The fat lady began singing last night

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The holidays are always an emotional time of year.  This year was no exception for me.  But something else happens every year, always between Christmas and New Years, that leaves me heavy-hearted and very melancholy.  Last night, the regular season of the NFL ceased to exist for 2014 – time of death 11:32 pm.

fat lady

I am a self-professed NFL junkie and I have been since I was a kid.  For seventeen glorious weeks, I am content to sit on my couch for 10 hours on Sunday and watch the pigskin travel across the gridiron.   That is my happy place.

About ten years ago, I took charge of an existing football pool and grew it from approximately fifteen participants to the seventy-one we had this year.  With a fairly substantial buy-in, this pool has been a great success over the years and has given me the much-loved moniker “The Commish”.   Running the football pool has not only been a great challenge to perfect the spreadsheets but it has introduced me to many new friends.

There is an overwhelming sadness in me today.  Although the playoffs begin this weekend, I will miss the sixteen game roster every Thursday to Monday.  Knowing the culmination of the entire season will arrive in five short weeks makes me want to stop time and rewind it back to the beginning of September….or change lyrics to songs from old musicals…..

Raindrops on grass fields and whiskers on backers,

Cheering the Chargers or watching the Packers,

Receivers that run like their feet sprouted wings,

these are a few of my favorite things.

~~

*Sigh – they should make a pill for this!

The Commish is back in the house

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I am a Canadian who admittedly can’t watch the CFL although I am a football fanatic.  The culmination of my love of football was derived from years of watching the NFL.  My parents were Hamilton Ti-Cat fans, but I was always drawn to American Football and my love of the rules of the National Football League.

Hail Mary has much meaning for me, although I am not a religious person.  The tension on the field, the true grit of play and the excitement of the game has a hold on me that I have not yet been able to explain.  And I will vehemently negate any arguments that I watch the game for the tight pants.  I know the rules.  I know the game.  And during the NFL season, I eat, sleep and breathe football.

football

Once the season begins I yearn for Sundays.  If I am not working, I am comfortably ensconced in my living room watching the pre-game shows until the 1:00 kick off.  I can spend 10 hours in my living room yelling obscenities at my 46″ monitor and loving every second of the game. (I’m sure there are meetings for this!)

My love of the sport may have morphed into a slight obsession.  I took over a football pool about 10 years ago that had 15 participants.  Last year we topped the participation with 65 people at $250.00 each for the entry fee.  It was a busy season but time that I truly enjoyed spending creating spreadsheets and announcing the winners of each week.  Having 65 people picking 13 to 16 games a week is like having a second job, but one I would not give up.  My nickname during the football season is “The Commish” and it is a moniker I hold onto with great pride.

I have just sent my first email of the year to round up people to participate in the 2013 / 2014 football pool and I feel like a kid waiting to go to Disneyland.  The spreadsheets are set for another year and pre-season is around the corner.  The Chargers roster is pumped and ready to do me proud this year.  My jerseys are hanging in my closet and I eagerly anticipate the kick-off to the Hall of Fame Game on August 4th.

I am about to put the laptop to bed and watch The Replacements.  Although Keanu Reeves is not the best actor in the world, it is one of my favorite football movies and I need to get back into “Commish-mode”.  It’s 4th and 1 on the 1 yard line and I’m about to take the snap.  Hut, hut.

Projectile vomiting and football

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I am a huge NFL fan….I have been since I was old enough to know what I was watching on television.  Maybe that was my initiation  into becoming a tomboy, who knows?  Regardless of which came first, the pigskin or the scars, I am who I am.

football

I was fortunate to meet some good friends in 1999 who ran a fantastic restaurant and an equally great football pool.  Back then it was on a piece of legal paper, hand-written, with a relatively legible set of football picks.  I had explained to these two dear gentlemen how much more impressive it would be to have an Excel spreadsheet that could total wins automatically and the gauntlet of running the pool was immediately thrust into my hands.  Since 2003, I have grown the pool from twenty participants to sixty-five.  I am affectionately known as “The Commish” during my favorite season of the year – football season.

During those many years, I have only been close to the big prize once – and after a horrific showing in week 17 of the regular season, I dropped from first place to fourth place in a matter of hours and right out of the money.  For years, it was known as the ‘crash and burn’.  This year, I find myself going into week 17 tied for first place and the memories of that fatal crash are bubbling to the surface.  My heart is racing (thankfully I took my blood pressure meds this morning) and I needed to find a distraction to quell the feeling of sickness in the pit of my stomach.  Hence, this blog post.  I apologize for what could be seen as needless drivel, but writing not only distracts me, it calms my nerves.

I will be truly happy for the winners, whatever the outcome, but it would extremely uplifting to overcome that stigma of being the sorriest pilot in the NFL pool flight academy.

The large screen beckons, the green turf is inviting and the voices in my head are telling me to trust my gut.  That may be difficult since my gut may be sent hurtling across my living room soon, but I’ll give it the old college try!!  Go Chargers!!