I have been so busy these past few weeks with unpacking and organizing in addition to working my regular job, that sometimes it seemed as though all I could do was fall onto my couch at the end of the day. Finally, after being in the apartment for about a month, my living room is livable, I have dishes and silverware in the kitchen, artwork and mirrors on the wall, and clothes hanging in the closet. I also have a gazillion unopened boxes in the 2nd bedroom, but I am getting good at not focusing on them! Because now it's September which means it's Football Season! Years ago, when my son was about 13, he and I began a tradition that we continue to this day...our weekly football pool. Each Fall I buy a brand new notebook to record our predictions and successes. Every Sunday we list all the games and make our picks, then, fortifying ourselves with junk food, turn on the TV and spend the day in an orgy of Football. Because we live in a state that does not have a pro team, we used to get whatever game the powers that be chose for us. Since we live close to both Seattle and Denver, that usually meant the Seahawks and Broncos. But now we have an amazing cable channel...the Red Zone! The channel is only active on Sunday and shows every red zone opportunity in a whip around format. Instead of waiting impatiently thru the sometimes yawn inspiring televised game, waiting for updates from games we actually want to see, we get to see every single touchdown with no commercial breaks. As soon as a team moves out of the red zone or if the game goes to replays, it switches to another game. If more than one game is about to score, they split the screen. It's fun, fast, can be completely confusing and costs a mere $5.45 a month! It and the DVR have greatly increased our enjoyment of the game. With a DVR, if we really need another view of that incredible 60 yard run, we can rewind it and see it again and again and again. That feature has settled many a spirited discussion about whether it was a fumble or incomplete pass, whether or not the runner stepped out of bounds before crossing the goal line, whether it was off sides or a false start. Don't get me wrong, I have been to live football games, both college and professional, and have enjoyed the camaraderie, the festive atmosphere, the cheering and sometimes deafening noise that follows when you get 50,000+ people in one place. But today's at home experience is so amazing that I have to say I enjoy it much more than live, in-stadium viewing. Instead of climbing down the bleachers and waiting in a long line for the bathroom, thereby missing what is sure to be the play of the game, with the click of a button I can pause the game, do whatever needs to be done, then resume it, comfortably seated on my couch.
When my dad was alive, he and I used to watch college football on Saturdays...no remote control, no DVR...just him and me and a small TV. I miss my dad and I miss those Saturdays with him. But he loved technology and I know he would have loved the ability to control the viewing of the games the way we can now. He would have loved the football pool, too, but he probably would have won every week. Where I sometimes choose a team just because I want them to win or because I really don't like the other team, he would have made his choices based on the best chances for the outcome. My son is that way, too. No matter how much he really wants the Raiders to win, he will choose the team he thinks will win. I think it's a guy thing. When my daughter used to participate, she would sometimes choose her winners based on mascots...and sometimes she won.
This is the 19th season for our football pool. Who would have thought that what started as a way for me to spend some time with a teenage son, much the same way my dad began watching college ball with a teenage daughter, would still be an important part of my life all these years later. This Sunday and every Sunday between now and the end of the season, I will sit on my couch, remote control in hand, watching football with my son, thinking of my dad. There are worse ways to spend my time, but not many better.