There's a moment every summer, usually in mid- to late July. Sometimes it's in early August. Basketball and hockey are over. Baseball slogs on interminably. The pounding heat has shut my brain off. Parts of my body I did not know existed are actually dripping on other parts, and I'm preoccupied with just how ridiculous and terrible summer is and there's no end in sight and just just just argh.
Then there is one morning in the high fifties. The air is crisp and implies things like falling leaves and pumpkins and perhaps a hayride for the faux-camping inclined. It hits me: football. Football is coming.
In a month or so I will get out of my car on the southern part of campus. I will walk past tailgaters at Elbel field, the band assembling in front of Revelli, the RVs in front of the stadium, and I will arrive at the designated tailgate spot. I'll see my brother for probably the first time since hockey season ended. My dad will be there. My uncle, my cousins.
Sausage will be consumed.
With an hour or so to go before the game, I'll ascend the steps in front of the stadium, find my seat, stand over it, and try to figure out a way to stop time, Bewitched-style, so that I can extend this moment of anticipation. Wrinkling the nose does not work; I don't think it's cute enough.
I knew this would happen, objectively. Time continues to pass at more or less the same rate unless I approach the speed of light, which--despite the opinions of local traffic cops--I have not. But it's that first morning that hints that summer's cruel grip is fading that makes the faint, faraway possibility of actual football simultaneously immediate and desperately far removed. It's only a month away; oh God, it's a month away.
And I call my friend up and have a conversation like this:
Hungry Armenian: FOOTBALL!
mgoblog: AAAH! FOOTBALL! FOOTBALL!!!!
Hungry Armenian: AAAH!!!
mgoblog: Football, man. Football.
Hungry Armenian: Yeah, football.
mgoblog: Seriously, man. Football. Goddamn football. Bye.
Hungry Armenian: Bye.