Yay. It's football season.
Forgive me for being somewhat underwhelmed but I do not share the same enthusiasm that most folks do here in the coal region.
I have to admit, when I first moved to the area over 20 years ago, I couldn't believe that high school football was actually televised here.
"You people sure do take your football seriously around here, ya' bunch of hicks," I once remarked to a friend who quickly rebuked and corrected me by saying, "We are not hicks; we are coal crackers, and yes, we do."
Now, before you all storm my house with pitchforks and such in hand, let me explain why I have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth for football.
First of all, let me clarify, I LOVE to go to the stadium for a local football game.
I love the cooler weather and wearing hoodies and meeting up with friends to watch a good game. I am all for that.
It is the televised game I detest.
When I was a child, I used to visit with my dad most weekends.
I enjoyed going fishing, or to the movies, or the theater or visiting family and friends.
That is, until football season rolled round.
Suddenly my weekends consisted of my father being planted in front of the television screen all day Saturday and Sunday, leaving me angry and bored out of my mind.
I was relegated to my room to watch Kung Fu Theatre, Shirley Temple movies and hours upon hours of solo Pong playing, which lost its flavor after a while.
My father was so intense when watching the games that you couldn't talk to him or go near him.
I remember the 1981 Super Bowl when the Eagles played against the Raiders.
My father was a huge Eagles fan and we went to my uncle's house to watch the game.
When I became bored playing outside by myself, I went in and sat down next to my father to "bond" with him and attempt to take an interest in the sport he loved.
During one play, my father became angry and animated and while flailing his arms like a madman, cracked me square in the face sending me flying backward, which resulted in a swollen cheek.
Upon seeing that there was no blood shed and that all of my teeth were intact, he went right back to the game as if nothing happened.
When I met my husband, I quickly found out that he too was a huge football fan.
Specifically, Notre Dame and the Steelers. (Don't be hatin'!)
Since we both worked and had children, I looked forward to the weekends and wanted to get out and enjoy life, where as he wanted to stay in and enjoy football day and night.
I could see if he just wanted to watch the Notre Dame game or a Steelers game, but no, we had to watch EVERY game, which meant flipping back and forth between the different channels during commercials.
It made me insane and I became a bitter football widow.
To make matters worse, my husband becomes very, very loud and vocal during the games (which sometimes scared the children) and one would think he was involved in some heated argument with all of the shouting and cussing that was going on.
I still don't think he realizes that the players can't hear him.
But the thing that annoys me most about watching televised football is when I am anxiously awaiting the end of the game to eat together as a family or to head out of the house for some recreation and the five minutes allegedly left on the clock actually ends up being half an hour. (It's football math. I don't pretend to understand it.)
So, while I will try to make all of the Panther Valley home games to hang out with friends and watch my daughter's boyfriend play, I am kind of thinking that our television may suffer from a little "accident" this year, just so I can claim some quality time with my hubby.
Just don't tell him.