Monday, August 28, 2017

We Have Got to Settle Down!

For the last half-hour I’ve tried to think of a way to broach a subject that, by even mentioning it, will probably prompt some of you to immediately click off to another site.

You simply won’t be able to handle the stress. You’ll immediately think, “I’ve heard all I need to hear about this in the last few weeks!” 

I certainly understand.

I’ve come at the topic a variety of ways; thinking that if I could ease into it some of you might give this a chance. I realize not everyone thinks the way I do—Thank Goodness!—but, in the United States, today, we’ve got to get to a point that we are willing to hear the other person out.

So, let’s address the issue head-on.

College football begins in earnest on Saturday…there, I’ve said it

My best friend—among others—teases me about watching decades-old games on ESPN Classic throughout the off-season. Hot outside? Hurricane coming? I’m inside watching Texas vs Arkansas from 1984 with Earl Campbell playing for Texas, and Darrell Royal coaching the Longhorns and Frank Broyles on the sideline for Arkansas. Hearing Keith Jackson and Ara Parseghian’s voices calling the game tells me that the world is as it should be.

And, I don’t have to be sitting on the couch staring at the TV. I can simply have the game on kinda low as background noise and the screen acts as artwork that I stop and gaze at every now and then as I pass through the room.

Now, here’s my point: What calms you down and tells you that you can make it; that you can get through the day, do what you have to do, and have the life you want? It might be meditation or prayer, seeing your kids off to school, listening to a certain type of music or your special song, appreciating art…you need to know what does it for you. 

You need to have something that doesn’t cost an arm-and-a-leg in money or time takes you to that special place/feeling you need to keep going when times are tough. Seriously.

College football does that for me.

This summer has been extraordinarily stressful in a variety of areas. Two things have kept me from standing on top of my house baying at the moon: ESPN Classic and the knowledge that, even if it’s a downpour this weekend, I’ll be able to walk into Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill to see the Heels.

What positive influence does that for you?

The fact that this weekend starts the college football season means that, at least until January 8, 2018 (the BCS National Championship Game), I’ll calm down, know that life is good even with the challenges, and remain convinced that Clemson fans really are just NC State fans who’ve had lobotomies.

Go Heels!