I am a huge sports fan. Every time the season begins for one of our Boston area professional sports teams, it is a wonderful time. But somehow, football season seems to be the best of them all. And that’s why last weekend – and this one coming up – are particularly special.
While nothing quite matches the pageantry of Opening Day for the Red Sox, the opening weekend of football season comes close. Football is an all-day event at my house on Sunday, beginning with the pre-game shows on ESPN in the morning and ending with the Sunday night game late that evening.
That is unless the Patriots are playing at home. In that case, as a season ticket-holder for the last 39 years or so, I am in my end-zone seat watching the team I have followed through times both incredibly bad and incredibly good. Then it’s back to the house and my big-screen television to watch the rest of the NFL.
Since I have the satellite package that allows me to watch every NFL game, one television just doesn’t cut it. So over the protests of a certain female family member, I bring a second TV downstairs in order to provide maximum viewing possibilities. And the addition of the Red Zone Channel – a brilliant idea that switches between games according to the scoring potential – has brought football viewing to heights unimaginable just a few short years ago.
While watching these games I have my laptop or iPad next to me so I can keep track of my various Fantasy Football teams. This may sound geeky, but is in fact what makes the NFL almost irresistible today. I am in a league with my two sons and many of their friends, and the competition is intense – as is the trash-talking. You have to be prepared to discover the latest injury and be quick to the waiver wire to pick up the running back or receiver who has just been thrust into a starting role.
Between an occasional Thursday night game, a myriad of games on Sunday, and the always hyped Monday Night Football contest – weekends in the fall at my house center around football. Friends and family often join us, and every Pats game I attend is with my best friend and one of my sons. We have a super-secret parking spot that allows us to skip the traffic around the stadium, getting us home faster to watch the later games.
We also take football road trips. In a couple of weeks we will travel to Buffalo to watch the Patriots battle the Bills. The group will include my sons and some friends, and in November some of us will also go to New Jersey to witness the game with our arch-rival New York Jets. Yes, we are a bit crazy – but we love it.
So as we prepare for the Patriots home opener this weekend, we celebrate the fact football is back. If anyone wants to come over and watch any weekend, just give me a call. You do have to help carry the second TV though – so keep that in mind.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and a dedicated football fan. He can be reached (though not on Sunday) at firstname.lastname@example.org.