Sunday, September 16

Summer Fading

The seasons are beginning to change. Today at the river it was chilly enough that several people donned sweatshirts and windbreakers. Tonight's corn on the cob was typical end-of-summer, a little tough and not as tasty. Only a few weeks ago the corn was tender and sweet. As much as I enjoy the end of sweltering hot days - I'm not sure that I'm ready for the dark days of winter.

Fortunately God created Fall in Virginia. It is a time of wonderful experiences. As the humidity fades, the crisp air is so clear that you feel like you can see for miles. As the days shorten, the trees begin to put on their annual show of color. And as the weeks march on - football begins.

For about 15 years I have watched football on two levels - the game at hand, and fantasy football. Because I draft the best players available to me at the time...I pay very little attention to what team they are on. I have even been known to draft players from teams like the Dallas Cowboys! I try to be certain that I have at least one player on my team from the Denver Broncos - and since my best friend is a fan, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With this willy-nilly drafting plan, I sometimes find myself watching a game and cheering for players on both teams. I need my fantasy football team's quarterback to score big - against my fantasy defense? I know that my co-commissioner of league examines every angle and probably has the NFL schedule memorized by July. I just find myself amused by the little conundrums that I create for myself.

I just finished watching a game where I was in the unique position of not having anyone on the field playing for The Hamster Beaters. Although it was refreshing - I was in the tragic position of watching the Washington Redskins give away a game to the St. Louis Rams. Nobody can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like the Redskins. In the last quarter they squandered so many opportunities I lost count. It almost seemed anticlimactic when the Redskin player got a 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after he threw the ball at his tackler in a temper tantrum. Nice. Even his coach just stared at him in disbelief.

I think that I'll go back to "watching" the games between teams in our fantasy football league. Currently, my father's Hogtown River Rats are squashing my sister's Lucky Charms 78-35. Mom and Denise's Perula Boyz are leading Steve Smallshaw's Tank Engines (insert joke about overcompensation here) 47-41...but they are going to have to hope that his 3 players left to play are struck by the flu. Co-commissioner Melva's Froot Loops have a 52-20 lead over the Magical Musickals which is likely to hold out because Andrew's best performer was left on the bench and he has two receivers and a kicker to get him 33 points. That would be magick!

My nephew Jack's team The Gents is hoping for great performance from his kicker in order to come from behind to defeat his great uncle Frank's Maltese Falcons. The Falcons are leading 42-36 and still have the Detroit defense to help add to their lead. On the other hand - the Campbell Crew are hoping that the Detroit defense rolls over and dies because they need the SF defense and their kicker to maintain their 49-26 lead over the team oddly named - That Other Team (which we promptly started referring to as the TOTs). The Tots still have a great chance because their QB Matt Ryan and two of their receivers have yet to play. Oddly, his two receivers are on opposing teams this week - SF and Drew is going to have to cheer for both teams.

Which brings me to my virtual game vs. my baby sister's team Double Trouble. Currently I am in the lead 45-34. But her quarterback is yet to play - and my two remaining players are not likely to be strong scorers. I already lost my first game to Dad's River Rats...I'm not sure I can stomach being 0-2. Perhaps a couple of those high scores that are sitting on my bench could magically change from reserve to active? Hmmmm....

Football is one of the things I have to look forward to now that summer is fading...and in two weeks I'll be at the beach!!

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