Training camp opens… unemployed football fan rejoices

Help, someone get this large man off of me! (courtesy of espn.com)

Help, someone get this large man off of me! (courtesy of espn.com)

Are you ready for some football? Why, yes, Hank, thanks for asking. I’m actually ready for a lot of things, and football is chief among them. Here’s a quick list…

  • football (like I said)
  • a paycheck
  • this
  • the end of summer
  • a new Boards Of Canada album
  • The World
  • the end of the “Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen” nonsense

Football is on my brain these last few days, as training camps everywhere get underway. That the season is only a month away really hit me yesterday. I was sweating on the elliptical machine, like an offensive tackle waiting for the buffet line to open. (My gym has been skimping on the air conditioning lately.) Various ESPN analysts droned on about what team would sign Michael Vick. My guess is the team won’t be named after an animal… just saying. The volume was too loud to concentrate on a magazine, so I watched and didn’t care. Then they cut to the “Tom Brady watch” to show the wunderkind picking a wedgie and discuss how his technique – thumb and forefinger followed by a quick shift of balance – might affect his rehabilitated knee. I continued to watch and not care.

At home and showered, I wandered over to The Washington Post site – one of my usual procrastination destinations – to read about my beloved Redskins. During the off-season, it usually takes about three seconds to catch up. Nothing is happening. But what was earlier in the week a page of stale articles was now a fount training camp “news.” I read that the team signed its first-round draft choice, the quarterback is ready for a new season and many other stories that don’t change year-to-year. Sportswriters must just have these articles written and swap out the names and a few verbs each year. I looked at pictures of players working out, talking to coaches and signing autographs. I watched videos of reporters discussing how the team would fare this season. Everything was pretty stock, but who cares? I was experiencing football for the first time in months. A starving man will eat anything and love it.

My next stop was Chris Cooley’s blog, where he talked about the first day of camp. Cooley is the Redskins tight-end who blogs about his life as a professional athlete. He offers access into his world that few celebrities are willing to. The tone is very average Joe rather than “Cribs,” this is my Bentley, this is my king-size water bed where the magic happens. It’s obvious this guy has money. It’s also obvious he’s an interesting character with a sense of humor and a good heart. Fans – this one included – eat it up. Wifey probably thinks I have a man-crush, given how often I bring him up in casual conversation. She listens and nods, because marriage means she has to. But she really couldn’t care less. An hour later, after taking in all the football info I could process for the time being, my workday started. Ah, football, welcome back. How I’ve missed you so.

The Redskins actually began training camp a couple days ago. Very large men convened on Redskins Park in Northern Virginia to toss around a ball and beat each other senseless twice a day for the next six weeks. Between practices, they’ll spout cliches to the media about giving 110% and taking it to the next level. Fans clad in burgundy and gold will cheer their every move. Today, I joined them, in spirit anyway. The opening of training camps brings a deluge of football news. Up-to-the-minute team-related news is available online whenever I want. I can even follow the team’s practices via Twitter, which seems completely and totally useless.

The distraction from my routine is welcome, invited even. Football is the perfect break from the daily grind. Pretty soon I’ll be drafting for my fantasy team, following injury reports and watching games in bars filled with screaming idiots. Wifey will have to endure my stories of player exploits on and off the field. Few things make me forget unemployment. Few things take me out of one reality and put me in another. Football is one of them. So I am definitely ready for some football.

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  1. […] Original post by Training camp opens… unemployed football fan rejoices […]

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