Beginning in the early fall, women across the country dread the season. You know, when you can't capture your significant other's attention because he is too deeply involved in a sporting event. No matter what you try, or say, nothing can divert his attention. He keeps his eye on the prize; he knows the good shot is near.
I wouldn't mind being a football widow; however, I can't belong to that group. The truth is, I enjoy football. Why? I like the atmosphere of a football game on a crisp - and sometimes even hot - autumn day. I long for the bone-crushing, ego-bruising, throw-'em-to-the-ground, smashmouth football that I grew up watching. Nothing beats a Saturday filled with ESPN Game Day, a Husker game, and then three or four college games on TV. You know, a typical Saturday football marathon. I like it!
Instead, I'm a hunting widow. Hunting season begins shortly after football kicks off in late August. And it's kind of like football. First, you begin with the little creatures like squirrels, doves, or prairie chickens. Or if you're really lucky, you'll participate in a snipe hunt. These animals are the non-conference game schedule. The critters you know you can handily defeat because 1.) of their size and 2.) because of their ability (or lack of) to hide.
After a month or so, you progress from small, innocent game to something a bit more challenging. That's right, you're ready for those conference foes that might make a splash, but in reality, you more than likely will defeat them by at least 20 points. You know what I'm talking about. Foes like ducks and wild turkeys. Sometimes, the enemy flies high; other times, he can't get away. Kind of like a linebacker throwing the QB for a loss.
And then, you are ready for the big game(s) of the season. That's right. It's time to go after Bambi, or the conference teams that you wait to battle late in the season. The games everyone enjoys watching on mid-November afternoons when a season is at stake, like Oklahoma v. Nebraska, Michigan v. Ohio State, USC v. UCLA. You know the BIG games!
If I put it in to proper perspective, I shouldn't mind the fact that during hunting season, life, as we know it, comes to a standstill. After all, I thoroughly anticipate any good game (and I'm not talking grouse or pheasant).
So yesterday, when I witnessed Scott killing a buck (the first time I've seen a deer get shot), I tried to relate it to football. Scott is really the quarterback rifling the bullet (yes, pun intended) through the air for a completion. Adrenaline races through Scott and I'm sure if we were in a football stadium, the crowd would be cheering crazily. At the very least, they'd be doing the wave. :)
But there's a part of me that doesn't get the love for this game. Yes, you're still in the hunt, like a team trying to maintain a successful season. You're still attempting to annihilate the opponent, like a team destroying another with a score of something like, oh, say, 73-31. You proudly show your support by sporting the team's favorite color of orange; I prefer scarlet and cream. And you're still in the hunt (yes, pun intended) for bragging rights over who earned the biggest trophy.
I'm growing accustomed to the game that I'm still learning. Or at least I'm learning the rules.
But for now, I'll stick with the game that I was introduced to at the young age of five, the game I used to keep statistics for and could name every player on the roster, the game where Christmas vacation occasionally meant Christmas in Dallas, or Miami, or San Diego.
Yup, I just prefer the game played between the goal posts, on a carpet of field turf, with 85,000 screaming fan(atic)s.......and a possible trip to a post-season game.