearly 48 hours clean. It’s essential to see Eastern Michigan play Ohio. Thursday brings us back to a semi-decent college match-up and the pros.

Friday is Friday so no one is too worried there. Saturday comes and we live again. By my count — I was never the mathematician my fellow philosopher Plato was — that’s five or six days each week with football. Although it seems like plenty now, it seems like too little in autumn.

That’s because there’s never enough football. Without it, we scratch and claw our way into fearless prognostications while fearing the season won’t start. It’s become a part of many sports fans’ DNA, the very double helix necessary to live.

Three nights ago, ESPNU ran the top college football games of last year. On first glance, the viewing seemed enough to get to the next time slot when a favorite program began. Eventually, the "last channel" button on the remote got utilized in ways never seen before. All for anti-climactic viewing.

As if that button were supplying morphine, it relaxed and soothed the hungry fan inside. First down, take a deep breath. What a sack, relax your muscles. The kick is good, feel the pain leave.

It’s worth noting that the button misses football as much as we do. After all, its workout will allow it to stay in better shape than its cohorts — channel up, channel down and the guide-scrollers. Give it a few more weeks, and the fix will be back. The "go back" button will be too.

That first hit — the one that always deceivingly looks grizzly before the running back jumps up quickly — will be enough to get us high. Thankfully, it’s almost here.

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