Love is in the Air: ’tis the Season for Football

Bright, brilliant Michigan skies welcome another season of supreme athleticism at football stadiums near and far. Cool, crisp breezes blend lasting traditions with an air of possibility for play-off births and championship rings. Memories stir of good times spent with family and friends.

There is something about football. I love to watch it; I love to talk about it; and I love to write about it. I don’t dabble in fantasy land or keep track of stats. The ambiance — starry nights, cheering fans, face paint, jerseys, sunny Saturday and Sunday afternoons, autumn colors, mud bowls, beer, brats, snow ball, and angry coaches — has been an addiction since infancy.

Both collegiate as well as professional contests have me humming until the last play on Superbowl Sunday. Even high school football is interesting. Nothing compares to spending a chilly Friday night snuggled in blankets drinking hot chocolate while watching young neighborhood talent battle cross-town rivals.

My cravings for football began before age 5. It all started with spending Sunday afternoons and Thanksgiving with my family watching the Detroit Lions lose. Now, this lifelong loyalty may be finally rewarded. Will this season be the one where a talented team matures and rises to claim more than a wild-card slot? The drama is what draws me in. Teams with —such as the Lions — with stories, battle scars and strategy are those that make we want to watch every game.

The magic of the season is very much tied to memories, but is very much connected to the now. Replays from high school have me sitting in the bleachers with my high school girlfriends. It’s senior year. Our beloved Rochester High School Falcons finished the regular season with a 100-year first: a perfect 9-0 record. We are watching and cheering the Falcons as they play Utica’s Eisenhower (Ike) in the first round of state playoffs. Ironically, Ike is now the high school I cheer for and where my children will attend.

As college Saturday nears, I think back to sophomore year at Western Michigan University. My roommate and I are tailgating at someone’s home with rowdy, like-minded Bronco fans. It isn’t noon, yet. Our breakfast includes ice-cold brews fresh from the hose. Hours later we are still at Waldo Stadium cheering for the Broncos to pull out a win.

Finally, there are those Saturday afternoons with my sister at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Some were spent in the end zone in the freezing rain; and some in the glorious sunshine near the 50-yard line. So much tradition, so much athletic might and so much fun.

The magic isn’t just about the history; it’s about the now. Since the Lions do not have a deep history of winning seasons, my husband and I cheer for alternate teams each season. That way, we watch the entire season — through playoffs and Superbowl — even when the Lions disappoint. My husband’s teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots; mine are the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants.

So, are you ready for another weekend of football? I am. It’s just getting started. ’tis the season. I hope it’s a jolly one for you.

Football-related posts from last season …

I Love Football

Sunday Night Football: Lions Go Yellow

Related article I found before posting that you might find interesting …

Should The Detroit Lions Be Cautious Against The 49ers? (detroit.cbslocal.com)

I Love Football

I love football. Nothing compares to the unmatched athleticism during local high school, Big Ten and NFL match-ups. Plus, memories near and far make each season. My favorites include:

Pumping fists and exchanging high-fives with Riff when the Detroit Lions make a touchdown. There have been many of these for two consecutive Sundays. Here’s to the Lions going 3-0 this afternoon! Are you with me?

Listening to Issa and Riff belt Louis Armstrong‘s, The Saints Go Marching In, at the start of Superbowl XLIV. Maybe we need to start memorizing Kid Rock‘s Born Free. It’s just a hunch. But, I think the Lions are contenders this year.

Spending sunny Saturdays at the Big House in Ann Arbor with my sister, Tina. Have you listened to Pop Evil’s In The Big House?

Taking road trips to rival territory to watch the Western Michigan University Bronco’s battle Eastern Michigan University and Central Michigan University. WMU spanked CMU last weekend, 44-14.

Tailgating prior to WMU and University of Michigan games.

Passing people up the bleachers — and sometimes cats — at WMU’s Waldo Stadium.

Drinking beer from shot glasses with my dad — when I was a wee lass — on football Sundays.

Mixing the Lions, family and turkey. That’s right. Every Thanksgiving, I watch the Lions battle it out for drumsticks while eating mixed nuts, drinking beer, partying with family and smelling turkey dinner. What else do you need?

Related articles

The Original Saturday Real-Life Escape

It began Saturday morning. I started the engine, set my music to the Black-Eyed Peas, and sped out of the driveway. Squealing my tires, I left my husband, children and dog for my sister and Hob Nob Pinot Noir. I escaped to the land of The Original Cottage Inn, Stucchi’s, the University of Michigan and flirty boutiques.

At The Original, my sister and I savored a child-free meal and traded strategies on how to avert meltdowns. Somehow food and drink tastes so much better without food strikes, projectile air launches, or requests for drink refills. Plus, nothing beats The Original. Just think about it. Does Ataris’ cover of Don Henley’s Boys of Summer measure up? Say what you want. It just doesn’t do it for me. The same goes for food. Mastery of artful, tasteful duplication is tough and not without peril.

Our escape route also included a trek through the campus at U-M, hunting for stylish spring accessories, and indulging at Stucchi’s. That scoop of cinnamon crumb cake was absolutely delicious; and worth every calorie and fat gram.

The original Saturday real-life escape was extra special with a visit to my sister’s home. There, I cuddled my nephew who is a bundle of six-month cuteness and discussed how challenging it was to catch leprechauns with my niece, Annalise. She even showed me the box she made for trapping them. Life is beautiful.

I Love Michigan: Ann Arbor

I can’t help it. This post and those that follow are going to read like a script for those Pure Michigan ads. However, I don’t need a script. All I have to say is off-the-cuff, from the heart and Pure Michigan.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a date day with my husband. We stole away to Ann Arbor for the afternoon and then to his brother’s house later that evening.

Why Ann Arbor? It wasn’t for MTV’s casting call for the Real World at Scorekeepers. But, isn’t it great that filmmakers think Ann Arbor is a great city? It has urban appeal, a great mix of people, and the University of Michigan campus.

Anyway, why Ann Arbor? The bargain book shelves and tables at Borders’ flagship store on Liberty. Great people watching from Amer’s big plate-glass window. Nickel’s Arcade and the University of Michigan are beautiful even under a gray, cold March sky. March Madness at Buffalo Wild Wings on State Street.

Plus, Ann Arbor has a permanent signature on our relationship. My husband and I spent nearly one year of our dating lives there. Our first date was on the patio at Good Time Charley’s. Then there were Saturday afternoons goofing off at Pinball Pete’s, Middle Earth and The Little Brown Jug; a Valentine dinner at Palio’s; autumn strolls through the Arboretum; and haunted hayrides at Wiard’s.

One more very special connection to Ann Arbor is family. I am proud and boastful to mention a number of relatives live there or nearby. Rest assured, my husband, children and I will be spending many more fabulous Saturdays re-visiting and creating memories in this fabulous urban landscape.