September 7th, 2006

Spain

Are You Ready for Some Football?

NFL football returns in a couple of hours, so life will have meaning again.

I will watch tonight's game between the Steelers and Dolphins, of course, since it's the season opener, but I really don't have a horse in that contest. I'm saving my real energy for the weekend, when the Giants and the Jets take the field for the first time.

Big Blue and Gang Green are my guys. Yeah, both of them. Sometimes people ask me how I can possibly root for them both, since they're rivals and all. All I can say is that I am very, very old. When I was growing up in Jersey, the G-Men were the only NYC team, so of course I cheered for them. Later, when the Jets came along, they were in an entirely different league and never played the Giants, so I started cheering for them too... especially after they got that Namath guy. I do have a crisis once every three years when they play each other, but I can deal with that. My dream is to live long enough to see a Subway Superbowl.

This year the Giants are expected to be a Superbowl contender, and the Jets are expected to vie for the first pick in next year's draft. Two years ago the Jets were a Superbowl contender and the Giants were contending for the first pick in the draft. See, it's good to have two teams. Every weekend, I have two chances at happiness. If both teams win, I'm thrilled. If one wins and one loses, I am heartened by the victory. It's only when both of them lose that I tell Parris that life is meaningless and there is no joy in Mudville.

As for predicting what the season will be like... somehow I think the Jets are going to be better than anyone expects, but I'm not sure that the Giants are going to be as good. The Giants have always seemed to have their best seasons when everyone expects them to stink. When the experts pick them to win, somehow they usually tank.

But maybe not. So much depends on Eli. We'll see how the first game goes, when they face the mighty Colts in the Manning Bowl.

Are you ready for some football?