June 25th, 2018 at 1:15 AM ^

It's getting closer. Stadiums around the country stand empty. The blinding noon light dances through the heat rising from the steel bleachers, baking in the sun. A sole groundskeeper quietly tends to the field in one endzone, while a linebacker flings a trail of sweat as he runs one more row of stairs on the far sideline. In the empty tailgate field just visible over the grandstand, a boy in shorts and a tank-top runs around, tossing a football in the air to himself, imitating a play-by-play call of an imaginary game-winning touchdown. 

Just hidden out of view, a coach pauses a game film study to step over to the window on the field. A smile slowly crosses his lips.

Football is coming.