I sat on my couch Thursday night with a bunch of snacks and a beer, watching the first NFL game of the season. It felt awesome- almost like a vacation at a favorite place. The little TV theme songs I love sounded extra heroic and inspiring. The typically annoying voices of the announcers sounded like old friends I had missed. Even though the stadium was only about a quarter full (due to Covid restrictions), the fans made it sound like a full house.
My favorite team wasn’t playing and I didn’t care who won. Those things didn’t matter.
Opening night of the NFL was a reminder of pre-covid times when it was so much easier to forget the world for a few hours and just enjoy the games. It was fun!
I needed it. I think the whole country needs it too. So much of 2020 has been a stressful mess- it just felt great to do something fun that we haven’t done in a while. Things weren’t “normal” by any means. Signs of the times and the issues we face were everywhere- we can’t escape our problems without solving them. But we can focus on something else for a few hours, coming back refreshed and ready to work through life again. Football give us the chance to do that.
With all the problems we currently face as a society (pandemic, racial injustice, simmering culture war, polarized politics, climate change…), we need to build unity and cooperation more than ever. Maybe football helps us to do that by giving us a starting point for more relaxed, civil conversations with each other. Maybe those conversations lead to more substantive talks about the issues society faces, and a better understanding of one another. Or maybe we just watch and enjoy the games as a brief distraction from life.
Either way, for football fans, the season has benefits, and I’m glad it’s here.
Five O’Clock Shadow is supported by readers like you. Donations are greatly appreciated!
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Thank you very much!
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly