In the fall, if you live in Alabama or most any other southern state, weekends are dedicated to football.
Friday night there is high school football, Saturday afternoons and nights, it's college. There are displays of team colors in grocery stores, local department stores, and even McDonalds. Face Book becomes a battle ground for fans, showing their loyalty for their favorite team. I figure there must be more prayers prayed on Friday night and Saturdays in the south in the fall than any other place on earth.......because each team believes God is on their side and the fans believe it too.
I am not sure what or when I changed about football.......at one time, I yelled like everyone else. But, I found I didn't like myself much when I watched a game......I didn't like the emotions or thoughts that were in me.......I didn't like the anger, or angst that I felt......so I had to step away. It's not that I am trying to pass judgement on anyone who loves their sport, who is a fan.......it's just that I began to understand what the Romans must have felt when they cheered on their favorite gladiator.
I know that there are millions who would disagree with me......who would talk about the scholarships, the spirit of camaraderie, the physical fitness, the confidence, the drive and ambition that sports gives to athletes......the joy it gives to their fans. I understand and am much aware of that. I am also aware that very few athletes make it to the professional ream, and even when they do.....even fewer have longevity and success.
I went to a high school reunion many years ago......I sat and talked with one of the guys I graduated with, who had been a local football hero.....he lamented to me that night, that those times were the best of his life. I thought that was one of the saddest things I had ever heard.....to think that someone truly felt that life as a high school football player was his peak in life.
It is a long season here, and there are always hearts broken, and dreams shattered.......and of course, there are victories and tears of joy. And I suppose, somewhere twenty years down the road, some one else will grieve because their time in the spotlight, on a Friday night or a Saturday afternoon will be the highlight of their life.