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Seems like since the mask mandates in Virginia were dropped a week and a half ago, I’m finding more and more experiences closer to the normal ones I enjoyed every day before words like pandemic and COVID became mainstays of everyone’s vocabulary.
One simple pleasure always occurred around Memorial Day. While I follow all sports, I’m first and foremost a football guy. I played it as a kid, I understand it, and I look forward to football season every year. Doesn’t mean I don’t care about the Nationals, Capitals, basketball or racing, but if I can only watch one sport, football is going to be the pick.
My wife has even asked many times over our 40-year marriage how many days there were until football season, because she knows the odds of me going anywhere on a Saturday or Sunday is pretty close to zero. I’m going to be parked back in my office, where I have a setup of more television screens than any sane man would have, and I watch every game I can. Since there are snacks, Maggie the WonderBeagle joins me, usually sleeping on my lap.
So every Memorial Day, to be prepared for such a question, I pull out a spreadsheet that is designed to provide an answer. It has three columns, and you can see it in the upper right part of this post. It tracks six events that are important to me: The first NFL exhibition game (the Hall Of Fame Game), the first NFL regular-season game, the first college football game, the first Virginia Tech game and the first WFT exhibition and regular-season games.
As I am also a bit of a computer nerd, the spreadsheet tells you today’s day, the date of those six events, and then calculates how many days until those games. It automatically updates every day you open it.
Today, for example, is an even 100 days from when the Hokies play their first game on a Friday night against North Carolina on ESPN. Bland as it will be, the NFL Hall Of Fame Game will display NFL football on television in only 71 days. The Washington Football Team has the longest wait, playing its first regular-season game in 109 days.
Last year I didn’t bother to do one because there was no guarantee any of the games would get played, and if they were, you knew no fans would probably be allowed. The probability of games being postponed, cancelled or rescheduled made it into just about every story about every sport, so you pretty much developed a mindset of waiting until that day, and if the event was on television, then you’d get excited about it.
This year, it looks like a full schedule and full houses. It’s now OK to look forward to football this fall.
I am. I may even need to add a few more televisions to my office.
I’m not missing anything THIS year….
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A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.
The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.
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